Teens are increasingly finding themselves stressed out. The American Psychological Association, reports that stress is incredibly common among teens. And, it comes as no surprise that teens’ biggest source of stress is school. As a parent, find out how you can help your teen identify and manage their stress.
The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry identifies several teen stressors which include:
- Issues with others at school
- Internal feelings about themselves
- Living in an unsafe area
- Parent’s separation or divorce
- Body changes
- Death of a loved one
- Financial problems at home
- Recent move or school change
- Family health problems
- Being involved in too many activities
- Setting extremely high standards for themselves
If your teen is struggling with stress from these pressures, it is important that they learn how to manage that stress instead of shutting down or coping in a way that is unhealthy.
Here are some healthy ways from the American Psychological Association for your teen to manage that stress:
- Exercise. This is one of the most effective ways to cope with stress. Keep in mind that exercising doesn’t just mean going for a run. Make it fun by getting a few friends involved. Try activities like yoga, skateboarding, hiking or kayaking.
- Find a Balance. What we mean by this is don’t just focus on school work, but also make having fun a priority.
- Getting enough sleep. This one is huge since most teens don’t get enough sleep as it is. Sleep is necessary for our physical and emotional well-being. To get to sleep, minimize caffeine intake later in the day as well as screen time close to bedtime.
- Do things that you are good at. By doing this it helps you focus on your strengths so that stresses can be put into focus.
- Do things you enjoy. Find a hobby. This could be watching movies, listening to music, or art.
Parents can help by encouraging the above things. Additionally, pay attention and listen to your teen. Make sure they are not over loaded with school and activities. Look for signs that stress isn’t being managed. Also, encourage your teen to talk you about their stress.
If you find that your teen’s stress still isn’t manageable then maybe it is time to talk to a mental health professional.