Message to teens..
School can be extremely overwhelming, sometimes with no end in sight. I want to encourage you to continue to believe in yourself, your capabilities, and have faith that light is at the end of the tunnel. Many people have successfully completed school, and are able to tell the tale proudly :). You too are meant to reach the next level of your life, opening more doors for your success, while positively building your self-confidence.
Managing school stress starts with having a great self-care routine. No matter your age, you too need to recharge your battery just like you recharge your phone! Give yourself permission to take care of you. Here are some quick tips:
Take short naps when you need to. Naps should be no longer than 20-30 minutes. I know an hour or two feels awesome and refreshing, BUT those types of naps cause you to feel rushed for time to complete assignments and go to bed extremely late. Without good sleep, you will not function well the next day. My suggestion is to take a short nap right after school.
Take short breaks in between assignments for 5-10 minutes max. This is extremely important! We can get side tracked easily when we are doing pleasurable things, but then again you still have work to do. During your breaks you can play a word game, walk around the house, get something to munch on, or even quickly stretch. I suggest putting a timer on your phone to buzz when your break is up to prevent being side tracked. If you get sucked into social media, probably not a good choice to do during your break!
Mix up your week with some fun things, hobbies or interests. Being ONLY focused on school can be very draining. Make sure to have pleasurable activities planned to look forward to, BUT be mindful of your workload. If you have too many things due or unfinished, probably not a good idea to be out and about.
Plan your time wisely using an agenda. I literally live with my agenda in tow! It's always in my purse! Using an agenda helps to really schedule your responsibilities, assignments, events, etc efficiently and effectively. I no longer have to keep a running to-do list in my head. Write everything you need to do, as well as your strategy for completing them in your agenda. Always refer back to your agenda to keep you on track.
Say "no" to people and things occupying too much of your time or causing you emotional stress. Whew! This is a must. Please say "no" to people and things that cause you stress and pull you away from your focus, goals and vision. Your time and energy is valuable. Remember, you are battery almost depleted of energy, do not give your last bits away to toxicity or distractions.
Say positive affirmations daily! J.Lo stated that she says affirmations daily to keep her young and positive. She is stunning, so proof is in the pudding! Positive affirmations validate our existence in is such a positive way. We are able to purify our minds of negativity, and uplift our spirits. I suggest making a Pinterest board of positive statements, quotes, or even pictures for you to look at when you need too.
Ask for help. If you are struggling in a subject, or with an assignment, PLEASE ask for help. There are unlimited resources around you such as older siblings, family members (including parents, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc), teachers, friends, and even faith community people. Do not assume you have no assistance. I'm a true believer that closed mouths don't get fed! And, if you keep struggling, you will feel even worse, and get more behind.
Take care of your body. Make sure you are getting at least 8 hours of sleep, eating at least 3 square meals a day plus 2 snacks, engaging in some physical exercise, showering and bathing daily, etc. You need that to allow your body to run!
Message to parents...
Encourage your students to engage in self-care. Be positive and supportive in their attempts to take care of their needs. Show them as a role model the way we must engage in self-care. We are not perfect, and should not be held to the perfection standard.
Submit your questions to therapist, Brittany Danielle, to be featured in an upcoming "Ask the Therapist" post by clicking here.