Recently a young writer contacted me and offered to share a post on my blog. Dolly Santos specializes in researching various topics that are relevant in today's world, and through her research she offers informative tips and strategies.
When she asked if I had a preferred topic, I shared that my daughter, who is now a sophomore in high school, has been having some issues with stress recently. So I asked if she would write an article related to teen stress.
I think back to when I was a teen, and though I did worry from time to time about the pressures of school, today's teens have unique stressors that didn't exist when I was their age. I hope parents of teens will find Dolly's tips useful.
Here are some of the best tips for helping your teen cope with stress and anxiety.
Encourage them to be active
Being physically active every day can help combat boredom, anxiety, and stress by elevating mood and providing a goal. Many young people find success with school or extracurricular sports, but if they aren’t athletically inclined, encourage them to get in a workout every day. Go for a walk after dinner, head to the park for a game of basketball, or play a game outside when the weather is nice.
Staying mentally active is also important, and there are many mental exercises that can reduce stress and anxiety. For example, forms of art therapy, such as painting or dancing, and journaling, are great options.
Make sure they’re getting enough sleep
Teenagers need at least nine hours of sleep every night, but most of them get seven or less. It’s extremely important for young people to get adequate rest in order to function well at school, and it also helps them keep control over their emotions. Mood and behavior are greatly impacted by the amount of sleep we get.
Make sure you talk to your teen regularly about various topics. It may be hard to get them to open up sometimes, but in the long run they appreciate that their parents are trying to bond with them. Make a no-phone rule at the table and turn off the television for a bit every night so you can have a chat, or engage with them on the ride to school in the morning. Knowing their daily activities and who they spend time with can be helpful when they are having issues and need to talk.
It’s also important to keep your kids involved in any family decisions. Big changes at home--such as a move or divorce--can wreak havoc on a teen’s life, and stress is doubled when they feel like they are being left out.
Find things they love
Help your teen find things they enjoy doing. Having a hobby or doing something they’re really good at can help with comfort and stress relief, such as creating art, playing a musical instrument, writing, acting, working with computers and software, or cooking. Consider helping them find a hobby and trying it out with them, and remember, they will be watching to see how you react to your own successes and failures.