Exercise The Stress Away
Too much school stress can be terrifying.
Exercising and getting outdoors is essential to reducing anxiety.
You may have noticed or are currently dealing with some of the many undesirable symptoms of anxiety, including trouble sleeping, weight gain, headaches, and difficulty focusing, to name a few.
Stress puts the mind and body into something called fight or flight mode, during which time our body releases stress hormones that trigger an increase in our heart rate and alertness.
It can be tricky to get out of this stress response. Physical exercise is one of the best ways to do it. In the short-term, it will help you relieve tension and get your stress hormones under control. And when done regularly, it helps improve your overall mood and can lower your anxiety symptoms.
There are many ways to stay active and motivated
Its all about finding something that works for you, your schedule, and your environment and resources.
Whether it is running outside with a friend or biking in between classes, make sure you pencil it in. Find something you love to do. And if there is ever a day where your plans fall through, staying moving is the most critical part.
Cleaning your living space or taking quick 10-minute walks throughout the day counts too!
Always seek help when your struggling with school stress and anxiety
If you are still having trouble managing your anxiety or stress, help is always available.
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Uncertainty About The Future
In high school, kids have to start thinking about what kind of career they want to pursue. They also have to choose a path: college, work, vocational training. Kids with IEPs will go through a formal process to plan that transition. But that alone may not lessen the stress.
What you can do: Remind kids that feeling unsure or worried about the future is normal. Explain that there are many ways to thrive and be happy in life. You can also:
- Encourage your child to watch the documentary Being You. Its about three young people who learn and think differently who travel around the country to explore what the future may hold for them.
Helping Your Child Cope
When kids can’t or won’t discuss their stressful issues, try talking about your own. This shows that you’re willing to tackle tough topics and are available to talk with when they’re ready. If a child shows symptoms that concern you and is unwilling to talk, consult a therapist or other mental health specialist.
Books can help young kids identify with characters in stressful situations and learn how they cope. Check out Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst Tear Soup by Pat Schweibert, Chuck DeKlyen, and Taylor Bills and Dinosaurs Divorce by Marc Brown and Laurene Krasny Brown.
Most parents have the skills to deal with their child’s stress. The time to seek professional attention is when any change in behavior persists, when stress is causing serious anxiety, or when the behavior causes significant problems at school or at home.
If you need help finding resources for your child, consult your doctor or the counselors and teachers at school.
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When To Get Professional Help
Feeling down or worried happens to people of all ages, but when those feelings get in the way of your everyday life, you might need extra help. If your grades drop significantly, you cant face beneficial social activities, youre using alcohol or drugs to cope, or youre having any thoughts of harming yourself or others, consider seeking therapy or treatment.
If you need extra help, talk with your parents or guidance counselor if possible. If you dont feel comfortable doing that, you can call the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill Hotline, or if youre thinking of harming yourself, the National Suicide Hotline. The best way to cope with school while youre feeling depressed or anxious is to get help for those symptoms as soon as possible.
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Coping With Stress And Anxiety
Learning what causes or triggers your stress and what coping techniques work for you can help reduce your anxiety and improve your daily life. It may take trial and error to discover what works best for you. Here are some activities you can try when you start to feel overwhelmed:
- Keep a journal.
- Exercise, and make sure you are eating healthy, regular meals.
- Stick to a sleep routine, and make sure you are getting enough sleep.
- Avoid drinking excess caffeine such as soft drinks or coffee.
- Identify and challenge your negative and unhelpful thoughts.
- Reach out to your friends or family members who help you cope in a positive way.
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Planning For When You Are Unmotivated
Parents:Talk to teens about the fact that its a normal thing to feel unmotivated sometimes. There are strategies to confront that.
Damour says we tend to transmit the message that the ideal kid is the one who is psyched all the time about whatever we put in front of them and thats not how humans operate.
Parents can help their teens or children plan for when motivation is not there. Damour says if a kid is unmotivated, offer your company. Do email next to them and pay bills. Not being alone with difficult work goes surprisingly far, she says. Help them with the tips below.
Teens:Tricks to get you organized.
