Students have always had many reasons to feel overwhelmed or stressed out. Enter 2020 and these struggles are even more commonplace. According to this article by 5280.com, “in Colorado, the state’s teen suicide rate jumped by 58 percent between 2016 and 2019.” A report from the attorney general credits fear of academic failings as a key risk factor. Sadly, many of us have an overwhelming sense of feeling out of control these days and that is bound to affect our students as well. How can we ground ourselves when dealing with these feelings and emotions? Here a few simple suggestions.
Center yourself. Close your eyes, take a deep breath. Start to wiggle your toes and visualize any stress or tension leaving that area of your body. Slowly move up your body and continue this exercise all the way to the top of your head. Continue to breathe deeply and release any tension along the way.
Consider the negative thoughts that are filling your mind and focus on finding the positive in each situation. There is an opportunity in every stressful situation to grow and we can gain so much strength from that. Feeling left out from a social event? Use the time to reach out to an old friend and reconnect or organize your room or maybe read that book you’ve been hearing great things about. Find gratitude in the ability to do something else that you’ve been wanting to do instead.
Talk it out. Find a trusted confidant- maybe a parent, a friend or a teacher and lay out what is bothering you. Talk is therapeutic and can be a great stress reliever. Hearing someone else’s perspective on your problem could help you come up with a manageable solution quicker.
Parents, do not hesitate to reach out and connect with your child if you can see that they are struggling. Let them know there is no shame in the way that they are feeling and you are there for them however they may need you. Click here to read more about the signs of stress in your teenager and helpful tips to teach them how to manage their stress.
More helpful resources:
Childrenscolorado.org for teen suicide prevention