You Can Take on Stress

Life can be a lot sometimes. Right now, your stress levels probably match those of any adult around you. You can feel stress from a lot of different places—your grades, your home or social life, even the news.

And sure, it’s totally normal to get stressed sometimes. But feeling too stressed out for too long can impact your mental and physical health. Luckily, you can learn to manage stress in healthy ways before it affects your health.

So, next time you feel nervous, tired, or overwhelmed—maybe you’re having negative thoughts, a hard time sleeping, or even stomach aches—here are some things that can help you cope.

Sleep. Sleep. Sleep.

It’s not always easy to get enough sleep. But a good eight to ten hours a night can really make a difference for both your physical and emotional well-being. You can also improve the quality of your sleep by cutting down on screen time before bed and not drinking caffeine or exercising too late in the day.

Start Moving

Exercise is one of the most effective stress relievers. You can start easy by doing something you already enjoy—like yoga, hiking, skateboarding, whatever it is. And invite some friends or family along. Being active and being around people you love can help ease your stress.

Balance It Out

School is super important, but it’s not the only important aspect of life. Sometimes, you just need to have fun. So, when it’s time to hang out with friends or relax with your favorite movie, try not to worry about things like school or homework. Just be in the moment and enjoy yourself.

Explore Your Passions

It may seem obvious but doing more of what you love helps. It can keep you focused on your strengths and put the stuff that stresses you out in perspective. So, if you’re artistic, do more creative things. If you love being outdoors, plan a park trip with your family. (Picnic anyone?) Whatever it is, do it as often as you can.

Talk It Out

Managing stress isn’t something you have to do alone. Vent to a friend! Share your thoughts and feelings with someone you trust—like a parent or coach. They may be able to help you find new ways to relieve stress.

A Few Other Tips

Try focusing on what you can control—and letting go of what you can’t.

Try to not put too much pressure on yourself—keep your to-do list small and don’t try to make everything perfect.

And avoid illegal drug, alcohol, and tobacco use. Marijuana alone can make you feel depressed, anxious, and paranoid—weakening your motivation to do the things you love.

If you ever feel like the stress is too much, there are always people who are ready to help. Check out these resources if you’re looking for more help—or just want to talk.

Teen Link
An anonymous and free help line answered by teens from 6-10 p.m., all year long. You can talk to them about whatever is on your mind. Call 1-866-TEENLINK.

The Crisis Clinic
A 24-hour crisis line. Call to talk about anything, including suicide—1-866-4CRISIS.

Crisis Chat
The Lifeline Crisis Chat is available within the United States and territories from 2 p.m.-2 a.m. EST, seven days a week.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
A 24/7 lifeline—call 1-800-273-TALK or chat.

The Trevor Project Lifeline
The only nationwide, around-the-clock suicide prevention and crisis intervention lifeline for LGBTQ youth. Talk to someone at 1-866-488-7386—it’s free and confidential.