Overcoming Stress and Managing Mental Health as a Teen

One person wears a red shirt, grabs his head with stress In the garden at sunset. Mental health, depression concept.

Are you stressed out? Are you experiencing anxiety? If your mental well-being is suffering because of stress and anxiety, there are ways you can actively combat it. Living with chronic anxiety or stress can be taxing on your body and mental health, especially as a teenager. Going through major life milestones along with the daily responsibilities such as your classes, participating in extracurricular activities like sports, looking toward graduation, and balancing your college plans can all be very stressful. 

Knowing how to best manage your time and everything that is on your plate can be overwhelming. To get a hold of your mental health, take the following tips into consideration. 

Tips for Managing Your Mental Wellness

As a teenager, experiencing these emotions can be new to you. You might be feeling embarrassed that you are dealing with mental health struggles, but more often than not, others around you are as well. Being open about your mental wellness is inspiring and so is working towards improving it. Start actively trying to work on your mental health journey by practicing coping mechanisms for stress, anxiety, or other mental health challenges you may be encountering. 

Dealing With Stress 

If you’re dealing with stress and feel like you are overloaded, try these tips to destress. 

  • Treat Your Body Right

You might have learned in school that stress can have an impact on your body. Too much stress can cause high blood pressure. If serious enough, too much stress can even cause heart problems. To avoid getting to that point, learn how to manage your stress by taking care of your body.

Treating your body right is essential, especially during your teenage years. Be sure to exercise regularly, eat a healthy and nutritious diet, drink plenty of water and get enough sleep. Doing these things are healthy ways to combat stress. What you want to avoid is harming your body by taking drugs or drinking alcohol. Not only are these harmful coping mechanisms unsuccessful, but they can also cause damage to your body. It’s important to remember that a healthy body is just as important as a healthy mind. 

  • Avoid Stressful Triggers 

If you have taken the time to reflect on what stresses you out, you are taking a step in the right direction. It can be hard for some people to accept the fact that they are struggling. During your time of reflection, you may have noticed certain instances or scenarios that have caused you stress or left you feeling overwhelmed. 

It’s good practice to take breaks or limit contact with things, events, or people that cause you stress. For example, if social media causes you stress, it is important that you set healthy boundaries. Limiting your screen time is a great way to enforce that boundary. It is easy for teenagers to get stressed out by social media as they can often fall into the trap of comparing themselves to others, leading them to stress about their lives and what is or isn’t “perfect.” 

  • Unwind with Downtime

Everyone needs a break every now and then. If you struggle with being stressed out, it’s important for you to make time to unwind. Whether you have some downtime in your schedule or not making time to relax and calm down is essential. 

You can do this in many different ways. However, the best way for you to unwind is for you to find your favorite activity or thing that brings you peace and tranquility. Do these activities as often as you like and be sure that this coping mechanism is a healthy one, like painting or running. Not only will this activity help you destress but you will also be able to constantly work on this skill you find enjoyment in. 

Coping With Mental Health

Teens struggling with stress can also be dealing with some mental health issues. Here are some tips to improve your quality of life and mental health.

  • Meet With a Professional

At first talking to a professional might be intimidating. However, this is one of the best ways for you to work on your mental health. A mental health professional can provide you with a listening ear, advice, or if needed, mental health medication. They can discuss different coping mechanisms and treatment options with you as well. Overall, they want to help you start to feel more like yourself and have better days ahead. 

You might not know where to start when it comes to finding or talking to a professional, and that is okay. There are many different resources available. You could speak with your school’s counselor, or if you are age 18 or older, you could meet with an online therapist as a flexible and accessible option to care for your mental wellness. Both will be able to help you take the next step in your mental health journey. 

  • Take a Break

Just like taking time to unwind when you are feeling stressed, it is also important for you to take a break. Some days our mental health can be very invasive, affect our focus and performance, and leave us feeling hopeless. If this has happened to you, it’s a good indicator that you might be in need of a break. 

Sometimes these breaks can be referred to as mental health breaks or days. People will usually take the day off from work or school and use the day to get a good refresh to get back on their feet. This gives people who are struggling the time they need to take care of themselves. Everyone can use a break so don’t feel guilty for taking one. Use this as an opportunity to listen to what your body is telling you, relax and cope. 

  • Set Goals

During your mental health journey, it is important for you to have goals you are working towards. For example, if you suffer from anxiety and a trigger of yours is driving long distances, make it a goal of yours to drive a certain amount of time or miles by a certain date. Slowly growing and building up your confidence in driving over time will help you to conquer your anxiety. 

If you prioritize setting goals, you will feel an incredible amount of accomplishment. It will also be a good step in the right direction for your mental wellness journey. Celebrating these wins is a good way for you to combat your anxiety and you will be able to prove to yourself that you can do it. You can accomplish things you set your mind to. 

As a teenager, dealing with mental illness and stress is difficult. It can be hard to find someone to listen to or to help, but there are resources and people available that can support you. Not only can you talk to a professional but you can also take matters into your own hands and follow the tips suggested above. Address your stress and mental health struggles today. Take this as an opportunity for growth and a fresh new beginning.

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