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5 Fun Ways to Help your Teen Process Stress

5 Fun Ways to Help your Teen Process Stress

With the end of the school year upon us, there’s a lot going on in the life of a teen. Worry about grades, stress over final exams and figuring out summer plans can feel like a lot to figure out.

But, while the next few weeks may be daunting for your teen, they’re also a great chance to teach your teen some creative ways to cope with the stress they feel. We found five unique ways that you can help your teen cope with stress:

1. Encourage them to invest in what they enjoy

Doing things that we enjoy is a great way to relieve stress. According to the American Heart Association, taking ten or fifteen minutes to do something you enjoy help interrupt the cycle of stress. If your teen is crafty encourage them to invest time in their latest painting or project. If your teen likes to be outside, take them on a hike to explore a new area. Even taking an hour to play with their pets or help you bake dessert can make a difference.

2. Exercise and sports

According to the American Psychological Association, through exercise teens give their bodies the chance to process stress. This can really help teenagers who are feeling overwhelmed. Additionally, the Mayo Clinic tells us that exercising releases the endorphins in our brains. These endorphins help to fight stress and even give your teen a boost in their mood.

3. Reading

While some students may cringe at the thought of taking time to do what may feel like homework, reading can help them relax. Research from the University of Minnesota shows that reading can help release tension in your muscles and lowers your heart rate.

It also gives the mind a chance to take a break from the situations that are causing stress. By clearing their mind and reading a book that they enjoy, they can take almost a mini-vacation from what’s going on around them.

4. Set limits for social media

Social media has become a great tool in our society. But it can also be a big source of stress for our teens. In fact, research done by Pew Research Center, social media causes more stress than it relieves.

In a world that is always connected, teens can feel the pressure to always be available. With the fear of missing something online weighing over teens, space from technology and social media is important. To help your teen relax, make time for your teen to unplug from their devices. Create time every evening where their phone should be put away or locked with a pass-code. Use this unplugged time to visit as a family.

Reconnecting with the people around them can help teens rest and rejuvenate every day. These moments also give you the opportunity to ask about their day and stay invested. This investment helps your teen know that you’re someone they can come to for help. This is also a great time to begin the conversation with them about other healthy ways to cope with stress, and the dangers of stuffing stress away or numbing themselves with substances.

5. Be a good example

Your teen is likely to learn a lot from you during their lifetime. Perhaps one of the most things you can do is show them how to deal with stress through your example.

It can be difficult at times being vulnerable with your teen. But allowing them to see some of the stress that you experience, and how you’re dealing with it, can help them. When you need to take a walk from feeling overwhelmed, take your teen along with you. When you need to rest and read, ask your teen if they’d like to join you. By modeling good self-care, your teen can follow your good example in the future.

Kaitlyn Inman
kaitlyn@missourisafeandsober.com
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