We may be starting a new semester, but many students face the same old stress. But with a proactive plan for keeping stress in check, your student can move beyond that stress toward success! Here are our top 5 tips for you to give to your students so they can prepare for and reduce stress.
1. Take care of your body.
It goes without saying that a healthy body is the foundation for a healthy mind. Encourage your student to eat healthy foods and exercise regularly (even if it means just dancing around in their room for a few hours a week). Above all, make sure your student is getting good sleep. Although teens are generally night owls, they still need between 8 and 10 hours of sleep per night to be functioning at their best. A lack of sleep not only leads to mental fogginess, but can make your child more susceptible to illness. This is even more true for student athletes, who need to sleep for their bodies to recover.
One way to help your student get more sleep is by ensuring their phone is set to shift colors to reduce blue light exposure after sunset. On iPhone, this is called Night Shift and can be found under brightness settings. There are two good apps for Android that can do this as well, and you can find information about them here.
2. Get (and stay) organized.
Developing an organization system before the semester gets going can reduce the stress your student feels as the semester progresses. Losing papers, mixing up materials, and missing deadlines are all stressors that can be avoided. There are tons of options for getting organized, including color-coding folders and notebooks by class, sorting materials by date or subject, and using a planner or bullet journal. Check out our Pinterest boards for study spaces and organization for inspiration!
3. Take breaks and socialize (face-to-face)
When tackling assignments this semester, encourage your student to take periodic breaks. Oftentimes, working for 20 minutes and then taking a 5 or 10-minute break increases productivity. Also, scheduling some time for your student to socialize with friends face-to-face outside of extracurricular activities can help them maintain the peer support system they need to handle challenges at school.
4. Practice Mindfulness
“Mindfulness” is a tricky word to define, but can generally be taken to mean an “awareness of the present moment.” Stress causes us to worry about the future or over-analyze the past, and can eat away at self-esteem, resilience, and productivity. There are a lot of ways for your student to practice mindfulness, whether it be focusing on taking deep breaths, concentrating on the feeling of their feet on the ground as they walk, or meditating on uncomfortable feelings. Here is a great website full of exercises and guided meditations for teens to practice mindfulness and let go of stress.
5. Start the semester getting guidance from an academic coach
We see lots of students sign up for tutoring when they are already behind in a challenging class. If you know your student had some challenges last semester, be proactive! Reach out to us so we can pair them with a personal academic coach before the hurdles start this semester. Most of our coaches are university students who provide mentorship in addition to tutoring, and answer questions about college and careers. It is our mission to reduce the stress students and families feel from school work. We understand how frustrated and helpless parents can feel, and we know that stress about school may not always be academic. We are here to help. For more information, call (970) 226-8704.