Seven Ways Your Teen Can De-stressLast Updated: Friday, March 30, 2018
The school year can be a really stressful time for teens. Whether they’re getting adjusted to a new school or trying to balance academics with extracurricular activities, the pressure can become overwhelming. Unfortunately, many times young people turn to unhealthy ways to deal with stress— like abusing stimulants and other drugs. In addition, according to a recent DrugFree.org article, stress damages the brain, causing your teen to be more vulnerable to drug addiction. Take a look at these seven healthy, drug-free ways your teen can destress.
Fill the Fridge with Good Food
Diet plays a major role in how our bodies react to stress. Leafy greens, oranges, salmon and dark chocolate are just a few foods that are known to help boost the mood and lessen stress.
Get them Outside
Has your child been cramming for a test for hours? Encourage them to go outside and get some fresh air. Breathing in fresh air increases energy and sunlight improves your mood and helps to prevent stress.
Does your teen juggle a part-time job, schoolwork and soccer practice … all in the same day? In between all of the madness, he or she may need to take a quick moment for themselves. Meditation, even for a short period of time, is one of the top ways your busy teen can calm his or her mind during very active days. Mindful meditation can also improve the brain and help reduce anxiety.
Get Them to Sleep
Stress and a lack of sleep go hand in hand. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that teens get between eight and 10 hours of sleep every night. Because many teens tend to stay up late and then get up early for school, they simply aren’t getting enough rest. This causes stress hormones to increase.
Help Them Scale it Back
Teens often “overbook” themselves –sign up for a bunch of after school activities, sports, get part-time jobs, hang out with friends every day— for many reasons. Whether it’s because of a fear of missing out (FOMO), a desire to pad their college applications, or even peer pressure, being too busy isn’t healthy and often leads to stress. Help your teen to cut down their activity list to only include the things that are the most important or enjoyable to them.
Whatever your teen’s creative outlet is encourage them to immerse themselves in it when they feel themselves getting overwhelmed. Studies show that engaging in creative activities can reduce stress.
Turn up the Music
Music has a tremendous impact on a person’s state of mind. Classical music in particular is known to have a calming effect on the body. Your teen not into classical? No prob! Listening and singing along to any genre of music can be a major stress reliever and help to increase productivity!
Get More Information
Stress management is an important skill your teen will use for the rest of his or her life. It is also an essential part of staying drug free. Learn more ways you can help your teen deal with stress on Scholastic’s website.