Relax your body AND your mind!
What can you do about being stressed out? When everything is piling up on top of you?
Well, one thing you can do is learn how to manage your stress. If everything is piling up on top of you and you’re trying to do three things at the same time then you can’t think straight or do any of them properly.
STOP!!! Sit down and make a list of all the things that are bugging you. Divide them up into stuff you can do something about (like homework or work projects) and the things you can’t control (like parents or friends fighting).
Things you can do something about:
Decide which is the most important or urgent and tackle that first. Then move onto the others in turn. Remember, it's not the end of the world if you don't meet a deadline or get a bit behind in your 'to do' list!
Things you can’t control:
Remember no matter what the question or the problem, there’s always someone that can help. Then have a talk about it to someone you trust. Maybe they have a good idea, maybe not. At least you’ll have got it off your chest.
Also, remember you can contact one of the many support organisations that will be more than willing to help. See the help section for supportive information and contacts details of support organisations.
It's useful to learn a “relaxation response” to calm you down when you are stressed. You start by finding a quiet place where you can lie down. Then you focus on getting comfortable, slowing down your breathing, letting all your muscles go floppy and relaxed, and thinking about being in a really calm place like lying on a beach in the sun with no worries, or taking a long soak in the bath. This imaginary calm place is your mental refuge. Imagine lots of details - the sounds, the smells, the sensations, etc. Then practice 'going there' in your mind for just a few seconds every day, so it will be easy to do when you are really stressed.
Young people's chill out tips:
- Try not to let things pile up by doing a bit every day.
- Take time out to do the things you enjoy.
- Take regular meals and exercise.
- Cut down on tea and coffee intake.
- Don’t work right up to bedtime. Take some time to chill out before you put the head down.
- Write down your worries – they may not seem so bad.
- Don’t use drink, drugs or tobacco to relieve stress – they make it worse.
- Don’t try to be perfect all the time – the best you can do in the time available is fine.
- Have a laugh with some friends – aren’t we supposed to be having fun?!
- Get lots of sleep – problems always seem worse when you’re over-tired.
- Make a tape with all your favourite songs – try to avoid depressing ones!
- Go for a long walk by yourself to clear your head.
- Don’t forget the wonders that chocolate can do!
Read these do’s and don’ts, from other young people, for dealing with anger and stress:
- Don’t keep it all to yourself – tell someone who can help.
- Don’t write a mean email and send it to everyone you know…your friends will either be really offended or won’t take you seriously.
- Don’t beat anyone up!
- Don’t start screaming and shouting like a child, it will cause a complete breakdown in communication.
- Don’t swear at your parents/teachers – they won’t appreciate it.
- Try your hardest not to slam glass doors.
- Don’t turn your loudest Slipknot CD up so that your neighbours (in the next town) can’t hear themselves think.
- Don’t sulk like a two year old who’s not allowed sweets before dinner.
- Stop and count to 10.
- Tell the person you need some time to cool off and think things through.
- Tell the person why you’re angry.
- Keep breathing!
- Get rid of the tension by doing a physical activity – run, kick a ball about, beat a pillow etc.
- Make a list of the problems and then a list of the solutions.
- Listen to your favourite music.
- Tell someone your problems calmly and see if you can get help.
- Walk away from a situation where you think you might lose your temper.
- Give or get a hug…it always helps!
…and if all else fails…there’s always chocolate!
Everyone gets angry at some point, and it's okay to get angry – in fact, its even healthy! It’s what you do with it that matters.