A recent National Centre of Youth Mental Health study found that 66% of high school students self-reported feeling stressed about school. The same study found that 55% of students felt anxious about taking tests and studying.
Given students’ high-stress levels, it is unsurprising that many teenagers struggle to meet their academic potential. Stress can cause students to become avoidant or burn out. It can also negatively affect their sleep and physical health, leading to compromised cognitive function.
So, how can we help teens decrease and manage their stress? Keep reading to learn about teens’ most common sources of stress and ten tips that can help reduce stress levels and improve academic performance.
10 Tips On How to Stop Being Stressed From School
These ten tips can help your teen manage stress and stay on top of academics. I recommend identifying the one or two tips that resonate the most with your teen and helping them incorporate the tip into their life.
1. Stop Being Stressed By Getting High-quality Sleep
Sleep is essential for cognitive function and managing stress levels. Your teen should prioritize getting enough sleep each night, even if it means cutting back on extracurricular activities.
Screen time can also hurt sleep quality. Encourage your teen to stop using their phone 30-45 minutes before bed to help improve the quality of their sleep.
Implementing these two easy fixes can make a huge difference and help your teen stop being stressed from school.
2. Exercise to Stop Feeling Stressed
Studies have demonstrated that exercise is one of the most effective methods for managing and reducing stress levels.
Incorporating exercise into your teen’s routine can help them manage stress and improve their physical health. It can be as simple as a daily walk or an extracurricular activity.
3. Create a Positive Environment Around School
Many teens feel academics are a negative topic and feel pressure to succeed. Unfortunately, families are often the source of this pressure and this contributes to being stressed from school.
Encourage your teen to focus on personal growth and learning instead of grades. Celebrating the effort, they put into academics rather than focusing on the outcome can help create a positive environment for learning.
Additionally, I highly encourage you to reflect and consider how you perceive your teen’s academics. You can pass on any stress or negative emotions to them.
4. Help Your Teen Work Smarter, Not Harder
This tip can take a while to pay off, but the benefits can be massive. Many teens resort to brute force methods when studying. This style may have worked in middle school, but as the content becomes more complex and their responsibilities increase, it becomes less effective. Show your teen how to prioritize their work and tasks, starting with the most important or pressing ones.
You can also help them study more efficiently by teaching them helpful study techniques, such as creating flashcards or making personalized study guides. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, academic coaches are an excellent resource for teaching your teen practical study skills.
5. Create a Schedule or Routine to Reduce Academic Stress
Consistency will set you free. Unfortunately, creating a schedule or doing anything regularly is a big challenge for most teens. Helping your teen complete a daily/weekly schedule or routine can help them stay organized and on top of their tasks and reduce their stress levels.
An excellent way to start is to help your teen create a list of daily tasks they need to complete (i.e., check their agenda, do homework, study, etc.). As they get more comfortable with this, they can transition to planning their weeks and scheduling things like homework, studying practice, and time with friends. Getting organized can make all the difference in the world.
6. Healthy Food and Hydration Can Reduce Stress Levels
Diet and hydration significantly affect cognitive function, mood, and energy levels. A shocking study by the Cornell Medical Center found that around 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.
Encourage your teen to drink plenty of water throughout the day and make healthy food choices. Staying hydrated can help them stay focused and improve their overall well-being.
7. Ask for Help and Learn how to Deal with School Stress and Anxiety
Stress leads many teens to go inward instead of asking for help. In the long run, this only makes their problems worse.
Remind your teen that they are not alone and that many other teens struggle with academics. Provide a space for them to talk about their concerns or go with them to seek help from a trusted adult. Encourage your teen to ask questions, seek clarification on assignments, and seek support from a teacher or academic coach.
8. Engage with Your Emotions
Teens often push away their negative emotions about school. Pushing away their feelings is ineffective and can lead to a build-up of stress. Encourage your teen to acknowledge and manage their emotions healthily, such as journaling or talking to you or a counselor.
You can model this behavior by talking to your teen openly and honestly about what stresses you out and how you process your emotions. Demonstrating your vulnerability will create a space that encourages your teen to do the same.
9. Save Some Time For Yourself
Encourage your teen to set aside time for themselves each day to relax and do something they enjoy. A small amount of “me time” can go a long way in helping your teen regulate their stress levels and stay on top of their academics.
10. Work with An Academic Coach to Stop being Stressed From School
If your teenager struggles with stress and academic performance, consider working with an academic coach. An academic coach can help your teen create a personalized plan to manage stress, improve their academic performance, and implement the tips on this list.
They can also provide support and guidance in navigating high school’s academic and social pressures. Let’s chat if this is the support your teen needs. I’m an academic coach with over ten years of experience helping students reach their academic potential. I can help your teen manage their stress and develop a more positive association with school.
Stress is a normal part of school and life, but it shouldn’t be debilitating. Finding healthy ways to manage it is crucial, so it doesn’t negatively impact your teenager’s well-being and academic performance. Try implementing these tips to help your teen relieve stress and reach their academic potential.
About the Author: John Hyde
I am an educational coach specializing in teaching students academic fundamentals and a growth mindset.
After graduating from Duke University in 2015, I taught at a public middle school from 2016 to 2019. Although I loved working with students in the classroom, the public education system was not teaching students the skills essential to academic success.
I left the classroom in 2019 to start Academic Empowerment Academy. Since then, my coaching program has helped hundreds of students realize their academic potential by assisting them in building confidence and empowering them with the skills and mindset to meet their goals in school and life.
If you’d like to discuss how I can help your teen be more motivated, foster good habits, and improve academic organization/performance, Book a Complimentary Discovery Call Here.
Hi I’m John, author of this blog, academic coach, and founder of AE Academy.
I help teens reach their academic potential by empowering them with academic fundamentals, a growth mindset, and critical thinking.
If your teen is struggling to reach their academic potential, or isn’t learning the skills they need to succeed in school, we should connect.
It’s on me – Book Your Free Call Here
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