We live in a complicated world today. There are many things competing for our attention and life can be stressful. The dictionary definition of stress is a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.

By Wendi Ostroff

We all experience stress in our lives at varying times. Everyone handles stress differently and there are ways to minimize its impact on us.

  • Here are some strategies people of all ages can do to help cope with stress:
  • Exercise. This helps the body and the mind stay healthy and strong. Movement of any kind on a regular schedule can be a great outlet.
  • This often gets neglected but is essential. Getting 8 hours of sleep or more replenishes your mind and body, leaving you more energetic and less tired.
  • Find someone to talk to that you trust and are comfortable with.
  • Enjoy/Laugh. Find something that makes you smile, whether it’s hearing a good joke, drawing, listening to music, watching a comedy, or other activity.
  • Eat well. Nourish your body with healthy, fresh food and plenty of water.
  • Meditate/Breathe. Helps the body focus, relax, and soothes the soul.
  • Put your feelings and/or your frustrations on paper, not necessarily to send or share. It can feel cathartic expressing yourself with words and getting something off your chest.
  • Make to-do lists which can help relieve the stress of remembering things to do.

Tips for parents to help teens manage stress

  • Be available for your child and ready to listen if and when they want. You can remind them you are there for them and be positive!
  • Show them the importance of balance and downtime. Maintain your own happy medium between school work, activities and time for fun.
  • Limit your own stress as a parent. Stress can spread from one person to another, so be aware of how your behavior can rub off.
  • Help them manage their time and limit their activities. It is not a requirement to be overscheduled. This can be a leading cause of stress in children of all ages.
  • Teach them problem solving skills and to accept their own mistakes. This will serve them well as they grow into independent young adults and are faced with many decisions and choices.
  • Model healthy ways to be expressive and communicative. Kids of all ages are watching the adults around them and trying to figure out ways to move around in this world.