It’s a different world for today’s teens.
That’s probably something you’ve heard too many times to count. But just take a moment to think about all the different ways you could contact your friend if you wanted. It’s mind-boggling.
Of course, there is a lot of good that can come from today’s technology. After all, virtual school was not an option decades ago.
But there is something unique you face now, and that’s stress levels to that of an adult.
A poll conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA) showed that teens are experiencing greater stress levels than today’s adults. Teens reported feeling stressed at 5.8 on a scale of 10 (3.9 is considered the healthy average for teens). In contrast, adults reported their stress levels at 5.1 (3.6 is considered the healthy average for adults).
We’re not saying to stop all activities and relax all day. However, there is something more alarming in this report:
The majority of teens did not feel that their stress levels were impacting their health. The majority also recognize their stress but do little to nothing to manage it.
Stress is a part of life. And if that’s the case, then there needs to be a healthy way to cope with it. To help you work with your stress levels, our guidance counselors put together some tips.
Signs you might be experiencing high levels of stress
Psycom gives a few signs or symptoms to help you see if you’re experiencing high levels of stress.
- Emotional changes beyond what appears “normal” for you.
- Frequent stomach pains, headaches or other pains. The source of physical pains can greatly vary, but stress can certainly be a culprit.
- Changes in routines like eating, sleeping or other daily activities
- Your feel more forgetful, can’t concentrate or are unusually careless
Tips to help you better manage stress
Tip 1: Organize and declutter
OK, we don’t want to create more stress by telling you to get organized and clean up your space. But the truth is, having less clutter and a designated workspace can help the brain focus and potentially reduce stress.
Since we are an online school, you have the advantage of working outside the traditional classroom. That can mean the comfort of home or maybe a coffee shop or by the pool (all great choices, by the way).
Make sure no matter where you work, you have a clean space and know where everything is to get work done and be productive.
Tip 2: Get enough sleep
Staying up all night to get a last-minute project done can be an OK thing to do once in a while. Sometimes, no matter how much we try, we still manage to procrastinate a large project, and losing sleep is the only option.
Lack of sleep on a regular basis not only can cause stress, but it can also affect health. It impacts mood and mental health, while increasing chances of injuries and risky behavior.
Tip 3: Learn to laugh it off
Things are not always going to go our way and that can be stressful. But sometimes it’s not up to us.
No matter how hard we work or how much we do to get something close to perfect, we will have bad moments in life that are out of our control. The key to managing stress in these situations is to “laugh it off” and move forward.
It’s important to allow yourself time to express your feelings –vent– and even feel bad about it because we are all human. But for our own good, we need to spend more time looking for the positives that may have come from that situation and consider next time will be better.
Tip 4: Talk to a teacher or counselor
This is the most important tip. Your guidance counselor and teachers are here to help. It’s their jobs, and they’re passionate about it.
If you are unsure what to do, reach out to them. They can help you map out a plan, and help you get connected with resources like counseling if needed.