9 Ways for Teenagers to Manage Stress

Mothers are eager to provide their kids with tools that allow them to deal with difficult situations successfully – mindful moms are eager to provide them with mindful solutions.  As a mother of an adolescent son and an almost teenage daughter I know pretty well how peers and the school environment can produce stressors which may not be that easy to handle.

I was glad to have stumbled upon this short You Tube video by Allina Health which discusses nine ways to help teenagers deal with common stressors.

These are actually nine pieces of smart advice on how kids can regain control over a stressful situation and manage their reactions in the face of hardships:

  1. Identifying stress sources

Step number one in the process of managing stress is figuring out what things are causing it. Very often we find that kids are just not aware of the root of the problem that is giving them a hard time. Let us encourage our teenagers to identify these challenges which can be virtually anything we adults do not even consider as stressors.

  1. Managing time

Managing our time makes it easier to deal with daily challenges. Teenagers are old enough to try making a plan of their day. For instance they can create a to-do list which includes concrete tasks to be marked one by one. Every time they mark something off the list, their body releases endorphins giving them a little dose of happiness when a chore on the list gets done.

  1. Taking deep breaths

Kids should be taught to pause and take a few deep breaths every time they feel that stress is starting to build up in their body. Let them acknowledge the relaxing effect of deep breaths on the body. Let them experience that being with the breaths helps remain in the present moment.

  1. Asking for help

It is so much easier to manage stress when you let others lend a hand. By encouraging kids to open up to someone with an open ear – a parent, a trusted adult or a counselor – we actually allow them experience that talking about a problem can be part of overcoming it.

  1. Getting enough sleep

A well-rested brain is much more prepared to conquer challenges. While adults usually know, teenagers may not be aware of the fact that sleep-deprived subjects have lower tolerance to stress.

  1. Eating right

Eating balanced amounts of wholegrains (fresh food and veggies) can help us manage our stress levels. This is another fact that may be new to kids. They should be reminded every now and then of the importance of eating right and drinking enough during the day.

  1. Moving around

Physical activity is one of the most effective stress relievers. Exercising will release those feel-good endorphins. Let’s encourage our kids to find activities they enjoy and build them in their daily routine.

  1. Ignoring stress is not OK

Stress does not relieve itself. We are able to take stress-relieving actions only if we recognize and accept that we are stressed. Kids usually lack the necessary life experience to acknowledge this fact – although sometimes adults fail to be aware of this interconnection too.

  1. Enjoying oneself

Parents like to stress the importance of working hard in order to achieve a goal – we tend to forget about the need to take a brake sometimes. Everyone’s brain needs a brake. It is OK for not being completely focused on what needs to be done next. Let us allow/encourage our kids to schedule time for things they enjoy and make fun part of their day.