Stress isn’t always a bad thing, but when it’s your teen feeling the pressure and anxiety, it can be a bit difficult to deal with. Between school work, working toward college, perhaps working a part-time job, participating in extracurricular activities and spending time with family and friends, it's no wonder teens feel so overwhelmed at times. When your teen begins to exhibit signs of unhealthy stress, your job is to help him find a way to manage that stress in a productive, appropriate manner before it begins to affect him negatively.
Ask your teen if she feels her schedule is too overwhelming, advises KidsHealth. Ideally, she will tell you if she feels stressed and overwhelmed thanks to her hectic schedule but if she feels that you might be disappointed or upset with her for wanting to pare down her extracurricular activities, she might not have the courage to say anything to you. In this case, asking her if she thinks her schedule is too much to handle is a good idea. If she has piano lessons, cheer leading practice, school, a job and she’s the student government president, she might be stressed by all her responsibilities and she might need to give something up. Your job is to notice when she seems stressed and find out if you can help her work her schedule to better manage her stress.
Encourage your teen to eat a healthy, balanced diet and get plenty of exercise. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, these two habits are good ones for managing stress. You can help your teen manage stress by cooking meals that include lots of fruit and vegetables, lean proteins and healthy sides. Additionally, you can offer to join him on a walk, play a game of basketball in the driveway or join the gym with him so that you can ensure he’s getting plenty of exercise, which releases healthy endorphins into his brain causing his stress level to subside.
Help your teen learn to take a relaxing break when she feels stressed, advises the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Encourage her to stop working on her school project when she’s feeling stressed and take a walk, do yoga or read for a while. When she finds something that really relaxes her, her stress level fades and she is able to build up her confidence and brain power so that she can get back to what she was doing with new-found energy and motivation.