It seems like every year the Juniors in High School are so stressed out it nearly drives them to the brink of insanity… this year’s no exception. This article helps show parents and other why Juniors feel so stressed and gives some helpful tips on how to help your student.
The article gives the following tips:
- Take a stand against overscheduling. If you’re feeling stretched, consider cutting out an activity or two, opting for just the ones that are most important to you.
- Be realistic. Don’t try to be perfect – no one is. And expecting others to be perfect can add to your stress level, too (not to mention put a lot of pressure on them!). If you need help on something, like schoolwork, ask for it.
- Get a good night’s sleep. Getting enough sleep helps keep your body and mind in top shape, making you better equipped to deal with any negative stressors. Because the biological “sleep clock” shifts during adolescence, many teens prefer staying up a little later at night and sleeping a little later in the morning. But if you stay up late and still need to get up early for school, you may not get all the hours of sleep you need.
- Learn to relax. The body’s natural antidote to stress is called the relaxation response. It’s your body’s opposite of stress, and it creates a sense of well-being and calm. The chemical benefits of the relaxation response can be activated simply by relaxing. You can help trigger the relaxation response by learning simple breathing exercises and then using them when you’re caught up in stressful situations.
- Treat your body well. Experts agree that getting regular exercise helps people manage stress. (Excessive or compulsive exercise can contribute to stress, though, so as in all things, use moderation.) And eat well to help your body get the right fuel to function at its best. It’s easy when you’re stressed out to eat on the run or eat junk food or fast food. But under stressful conditions, the body needs its vitamins and minerals more than ever.
I would also add the encouragement to not only pray for your teen, but to pray with him/her (if they’ll let you – but asking doesn’t hurt!). You don’t need to expect them to pray too – it’s great if they do, but don’t force them to. It’s great to know that your parents pray for you, but it can really hold you up to actually hear them pray for you when you’ve had a rough day.