For Teens: Resolve to Reduce Back-to-School Stress

Gina Biegel presents 10 mindful tips for minimizing school stress for teens. 

As each New Year approaches people often think about and make decisions around things they want to change. However, these changes often come to the forefront of your mind with a sense of impending doom.

The resolutions may fade away as time marches on because the list of “to do’s” or “to don’ts” is either too long or unreachable. For example the goal itself might be just too big, “lose 50 pounds” or “get straight A’s.” Even if you get somewhere on that continuum that it could still feel like you’ve failed. If you set up your new year to be a failure, how can you actually feel success or a sense of accomplishment for any gains you make?

Now that the year is in full swing, you may have made some already that are already slipping. No bother. It’s a good time to make some resolutions that don’t stress you out. That can actually help you decrease your stress. And school is a good place to start, since that’s where a lot of stress seems to happen. Here’s a list that might help you reduce school-related stress.

10 Mindful Tips for Minimizing School Stress for Teens

1. Get organized. This can include : your homework environment, locker, books, binders/folders, and bag. If it helps make a list of “to do’s” to break down complex projects or long homework loads into smaller manageable lists.

2. Notice your breathing at school, during after school activities, and while you do homework. You can always count breaths, “breathing in one, breathing out one,” to calm yourself and slow a rushed or anxious breathing pace.

3. Try not to worry about things that are out of your control or haven’t happened yet. For example, after you take a test, worrying about what grade you get isn’t going to change your actual test grade.

4. Do one thing at a time instead of parts of many things at one time.

5. Do things you enjoy in the mix of many hours of work. This might include taking short breaks, stop to “smell the roses.”

6. Reduce self-pressure and exaggerated or unrealistic expectations.

7. Watch when you jump on the train of thoughts and jump off the train. A thought is just a thought not reality or a fact.

8. Appreciate who you are. You rock! Even if you don’t think so.

9. Be open to new experiences and see the same things with fresh eyes.

10. Use a simple mindfulness technique when you do your homework or take tests.