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Five Tips to Help Teens Cope with Stress

“More than nine in 10 Generation Z adults (ages 15-21) said they have experienced at least one physical or emotional symptom because of stress, such as feeling depressed or sad or lacking interest, motivation or energy,” according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

High school teens spend most of their time attending classes, participating in extracurricular activities and doing homework. There is constant pressure to do everything and do it well to prepare for a successful career or higher education after high school. This can cause a lot of stress.

When they do have time, research from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that teens most often turn to media and communications activities, including watching TV, using social media and the internet and calling or texting friends. Although these can be helpful ways to relieve stress, the excessive use of technology can lead to lack of human connection and feelings of loneliness.

Use these tips to take a break from the barrage of constant communication and manage your stress in a healthy way.

  1. Get some sleep.
    Getting enough sleep helps you grow and develop normally, pay attention throughout the day and maintain overall health. For teens, this means about 8-10 hours each night.
  2. Focus on your strengths.
    Take some time to think about what you’re good at and ways to do more of those things. By focusing on and building your strengths, you can keep your stressors in perspective.
  3. Do things that make you happy.
    Find activities or hobbies that make you happy and incorporate them into your daily life. This might be a physical sport, an artistic outlet or spending time with family and friends.
  4. Engage in physical activity.
    Exercise takes our mind off stress and releases chemicals in our brain that make us feel better. This can be anything from a stroll in the park to a bike ride or basketball game with friends.
  5. Talk to someone.
    It can be hard to manage stress alone. Talk to a parent, teacher or other trusted adult about your problems and they may be able to help you find new ways to manage your stress.

If you’re still looking for ways to manage your stress, take a Mental Health First Aid course today. teen Mental Health First Aid (tMHFA) teaches high school students about common mental health challenges and what they can do to support their own mental health and help their friends who may be struggling. Right now, eight high schools across the country have trained students in tMHFA. We’re looking forward to expanding to more schools across the country in the coming years. Learn more about this new program, run by the National Council and supported by Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation.

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