High school is a time of high stress and anxiety for many teenagers. This is a time where they navigate academic challenges, social pressures, and the uncertainty of their future. The stress they accumulate during these formative years can have a significant impact on their mental health in addition to their academic performance. As a parent, it is crucial to understand the signs of stress in your teen and provide them with effective strategies and solutions to cope. Today we’ll explore 4 ways to help your teen deal with stress while promoting their mental health during their high school journey.
1. Encourage Open Communication
Open communication with your teenager is easier said than done. Establishing a non-judgmental line of communication with your teen is a great first step to have in supporting them with their stress. Encourage them to share any negative experience they have with classes — concerns, frustrations, and anxieties are all significant factors that build up the stress level of your teen. Remind them that’s it’s normal to feel stressed and offer ways or solutions you use to manage your own stress. Building up the discourse around this topic and getting your teen comfortable with sharing their stress is an important first step in finding coping strategies.
It’s important to note, that it’s better to start slow when opening lines of communication. If your teen is reluctant at first, give them time to get comfortable. Pushing too hard can make them even more reluctant to open lines of communication.
2. Teach Time Management Skills
Time management skills can significantly improve your teen’s stress levels. Many students in high school are taking more intensive classes such as AP and Dual Credit, and are getting more homework than they’ve ever had before. Time management skills and specific planning can help a mountains worth of homework look more manageable. Many teenagers these days don’t even keep a planner on them, so teaching them these valuable planning skills will go a long way in reducing their stress levels. Students who are more task orientated may even prefer this type of method without having realized it. Many students find the process of checking items off a list satisfying and rewarding adding another stress-relief benefit to this method.
3. Promote Healthy Lifestyle Habits
Having a healthy lifestyle is one of the best ways to combat stress. As students’ schedules get full, they use their habits as a fallback. Making sure these habits are healthy will ensure they take the proper actions for reducing their stress levels. The following are healthy habits to help reduce stress for students:
- Going for a Jog
- Eating a balanced meal
- Drinking plenty of water
- Getting 8 hours of sleep
In general it takes about 2 weeks of a routine to develop into a habit so starting some of these habits soon is a good idea. This by no means is an exhaustive list either. There are plenty of other healthy lifestyle habits as well. Choosing just one and developing it into a habit will go a long way in reducing a student’s stress levels.
4. Setting an Example
As a parent, your teen absorbs everything you do and looks to you as an example of how to act. This is why it’s important for you to put these tips into practice in your own life. Showing that you are actively working towards relieving your stress will show the effects in action to your teen. It’s especially important to be open with your teen about your stress and personal ways you cope with it. This goes hand-in-hand with promoting a healthy lifestyle as well.
Setting an example also makes it easier to open lines of communication between you and your child. It can even be great for improving your relationship with them! Many of these de-stressing tips can be done together with you and your child, making it a great way to spend quality time with them!
To conclude, stress is apart of our everyday lives. It’s an important motivator in convincing us to get things done in a timely manner, but it can quickly overwhelm us. A little bit of stress is good for us, but too much can impact the mental and physical health of our bodies. Employing these strategies early can help your teen deal with stress. It also takes time to develop a routine incorporating these strategies. That’s why it’s important to make sure you commit to them for at least 2 weeks!
Are you looking for professional help in assisting with student organization? Schedule a time with our executive functioning coach and get help today!