You Can Take on Stress
Life can be a lot sometimes. Right now, your stress levels probably match those of any adult around you. And that stress can come from a lot of different places—your grades and school situation, your home or social life, and definitely from this pandemic. It can also show up in a lot of different ways. Maybe you feel nervous or tired. Maybe you’re struggling with negative thoughts, having a hard time sleeping, or even getting stomach aches.
It’s normal to feel these things sometimes—everybody does. But it’s important to remember that feeling too stressed out for too long can really impact your mental and physical health.
So, next time you feel that stress coming on, try calming it in a healthy way that can help keep you from becoming overwhelmed.
Sleep. Sleep. Sleep.
It’s not always easy to get enough sleep. But a good eight to ten hours a night can really make a difference for both your physical and emotional well-being. You can also improve the quality of your sleep by cutting down on screen time before bed and not drinking caffeine or exercising too late in the day.
Exercise is one of the most effective stress relievers. You can start easy by (safely) doing something you already enjoy—like yoga, hiking, skateboarding, whatever it is. You can even invite a friend or some family along for a socially-distanced version. Being active and being around people you love can help put you at ease.
School is important, but it’s not the only important aspect of life. Sometimes, you need to have fun. So, when it’s time to virtually hang out with friends or relax with your favorite movie, try not to worry about things like school or homework. Just be in the moment and enjoy yourself.
Explore Your Passions
It may seem obvious but doing more of what you love helps. It can keep you focused on your strengths and put the stuff that stresses you out in perspective. So, if you’re artistic, do more creative things. If you love being outdoors, go for a hike. Whatever it is, do it as often as you can.
Talk To Someone
Managing stress isn’t something you have to do alone. Vent to a friend. Share your thoughts and feelings with a trusted adult—like a parent, coach, or even your doctor. They may be able to help you find new ways to relieve stress.
A Few Other Tips
Try focusing on what you can control—and letting go of what you can’t.
Try to not put too much pressure on yourself—keep your to-do list small and don’t try to make everything perfect. Remember that you’re doing it all during a pandemic, so give yourself some room to reduce unrealistic expectations.
And avoid illegal drug, alcohol, and tobacco use. Marijuana alone can make you feel depressed, anxious, and paranoid—weakening your motivation to do the things you love.
If you ever feel like the stress is too much, there are always people who are ready to help. Check out these resources if you or someone you know is looking for more help or just want to talk.
A confidential and free help line answered by teens from 6-10 p.m., all year long. You can talk to them about whatever is on your mind. Call/text/chat 1-866-833-6546.
A 24-hour crisis line. Call to talk about anything, including suicide—1-866-427-4747.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is now the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.
A hotline that provides 24/7 service—call or text 988.
The Trevor Project Lifeline
The only nationwide, around-the-clock suicide prevention and crisis intervention lifeline for LGBTQ youth. Talk to someone at 1-866-488-7386—it’s free and confidential.