- Ordering work: Figure out how to order your work. Do you like to do what you like least first or last?
- The 25-5 method: Work hard for 25 minutes, then take a 5-minute break .
- The M& M method: Do five problems, then get two M& Ms. Five more problems, two more M& M’s, etc.
This is not stooping, Damour said. This is strategy. The kids for whom school feels most manageable are not the kids with the highest IQ. School is most manageable for the kids who have the best strategies for motivating themselves to do the work they don’t feel like doing. And we should just talk openly about that that is what academic success often requires.
Having strategies for getting work done reduces stress.
How Does My Job Relate To My Schoolwork Or Future Career
Internships are a great opportunity to network, get experience, and learn more about your interests. While a paid internship that will count toward your credit hours is ideal, many internships are unpaid. You should check with your college or university, as some offer stipends for students working unpaid internships. Aside from opportunities directly related to your studies, you can still find ways to build skills in any workplace. You could focus on improving your leadership skills, time management skills, or interpersonal relationship skills. All of these add valuable experience that you can call on and refer to in your future. You can even use these skills to better manage other areas of your life right now.
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How Do You Do The Thing You Love
Whats your favorite thing to do? It can be playing video games, skateboarding, dance, or even a certain subject in school. Whatever you choose, its the thing you can happily do for hours without noticing the time fly by. You get better at it all the time, but practicing never feels like work. Heres the good news: improving at any skill requires the same steps: breaking things down, practicing small pieces, and being persistent without letting emotions get in the way. That means you already know how to work very successfully–and keep it stress-free. Take the way you work at the thing you love doing, and start working that way in the thing you hate doing. Pretty soon, the process will become painless, and your grades will start to soar!
Things That Could Be Causing Your Child Stress At School
Many students worry about getting a good grade or simply making time to study if there is more than one upcoming test. Test stress doesnt just affect struggling students, eitherhigh-achievers usually experience a lot of stress about doing well on tests.
When your child is overwhelmed or frustrated by homework, it makes it harder for him or her to complete assignments. This can cause a stressful cycle where homework piles up and your child doesnt have the time or energy to complete it allleading to even more stress.
Whether its advanced-level classes or the amount of studying required, a heavy workload can be a major source of stress for students. This is especially common for older high school students as they start making their post-secondary plans.
Students with poor organizational skills tend to experience more stress in school. This is usually because they arent properly prepared with the tools or the understanding needed to learn. If those organization skills dont improve they may continue to fall behind, leading to more stress and frustration about school.
Students with busy schedules can quickly become overwhelmed because they are left with no free time to relax. As your child progresses from elementary school to high school, the amount and difficulty level of schoolwork increasesand students without good time management skills can experience even more stress.
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Turn The Page With Colorado Matters
Join us for a free, virtual event with Colorado author Patricia Raybon on February 8. We’ll discuss her new book, “All That Is Secret,” a mystery that takes place in 1920s Denver. A young Black theologian seeks to solve her father’s murder, following in the footsteps of her literary idol, Sherlock Holmes.
Surround Yourself With Supportive People
Social support is critical when managing stress. Finding people you trust whether friends, family members, or coworkers can help you mitigate the adverse effects of stress.
Set aside time each week to meet with a friend. If possible, use this time to exercise, since physical activity also decreases stress. Agree to walk together a few times a week or go for a bike ride.
In addition to the strategies listed for students and parents, here are additional ways teachers and other school employees can cope with stress.
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Parents Ideas Of What Their Teens Should Do Once They Graduate Made Anxiety And Depression Worse For Some Of The Students
Meanwhile at home, some kids like Brandon hid their struggles from parents. They didnt want them to worry.
And I didnt really want to talk to my friends cause a lot of my friends … they’re obviously doing good in school,” Brandon said.
Shawns parents said failing was up to him to figure out. He knew that, if you mess up that’s on you cause you gotta learn somehow, but he almost wanted them to punish him.
In the back of my head I’m like, okay, on one hand, you may not care, but I kind of want you to, cause I need some motivation to get my grades up. Cause I’m sitting here feeling completely stupid trying to figure out what I can do to get my grades up,” Shawn said.
