Today's post is the first in a series for teens, by a teen. This Teen Self-Help Series is written by Mia Tanner, a senior at South Pasadena High School. Mia is an aspiring psychologist and has a passion for learning about topics in psychology such as brain physiology, addiction, anxiety and depression. Her first article is intended to help teens who struggle with anxiety at school and are looking for healthy coping mechanisms they can utilize quickly and easily to feel relief. Enjoy and stay tuned for future posts in the series.
As high school students, we deal with a lot of stressful situations that may cause us to worry, panic and feel uneasy. We often feel like there is no way to avoid these feelings we may have. This is not uncommon and it's totally normal to feel this way from time to time. Here are some tips that you can use to help you next time you have this issue:
1 | Seek support
When reaching out for support, it can be easiest to first approach a friend or teacher that you trust. Many schools have a social worker or counselor that you are able to talk to when you are having a hard time trying to control your anxiety on your own. They are there to help support you!
2 | Use deep breathing
There are many ways that one can reduce their anxiety. A quick and simple way of doing this is to just take a few very deep breaths. Many people underestimate the power of deep breathing. Closing your eyes and taking deep breaths will allow you to calm down so you can make it through the day!
3 | Ask for modifications
Here in South Pasadena, where I go to school, students with an IEP (Individualized education plan) can request certain modifications to accommodate their specific issue. For example, students that have an IEP are able to sit out of assemblies because the stress of being in crowds of people is too much for one to handle. Don’t be afraid to ask for accommodations!
4 | Squeeze a stress ball
Squeezing a stress ball is a special way to relieve some of the anxiety that is starting to build up. When you are worried about an assignment or test having a stress ball in your backpack or in your locker will help you calm down. Squeezing a stress ball is a simpler version of progressive muscle relaxation. To learn more about this anxiety-relieving technique, you can watch the above video. This is a great video to watch when you get home from a long day at school. It's a guided meditation helps you relax and teaches you how to relieve any tension you may have in your muscles.
5 | Take a walk
Exercise is a great way to relieve any anxiety that you may be feeling. During school, taking a walk around campus by yourself or with a friend will allow you to cool off and simmer down. Walking with a friend is beneficial because you are able to talk to someone while getting rid of any uneasy feelings you may be having. If your school doesn’t allow you to take a break from class, take advantage of nutrition or lunch times to walk with a friend.
Anxiety is never an easy feeling to manage and may continue to crop up as new challenges arise. Trying these few tips will allow you find which one works best for you so you don’t have to let anxiety get the best of you. Once you find which one is helpful you can use it in a tough situation that you might be in. Always remember to just breathe and the uneasy feeling will slowly go away!
I hope you enjoyed this first article of the series. If you are a teenager and struggle with anxiety at school, please feel free to share your best tips for reducing stress in the comments below. Stay tuned for the rest of the series. Be safe and be well.