I can not believe that school is already back in full swing! Waking up at the crack of dawn, homework at lunchtime, procrastination—all those things I took a break from over the summer are back and in full force.
Here are a few suggestions for how to keep your teen’s stress level down during the constant busyness of the school year.
1. STRESS Time Management
As much as I hate hearing the lecture, having my mom remind me that I have to work extra hard to manage my time is a great reminder. Especially if you play a sport or are involved in any type of after school activities, knowing how to balance academics and extra curriculars is super super important. So the occasional reminder from the parental units, no matter how annoying, is always helpful.
2. “Need Air!”
Sometimes I get so wrapped up in everything that I have going on—school, clubs, work, social life, etc.—that I feel like I’m drowning. I get frustrated and feel overwhelmed, like my to-do list is endless and unfinishable. Reassurance that everything is going to get done is always nice. Teens like it when someone forces them to calm down and realize that things are never as terrible as they seem.
3. Give Them Space
One thing I absolutely can not stand is when I’m in the zone and someone starts bothering me. I’m knee deep in pre-cal equations and I hear a voice screeching, “I NEED YOU DOWN HERE RIGHT NOW!” It’s hard enough to force myself to sit down and focus on something that is neither fun nor enjoyable, but when I have to deal with a million interruptions—that’s enough to send me over the edge. I’m not saying that disruptions are completely avoidable, because they’re not. Sometimes people do need your assistance with things and calling for you can’t be helped. But it makes concentrating a whole lot easier when distractions are kept to a minimum.
4. Back to Basics
When you don’t get home until late or you have to stay up studying, sometimes basic needs like food, water, clean clothes, and even showering can end up slipping your teen’s mind. They enter that ‘must complete homework and go to bed’ mode, and everything else sort of falls away. A little nudge from you parents can save your teen from a lot of embarrassment.
5. Weekends are for Warriors
Both teens and parents are weekend warriors. Teens because of their crazy schedules, and parents because they edit their schedules to fit their teens’ schedules! So I just wanted to remind both parties that the weekend is suppose to be the much-needed break from the ridiculously busy lives we lead during the work/school week. Don’t spend all of it constantly running, trying to cram in all the things you couldn’t get done Monday through Friday. Schedule in at least a small amount of relaxation time so your body and mind have a chance to unwind and reboot for the upcoming madness that awaits you on Monday.