Stress relief is a really relative subject. Each person relaxes a different way, because no one is the same. Younger people relax in a very different manner than adults, and sometimes don’t even know where to begin. Most young adults don’t even consider stress relief an important part of their life, but I can assure you that as you get older you learn just how necessary it can be. Adults will usually talk about the ways in which they get their “downtime,” and younger people will scratch their heads when they hear it. Some tactics are ageless, while others work for younger or older crowds. Either way, no matter what age, it’s important to stay calm and under control all of the time.
I’ve researched (and in some cases implemented!) the ways people relax, and here’s some of my findings.
It’s often more important for teenagers to de-stress because they’re dealing with college or high school, they’re usually broke, and many families have some sort of friction. It’s a lot to handle, particularly when you’re young and just beginning to find your feet. Here are some ways for younger people to de-stress.
- Talk to a mentor or older friend. Having friends you trust and can really listen to is extremely important for young people. The great thing about not having a lot of age is that everyone around you seems to be older – your parents, grandparents, teachers, etc. That makes it easy to talk to someone who’s older than you when you need to, because there are so many. It can be helpful to get an outside opinion, so your boss, supervisor, an older friend, or a teacher is better to talk to than your parent (not that I’m condoning behavior your parents don’t approve of!).
- Exercise. It’s often easier for teens to exercise than adults because we don’t have as many responsibilities (we also don’t have as many joint problems). So get outside and run, ride your bike, or tone up your arms. At the end of my junior year of high school, I went through this big scandal ordeal and it almost ruined my life. It was so stressful! That’s when I started running. It helped me tremendously. I didn’t know anything about pace or form; I couldn’t run for two hundred feet, it seemed! But it got my mind off the situation and made me feel wonderful about myself. I don’t run as often as I should, but I always turn to exercise when I need time to think or be alone.
- Read. You’d be really amazed at what reading a book can do for you. And since you’re younger, your imagination is still shiny and new. So grab a fantasy novel you’ve never read and pretend you’re the fairy in the story. Or, you could read about pirates, science fiction, whatever! It’s a great way to escape whatever is going on in your life.
Sleep.Yeah, you’ve heard it before. But getting enough sleep is vital to living. Teens need somewhere around nine hours a night, and without adequate sleep, you’ll be tired, cranky, and more likely to get worked up about stressful situations.
The oldies but the goodies, right? Isn’t that what you guys say? Once you get out of your teens, you often find yourself with entirely new sets of stressors. Well, you need to de-stress just as much as teenagers do, so I found some tips for you to try, as well.
- Get yourself organized. A lot of the time, adults stress about finances, work, bills, receipts, and budgeting problems. All of that is easier when you have yourself in order. You stress more about getting your taxes done, but never find the time to do it. Those are the kinds of worries that slip onto the backburner but always seem to nag you and keep you awake at night. Well, do them! File your taxes, organize your receipts, talk to your boss about job issues, work harder, do more, and at the end of the day, I guarantee you’ll feel better. Being organized and doing what you need to do brings so much peace of mind.
- Meditation. Meditation requires lots of deep thought, so it’s often mastered by adults more easily. Take a few minutes to count your breath: in, one, out, two, in, three, and so on. Imagine all of your worries. Those bills, problems with your children, whatever, and let them float away. Literally imagine them floating away until you can’t see them anymore. Calming down and realizing that things aren’t as bad as they seem is often far more helpful and lends much insight to a problem.
- Eat right. Your body can’t produce the chemicals, nutrients, and other things it needs if you aren’t feeding it right. You need to eat plenty of veggies, proteins, and other vitamin-rich foods if you want to feel good about yourself. Being healthy often brings your mind into better focus simply because you’ll feel better!
- Set goals. Look at your life. What stresses you out? Set personal goals to help cope with those stressors. If you have family problems, make it a goal to sit down and talk to your spouse, children, or parents once a week (more or less as you need to) and talk about what’s going on and how to fix it. If you have financial issues, make it a goal to save more money and set a plan on how you’re going to do it. Seeing where you’re going and how you’re going to get there will help to ease your worries.
I hope you find some of these tips helpful. What are your best de-stressors?
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