But can you really go back to your high school days for a moment? Back then, as a student wasn’t there anything that caused you worry? I am sure there was. High school students do face stress and sometimes they are major ones which affect their physical and mental health.
From pubertal changes to peer pressure, from emotional sparks to ongoing pressure of board exams– high school days are really tough as perceived by most teenagers. Many adolescents become over stressed and feel they just can’t take the pressure anymore.
According to Rachel Fintzy Woods, M.A., LMFT, “Since we differ in what we consider stressful., it’s important to determine your personal threshold for stress.”
The Common High School Stressors
The factors causing stress in high schoolers can be categorized into four broad types:
- Academic Stressors – Including home works, tougher academic responsibilities, grades, assignments, too much syllabus, too less time, examinations, and so on. These things really do impact a high schooler’s mind. As such, it is important to take a break every now and then. “People need time off from work (school) to recover from stress and prevent burnout,” said David W. Ballard, PsyD, MBA.
- Family Stressors – It is the “have to do” stress that many families put on their kids. Like the pressure of doing better than siblings or cousins and living up to parents’ expectations. Parenting styles, broken homes and parental divorce also stresses an adolescent mind hugely.
- Social Stressors – The impending need of complying with peers, looking, staying in shape, social networking (which has recently become a big cause of stress for high school students), all these social attributes do nothing except increase the social stress on the young minds.
- Stressors Related to Future – The stress of getting into a good college, passing the boards with good grades, choosing the right career, making the love successful, there is so much to achieve.
A quick guide for high schoolers on how to handle their stress.
Here are few stress management strategies for the high school students.
- The 3 A’s of stress management:
- Accept – Accepting that we can never excel in everything reduces the overwhelming stress of achievement to some extent. Know your capabilities and set your standards accordingly. Too high or too low expectations would bring nothing but disappointment.
- Adapt – Learn to adjust. Adolescence is “the” period of transition. Any new change brings stress, but the ones who can adapt themselves to the changing situations are the survivors.
- Alter – If you are stressed try to make some positive change in the situation. Rather than sitting back and letting the stress engulf your mind, it is always wise to take the initiative and change your circumstances. Remember you are in charge of your happiness.
- Learn from your past mistakes – Never allow the same mistake to affect you twice.
- Have a healthy diet – Diet is very crucial to keep our mind and body going well. High schoolers are prone to binge eating, junk food, smoking, drinking, etc, which can bring long lasting health hazards. Following a smart diet can really help you accomplish health goals and maintain a good look.
- Exercise daily – It is the ultimate stress release mechanism for all age groups. Doing regular exercise keeps you fit, mentally and physically, lets you communicate with yourself and gets you the energy to deal with the everyday stressors of life.
- Have a confidante – Be it siblings, friends, cousins, teachers or even parents sometimes, having someone with whom you can share every small thing can be really helpful. It will give you support, a better understanding of the situation and help you cope with the stress more efficiently.
- Use stress busters – You can make stress balls at home, write down the causes of your stress, maintain a personal diary, listen to music, play, or use any other activity that makes you happy. You may make your own stress management plan and follow it, that can also be helpful in managing the stress.
No matter how much we say or how hard we try, these stressors are part of life. There is no student who has not faced any stress during his/her high school years. So, what is important is not what causes the stress, but how we can deal with them.
As they say, Don’t stress, do your best, and forget the rest —- So look for the right ways and remember it is not the stress that puts you down, it is the way you carry it. Make sure to try therapy too. According to Lisa M. Vallejos, MA, LPC, NCC, “Therapy is confidential and therapists are bound by both laws and ethics to maintain client confidentiality to the best of their ability. There are exceptions that I will cover in detail.”