Some kids parents caused lots of stress they had too many of their own opinions about what their kids should do after high school.
The students get really animated on this subject. They hate it when adults put a damper on their dreams or tell them theyre not going to make it.
Both of Paris parents pushed her hard on academics. They are police officers and want her to follow in their footsteps. But she wants to be a labor and delivery nurse.
It used to be an innocent question, asking kids what they wanted to be when they grew up. But in this day and age, parents questions are often laced with their own anxieties about their childrens futures. And that makes their children more stressed out.
Even as a little kid, Ellie says her parents would ask her about her future.
Signs Of Stress In Teens
Dr. Huston indicates that parents should take notice if their teen displays the following changes in behavior.
- Acting unusual for them
- Withdrawing from friends and activities
- Refusing to participate in activities they used to enjoy
- Complaining of physical symptoms like stomachaches or headaches
- Sleeping more or less than usual
- Eating more or less than usual
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Practice Deep Belly Breathing
You can practice deep breathing between classes, at lunch, or before and after school.
When In Doubt Write It Out
Research suggests that when you are feeling stressed, rather than avoid the uncomfortable feeling, it is better for you to address it by writing about it. Studies show that individuals who write out the causes of their stress, thoughts, and emotions tend to do better academically. To do this activity effectively it is recommended that you write everything you are feeling with no hesitation or worry.
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Things That Can Help With Stress
Short periods of stress are normal and can often be resolved by something as simple as completing a task which cuts down your workload, or by talking to others and taking time to relax.
It might also help to:
- Work out what it is that’s making you feel stressed. For example, is it exams, money or relationship problems? See if you can change your circumstances to ease the pressure you’re under.
- Try to have a healthy lifestyle. Eat well, get enough sleep, be physically active , cut down on alcohol, and take time to relax as well as working and studying.
- Avoid drugs, including lots of caffeine – this can have a negative impact on your stress levels and wellbeing.
- Try not to worry about the future or compare yourself with others.
- Try relaxation and breathing exercises.
- Try to plan your time to help you keep track of your work. Break it down into manageable chunks so you can keep up with deadlines.
- Try talking to a friend, tutor or someone in your family about your stress.
- Read about how to cope with the stress of exams.
How Many Hours Do I Need To Work
School administrators recommend that students ideally work 10-15 hours per week. For full-time students, this leaves them adequate time to spend in class and on assignments, while exploring interests and building relationships.
For the students responsible for their own finances or even those of their families, 10-15 hours per week is often not enough. If this is the case, some options include choosing online classes that allow for greater flexibility, working with your advisors and professors to strategically schedule classes and assignments around your outside obligations, and applying for grants, scholarships, or stipends through your school or other organizations. Many of these can be found online and have relatively simple application processes.
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Tougher Academics And More Responsibilities
The academic demands increase with every year of high school. Even if kids made great strides in middle school, they know the work will get more challenging. At the same time, they have to speak up more for what they need, or self-advocate.
What you can do: Remind kids of the support they have both at school and at home. Encourage them to reach out to teachers for help. Kids who have an IEP can reach out to the IEP case manager, too, and even ask about having self-advocacy goals included in the IEP. You can also:
Knowing When To Seek Additional Help
If handling anxiety and stress on your own isnt working, it may be time to seek professional help.
Parents need to know the signs to look for, so that they know when its time to bring their child to a professional for an evaluation and possibly treatment, says Saltz.
They also need to communicate with educators when they think their child needs more help, attention, tools, and support.
Additionally, says Saltz, parents need to know when they may need extra help. Its hard to help your child with anxiety if you yourself have an anxiety disorder, she says.
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Then The Teachers Left The Studio And The Teens Took Their Place
Kyler is a high school senior at a Boulder public school.
Paola is a junior. Shes also from Boulder, but goes to a different public school than Kyler.
Liliana is a senior in Palisade on the states Western Slope. Matt Borgmann is her teacher. Shes in an International Baccalaureate program.
Rodrigo is a junior at the charter school in Denver where Young Han Lester teaches.