April is Stress Awareness Month and the perfect time to get young people talking about and learning new ways to cope with stress. Stress affects people of all ages, even young people, and is an inevitable part of life! With hectic school schedules, dealing with changes and the growing pressure to succeed, it’s no wonder why young people can sometimes feel overwhelmed with stress.
Here are 4 simple and effective ways to reduce and manage stress that will help you to be better prepared for any stressful situation:
1. Listen to Music
We’ve all heard it before: “Listen to some music to relax and clear your mind.” And guess what? It’s true! Listening to music can help to create a calming and relaxing space and can make you feel more present by shifting the focus from the stressful situation for a moment. Make sure to choose something soothing and uplifting – anything from classical music (if you like that!) to your favourite chill tunes – and focus on the lyrics, rhythm and melody to keep you grounded and ready to take on challenges.
2. Laugh it Off
It’s said that laughter is the best medicine, and it’s certainly true when it comes to relieving stress. So, why not laugh off your stress and watch a funny show or movie, share a funny story with a friend so you can laugh together and be around people who make you smile? Laughing releases endorphins (your “feel good” hormones) and can brighten your day and make you feel uplifted :)
3. Be Mindful
We all know that feeling of having too much on your plate and the overwhelming thought that there’s no time to take a breather. Being mindful helps to focus your attention on the present moment, allowing you to clear your mind and remain grounded in the moment. This is great for giving your body a break from stress and can help to build your tolerance to stressful situations. There are many mindfulness exercises that you can try, so next time you feel stressed and overwhelmed, take a few deep breaths, focus on the areas of your body that feel tense and relax them as you breathe out. Simple exercises like this can help you take back control of your body!
4. Sleep Better
Sleep is a key element to reducing and managing stress, we take it for granted all the time! Try to get yourself into a routine that allows you to get a good amount of sleep every night. While it’s not always easy, the better you sleep, the better your mind and body can manage stress levels. Prioritize good sleep hygiene by having a consistent bedtime routine, unplugging from your phone before bed and avoiding any strenuous activities just before bedtime.
It's not easy being a young person, so we hope these four ways to relieve stress can help you in some way. Everyone’s experience of stress and how to manage it is unique, but there are some small and easy changes you can make that can have a big effect. Remember, it's important to be kind to yourself, and don't be afraid to reach out for help if needed.
Stay strong and take care of yourselves- you got this!