Being a teenager can be stressful. Friends, school, relationships, and family can all lead to stress in your life. But dealing with stress isn’t about making huge changes but rather small tweaks that can help you deal with your everyday stress. Here a few coping strategies to deal with stress in a healthy way, because the more important thing is that you try to work through your stress and find healthy strategies that work for you.
Avoid Toxic People
You don’t need people making you feel down when you’re already stressed. It’s to hard avoid them completely in high school, but you can start by making sure they’re not in your friend group or if you encounter one, politely excuse yourself and don’t fall for their traps.
Connect to Others
Good friends or understanding acquaintances are good to go to if there’s a lot on your plate. It’s not about them solving your problems, but about being there to listen. Nothing helps stress like getting everything off your chest and not being judged for anything you say.
Work It Out
Explore the local trails, like Lime Hollow or just take a moment to walk around the block and direct your attention to your surroundings. This gives your mind a break from all the negative emotions and a change of scenery helps to rethink how to tackle problems.
Avoid Sugar and Junk Foods
While often cheap and tasty, they weaken your body and make it harder to cope with stress, therefore making you more prone to symptoms…like headache and nausea. It’s better to reach for fruits and berries, which you can get at local u-picks in Cortland.
Sort Through Your Stress
There is different levels of stress, from “I failed a test” to “family stress”. No matter what level of stress you’re feeling it’s all valid and can be overwhelming. If it’s becoming too much, it’s helpful to find and let go of the smaller things that stress you out.
Appreciate What is Going Right
Take a moment to list out what is going right. It can be as simple as “I have clothes to wear” or as specific as “I finally beat that mission in Mass Effect”. This is a great mood booster and helps you feel more in control.
Don’t Misuse or Abuse Prescription Drugs
Don’t let your stress lead to the misuse or abuse of prescription drugs. Taking meds not prescribed to you, not following a doctor’s instructions, or taking a medication for a reason other than why is what prescribed is misuse. Misusing prescription drugs is not safer than using other types of drugs and can lead to even more problems. By choosing not to misuse prescription drugs you’re not alone, 9 out of 10 teens in Cortland County have never misused prescription drugs.
When you are tired, it’s harder to tackle what’s stressing you out. Plus a lack of sleep weakens your body’s immune system, which leads to you getting sick easier. While it can be tricky in-between social lives, homework and schools refusing to start later, mark out a 9 hour period to sleep each night and put away distractions like phones.
Express Your Feelings
The last thing you want to do is bottle up your emotions. Try telling someone, making art, or writing it out in a journal or poem.
Don’t Waste Your Energy on Things That Cannot Change.
Sometime stress is coming from wishing something didn’t happen. Instead of focusing on the “what ifs” and “if I only”, it’s easier to accept that it happened and focus on making the best of the situation or taking steps to ensure it won’t happen again.