Discover practical and emotional ways to support a stressed teen…
It can be difficult to work out how best to support teenagers. We’re here to help with 10 ways to support stressed teens:
1. FRAZZLE FACTORS
Help them work out why they are feeling so stressed. Is it a problem in school? A looming exam? A fall-out with a friend? Work together to identify the ‘frazzle factors’ – basically, the stuff that’s keeping them up at night and making them feel so anxious. Get a piece of paper and write them all down.
Let the teen talk it out and listen carefully. Talking about their problems can help them to relieve some of the stress. Giving them your full attention makes them feel validated and supported. Avoid the urge to interrupt and give them space to vent for as long as they need to. For more help on how to really hear your teen, click here.
3. ONE THING AT A TIME
Go back to the teen’s frazzle factor list and take one problem at a time. Talk over possible solutions, suggest ways in which you or others can help and discuss steps they can take to reduce the pressure of the situation.
4. MAKE A PLAN
Once you’ve identified possible solutions and workarounds, decide how to tackle them, one by one. Having a plan in place will help to reduce their anxieties.
A simple hug can make someone feel a whole lot better or it can be just as comforting with your words. Saying “I can see that’s made you feel very upset and I want to help you” shows how much you care.
Talk to the teen about ways to reduce their anxieties and encourage them to make their mental health a priority. Whether it’s meditation, a walk outdoors in the fresh air or a warm, relaxing bath, there are lots of ways for them to take some downtime to calm their anxieties. There are many apps available to guide your teen through different ways to relax – you can find our five best picks here.
7. STRESS-BUSTER STRATEGIES
Teach a few stress-busting strategies. Grounding techniques help teenagers connect to the here and now when they feel overwhelmed by feelings of stress, panic and anxiety. Discover 25 grounding techniques here.
A lack of good-quality sleep can make it harder for teenagers to deal with stress. Encourage them to ditch the screens a few hours before bedtime as blue light can interfere with drifting off to sleep and suggest trying a sleep app or podcast to fall asleep to. Read more about encouraging healthier sleep patterns here.
Stress can affect appetite, so encourage teenagers to to ensure they’re getting plenty of nutritious food. Little and often could be the key if they are finding it difficult to manage a full meal.
10. SEEK SUPPORT
Don’t be afraid to encourage them to reach out for professional help if they want to. You could suggest they an appointment with the doctor or see the school nurse. There’s a world of support out there for teens.