Coping with Stress - Tips and Tools

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Posted 149 days ago Latest
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Coping with Stress - Tips and Tools

Written by Dr Hannah Farnsworth

Stress is part of life, but teenagers and young adults often have plenty of it. Whether it’s exams, social dilemmas, family arguments or money worries, it can start to feel too much.

 

But remember, it’s ok to feel stressed and there are many ways to cope with it.

 

  1. Understand stress

Stress is your body’s natural response to a challenge. This can push you to achieve or meet a goal, for example by encouraging you to revise before an exam. However, when you have too much stress it can feel overwhelming and affect your mental and physical health.

 

  1. Identify your stressors

Think about what’s causing your stress – coursework, college deadlines, falling out with friends, or illness. Working out why you feel stressed is the first step to managing it.

 

  1. Start managing stress

The following tips will help you manage both the stressor itself, and how it makes you feel.

 

Set realistic goals – putting too much pressure on yourself to achieve perfection can make you feel inadequate. Instead, decide what is realistic and aim to make progress instead.

 

Stay organised – create a schedule for work or homework, make a to-do list, and break any tasks down into smaller steps so you can achieve them gradually. Aim for a clutter-free environment to help you concentrate without feeling overwhelmed.

 

Get active – physical activity is a great stress buster. Exercise releases endorphins which naturally lift your mood. Find something you love, whether it’s dancing, walking or playing a sport.

 

Sleep more – aim for 7-9 hours sleep per night. This will help you tackle stress better.

 

Connect with others – talking to family, friends or a trusted adult about your stress levels can be a relief and help you feel less alone. You may find they offer support, advice, or just a listening ear.

 

Take breaks – going from school straight into homework can make you feel overloaded. Try to take short breaks to read a book, talk to a friend, eat something healthy or go for a walk to clear your head.

 

Get professional help – if stress is affecting your daily life or feels overwhelming, reach out to a counsellor, teacher or your GP for specialist support.

 

Avoid self-medication – alcohol and drugs are not the solution to managing stress. Over time, they often make people feel worse and can lead to other problems.

 

Try relaxation techniques – explore what works to help you unwind and manage stressful feelings. This might be having a bath, listening to music, trying yoga, doing a creative hobby or listening to a guided meditation or mindfulness exercise.

  

Stress is a normal part of life, but when it goes on for a long time or starts to affect your wellbeing, it’s time to try some stress-busting tools. Your mental health matters, so try a few of the techniques above next time you start feeling overwhelmed to see what works for you.

Posted by Dr Hannah Farnsworth

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