Self-Care for Stressed out Students
Teenagers are facing an increase of stress due to school, after school activities and the uncertainty about their future. Stress is something we all deal with but we don’t have to suffer from the long-lasting consequences. We have the choice for stress to be short term or long term. So, how can you learn to deal with stress? In this post, we’ll discuss five self-care techniques which stressed-out students can benefit from.
Now, you’re probably thinking that this may include exercises, increased rest, and perhaps some activities which you don’t have the time for. Relax. The techniques below are easy-to-do, time-efficient, and relaxing. The key point to remember is to practice the things that bring you joy and ditch the things that don’t. One person’s self-care is another person’s torment.
Self-care for anxious and stressed teenagers
Start a Journal
Journaling is an age-old practice for relieving the mind of thoughts, plans, questions, doubts, and experiences. Writing in a journal allows you to put on paper all the things that have been happening in your world and probably getting you anxious.
For instance, if you have deadlines for assignments or have to prepare for a test, write the details in your journal. By merely scribbling down your thoughts or intentions to fix them, you relieve your mind of the stress of doing them.
Don’t feel pressured to write a novel. Daily writing can be in the form of drawing, short hand or even to do lists.
In essence, keeping a journal is a private form of friendship. Your journal is your second self.
Find your Cheering Section
Family always knows when we need a break or someone to talk to. Talking to your parents about the challenges you have with a school subject or other matters can solve the problem by half. Besides, your parents could provide suggestions which help you handle the difficulty.
Friends are also great company when it comes to dealing with stress. Spend time with friends on the weekends doing an outdoor sport or trying out something new.
I tell my students to surround yourself with a cheering squad. It may not always be family or friends. It’s sad but true. In that case look for your champions in other places like mentors, teachers or bosses.
Everyone deserves a number one fan – and not like the Stephen King Book Misery.
Make Sure you get Quality Zzzz’s
Good sleep generally helps you to strengthen your weak muscles and refresh in preparation for the next day’s work. If you stay up all night trying to study or prepare for a test, you may end up being sleep-deprived and mentally incapable of getting a good grade.
Thus, it’s essential for you to sleep for up to 8 hours without any noise or distraction. You should also consider putting all electronics away.
Do your parents keep their electronics near the bed? Perhaps you need to initiate a family wide challenge to ban technology after a certain hour.
These suggestions are not limited to teens!
Set SMART Goals
Stressed-out students sometimes forget the importance of the S.M.A.R.T. formula. If your goals aren’t specific, measurable, attainable, timely, and realistic, you might end up overworking yourself and getting burned out.
I recommend that you analyze your schedule and determine how much of your time is committed to school work, social time, and other personal activities. Strike a balance between all your activities so that you don’t end up chasing more than you can handle at a single time.
Find your Creativity
A major self-care technique for dealing with stress is doing creative things. Be mindful that you don’t find the need to be a perfectionist in your creativity. This is a time to de-stress NOT stress out. If you find that you are a weee bit of a perfectionist, you might want to check out this episode of School Counselor Gone Rogue -it’s all about feeding the perfectionist bear.
Do you love to paint – but fear you are no good? WHO CARES! Paint the ugliest picture ever and then burn it. Just enjoy the process if it brings you joy.
Find out your hobbies and develop them. In the long run, whenever you feel like you have too much on your plate, you can “shed some of the weight” by doing something you love and find soothing.
The Bottom Line:
Stressed-out students are becoming as common as burned out adults. Thus, it’s essential that students also learn the self-care strategies which can help them manage pressure, deadline, and mental fatigue.
Remember, self-care is personal. You know, it hinges on the word SELF. Do the things you love for you, and find your sense of balance.
If you ever feel like you’re overwhelmed, take a break and add one of the five techniques above to your routine. I can assure you that you’ll be back in shape and ready to rock in no time.
If you are struggling to get out of the overwhelm, schedule a call to see if Academic Coaching is a good fit. Sometimes, the pressure can seem too great and you need a light to shine the way out.
MA Counselor ED, ACC Academic Coach
Team Pasch Academic Coaching