Everyone deals with stress in different ways. For some of us, we’ve learned that reading a book we enjoy or watching can help us feel calmer about what we have to do. But as a teenager, it can sometimes be tricky to find the perfect thing that will help you manage the stress you’re feeling.
Helping your teen find a coping strategy that works for them is important for every parent to do. While not every teen may experience a huge onset of stress throughout the year, having the tools to deal with it when it comes is a vital life skill.
When you talk with your teen about the stress that their feeling, it’s important to bring solutions. Giving them ideas of the positive ways they can manage their stress can help them find a way to handle stress in the way that’s right for them.
To get you started, we have a few simple and everyday ways you can help your teen manage their stress:
According to the CDC, teenagers need between 8 and ten hours of sleep a night. While the idea of going to sleep, to a teen, may seem like the time they could be used to get things done, their rest is extremely important. By resting they can come at their problems the next day with a clear mind. This will help them tackle their stressors more effectively.
When your teen is feeling stressed, their brain will likely cause them to have a physical reaction. Their heart rate may increase, they might have a rush of adrenaline or just feel like they have more nervous energy. With time, if a teen doesn’t get to release these feelings, the stress a teen is feeling can grow. By going for a walk or run, your teen can have the chance to let those feelings out and regroup before coming back to focus.
3. Purposefully relax
According to Pam Stoelzel, a Community Health Specialist with CoxHealth, another way you can help your teen avoid stress is by teaching them how to remain
calm in a stressful situation. Teach your teen, when they feel stressed, they should take a few slow deep breaths. Deep breathing can help to bring their heart rate back down, clear their head and focus on what needs to be done.
4. Make a list
Sit down with your teen and help them make a list of the things they have going on. Ask them to find the things that need to be done right away and prioritize them over the others. If they need to, they can even break their list up over the week. That way instead of 15 things to do by Friday, they just have a few things to do each day. They might surprise themselves when they realize that they can accomplish the things on their list. Writing these things down can also help keep your teen on top of what needs to be done as the weeks go on.
There are lots of different ways that you can help your teen cope with the stress they’re experiencing. Knowing positive ways to handle stress is an important life skill for every teen and can help keep them from choosing substances such as alcohol to try and manage what they’re feeling.
By talking with your teen and giving them ideas to deal with stress positively early on, you can set them up to make safe choices on handling stress for life.