Becoming an adult is a constant balancing act, often as a teenager this pressure causes unnecessary stress. Between school, family, extra-curricular activities and friends, staying organized and on top of things can become a daunting challenge. Becoming stressed and not knowing what to do is a very normal reaction, just take a step back and reassess the situation you find yourself in.
1. Taking Things One Step at a Time
As a teenager you are constantly faced with challenges, obstacles and decisions you must find a way through to succeed. Imagine a giant mountain, the terrain is icy and freezing and it seems impossible to climb. Instead of giving up you start to climb, never looking up but only looking at what is in front of you. By breaking the climb into smaller parts that are easier to handle you are able to get to the top of the mountain. This is a great way to approach tough problems in life, instead of seeing them as unsolvable, difficult and impossible, see them as a series of smaller, manageable, resolvable problems. By breaking down the challenge it allows for greater focus, less stress and a greater chance of success. So remember when faced with something that seems impossible, you can turn it into a series of smaller things that are possible and allows you to tackle that challenge head on.
2. Support System
As you transition to becoming an independent and self-sufficient adult, handling things on your own becomes important. This in an important step towards adulthood, however never be afraid to ask for help. Having a support system is crucial, whether that includes family, friends or others you trust, having someone who is there when needed is always beneficial. Even if they don’t know how to approach the problem, talking it out can be helpful or they may know someone who has experienced something similar and can help. Isolating yourself and putting the burden entirely on yourself can be harmful, asking for help is always a great option especially if you are not sure what to do next. No matter how big or small the problem is, having people who can help and support you is a huge part of being independent.
3. Managing Time
This is often one of the toughest things to do as a teen, but managing your time well is something that is necessary throughout life. A lack of time can cause stress, but assigning priorities to the things you have to do can be greatly helpful. Prioritizing can allow you to see what is most important at the moment and what can wait until a little bit later. Procrastination is very common and can be a helpful tool at times, but be careful not to put off too many things because they may build up and create a tough situation. Balancing school, extra-curricula’s, family and friends is not an easy task and it may seem that there is not enough time to do everything. This may involve choosing one thing over another; decision-making is a very important skill to have throughout life. Make sure to create time for yourself as well, constantly being busy is tough and having some down time to relax can be helpful and allow you to think on how to better manage your time in future situations.
4. Your Future
Often times, stress can stem from the fear of what impact something may have on a person’s future. Getting good grades, getting into a good school, getting a good job and so on. It is seen as a chain reaction and at times it seems that a decision you make as a teenager will affect your life as an adult in the future. As much as we would love to know what our future holds, it is uncertain and not something that can be exactly determined as a teenager. Focusing on doing the best you can today will hopefully create a better tomorrow, but worrying about how things will turn out only distracts you from the things you can control. Do what you can to the best of your ability, but recognize that some things are not in your hands and you have done everything you can. People find their way into adulthood in many different fashions, trusting in your future although uncertain can help minimize stress and allow you to focus on working towards the future you hope to have.
– By Eliana, 17
I have a theory that after fifth grade life just becomes overwhelmingly stressful. In six grade I start stressing about high school. High school I start stressing about college. College I stress about jobs. Job I start stressing about keeping that job. Retirement I stress about dying so I don’t see how to get through the stress alive. I have tried to follow your tips for a few days and I think they aren’t working for me. Is there anything else that I can do?
Thanks so much for reaching out. Sorry the tips aren’t working for you. The important thing about stress management is figuring out what works for you. Life can definitely be stressful. Sometimes it’s important to just think about one day at a time so you don’t get too overwhelmed. And to remember there can be good things in all these stages. I encourage you to call one of our teens any night between 6-10 pm ca time and they can help you figure out what might work for you.
Teen Line Staff