It is tough to be a teenager and the demands of today’s world don’t make it any easier. The most common things that can cause stress in a teenager’s life, as outlined by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, include academic demands, family problems, high expectations, overly packed schedules, safety concerns, peer relationships, and family financial instability. With so many sources of stress it is no wonder that teens, who may not have developed the skills they need to manage their stress on their own, can easily become overwhelmed.
Signs of Stress
The first step is being able to recognize that stress is building so that you can take steps to manage and alleviate it before it causes problems. Here are some of the most common signs of stress in teenagers.
- You are always running late, forgetting what day it is, and losing things like your backpack or your keys.
- You are always tired, but have trouble sleeping.
- You never eat at a table or even sitting down and you always rush through meal time.
- You are constantly getting sick and have headaches a lot.
- You are often doing three things at once, but you rarely finish anything, including your sentences.
- You find yourself eating all the time.
- You feel nervous and jumpy and have a short temper.
- Nothing seems like fun and you feel like you are constantly on the verge of bursting into tears.
Stress Relief Strategies
Much of the time, we begin to experience the signs of stress above when the stress in our lives keeps building up without any relief. The key to managing it better is to notice it is happening and then take action to help immediately alleviate that build-up of stress in the short-term while also considering how to lessen your stress over the long term. Here are some teen-proven strategies for doing both.
1. Listen to Music
Music not only soothes the savage beast, it is also a sure-fire way to decrease your stress level quickly. It may be listening to your favorite song, to a song that soothes and calms you, or to a loud, raucous track that provides you with the most relief. When the pressure starts mounting and the signs above begin to show, pop in your ear buds and let the sounds soothe your stressed out soul.
2. Chill Out
Sometimes we get stressed out because we are focused so intently on doing all the things we have to do like school, work, chores, etc. that we forget to stop and smell the roses. Taking a day or even an afternoon to just chill out with your friends playing video games, watching movies, or shooting hoops can help restore some of that balance and fight off the effects of stress.
3. Get Physical
One of the most effective ways of burning off stress is to do something physically active like exercising, playing a sport, or even just going for a walk. Get moving in the short term to alleviate the symptoms and then make sure you are planning time in your schedule to be active everyday to help keep the stress from building back up again.