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  • Writer's pictureLiz Morrison, LCSW

Teen Therapist Tips on How to Reduce Your Stress as a Teen

Updated: Apr 2

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Tips for Teenagers: Stress Reduction

With the school year now in full swing, it is common for some teenagers to start to feel increased stress due to academic, social, and emotional pressure. As a parent, you may start to notice more resistance from your teen in getting them to share details of their day and, it may begin to feel like they are shutting you out.

The most important thing you can do is help your teen explore where their feelings are coming from and help them implement ways they can decrease their stress. Here are some tips your teenager can use to reduce their feelings of stress.

Teen Therapist Tips on How to Reduce Your Stress as a Teen

Healthy Sleep Habits

Not only can stress and worry cause a lack of sleep, but it can also leave your teenager vulnerable to more stress. When your teenager is well rested, it is much easier for them to be emotionally regulated and make sound decisions that are well thought out. To help improve your teenager's sleep, the National Sleep Foundation provides some ideas.

Some of these ideas include establishing consistent sleep and wake schedules and creating a sleep-conducive environment that is dark, quiet, comfortable, and cool. One problem I see frequently with teenagers is having too many distractions in bed while trying to go to sleep. Distractions such as a computer or television keep the mind engaged and busy when it should be slowing down to prepare for rest, thus causing difficulty falling asleep or getting a full night's rest.

Increase Movement and Exercise

Exercise is a healthy way to release stress, improve physical health, and promote general well-being. In addition to the general health benefits, exercising produces endorphins, which in turn leads to increased feelings of happiness and self-satisfaction. More and more frequently, the teenagers I work with are reporting that they are testing out of their gym classes so they do not have to get sweaty in the middle of the day, or because they would prefer the free period to hang out with their friends.

If this is the case, encourage your teen to play an afterschool sport, join a gym, or play a game of basketball with their friends. By making exercise a part of their day, not only are you helping them to release stress, but also increase health, energy levels, self-esteem, and confidence. If your teenager needs suggestions on how to begin an exercise routine, encourage them to visit this WebMD article Tips for Getting Your Couch Kid to Exercise

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Time Management

Leaving early in the morning can help your teenager get to school on time without feeling rushed or overwhelmed. Running late increases stress levels and provokes anxiety. In the afternoon, make sure extracurricular activities make sense and do not overload your teen. Often, having too many responsibilities can also increase those stressful feelings.

If your teen seems overwhelmed by all that is on their plate, help them break their schedule down into smaller, more manageable tasks. Make a list of tasks and start with the easy ones first. Once they’ve accomplished a few things, it becomes much easier to tackle larger goals.

Learn and Practice Coping Skills

Coping skills are what I like to consider tips and tricks as a teen therapist to manage and tolerate stressful situations. There are many different types of coping skills one can use in various situations. Here are a few of my favorites:

Practice taking deep breathes

By doing this, it allows your body the opportunity to focus and remain calm.

Practice yoga or meditation- If your teenager can become more in tune with the needs of their body, it will help manage everyday stressors.

Use positive self-talk

Telling yourself that ‘you can do it’ may sound silly, but it has been proven that using positive affirmations can help a person feel more confident and increase self-esteem.

Find an escape with something you love

Finding a creative outlet for self-expression can be a very important tool for a teenager when they need to cope. Some creative outlets include writing, drawing, singing, or dancing.

Eat Right

Have you ever heard the expression, “You are what you eat”? Well, in the case of a teenager as well as others, this is especially true. Helping a teenager take care of their body by introducing healthy foods can keep their bodies running well and ultimately lead to more motivation in their day. When people eat poorly, they tend to feel more tired and sluggish.

When these feelings occur, there is a higher chance that your teen will become stressed, as they might not feel that they are able to complete all the tasks in their day. To help your teenager make good choices when it comes to food, please visit the NHS Choices article titled Healthy Eating for Teens.

Too Much to Handle

As a parent, it can be difficult to connect with your teenager, especially when they are overwhelmed or experiencing high stress. Some warning signs that show a greater cause for concern may include:

Mood swings Avoidance of activities that were once enjoyed Drastic changes in body weight Expressing frequent negative thoughts Exhibiting aggression Being neglectful of responsibilities Avoiding school or other tasks Distancing themselves from peers Difficulty sleeping Engaging in reckless behavior

If you have concerns that your teenager is exhibiting any of these symptoms, they may benefit from help and support with therapy for teens. Make attempts to engage your teen by encouraging a more manageable lifestyle. Suggest that they read the steps above to support them in decreasing overwhelming feelings and help them stay focused.

How can I help? If symptoms persist, your teen may benefit from an evaluation from a mental health professional at Liz Morrison Therapy. Feel free to call me at (347) 758-2985 for a free 15-minute phone consultation to discuss the concerns you have about your teenager.

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Begin Reducing Your Stress With The Help of Therapy for Teens in New York City, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and anywhere else in the state of New York!

Empower your teen to thrive in the face of academic pressure and social challenges. Our tailored therapy for teen sessions provides a safe space for teens to express themselves and develop effective coping strategies. Take the first step toward your teen's well-being. At Liz Morrison Therapy let's navigate their journey together towards a happier, healthier future. Follow these three simple steps to get started:

1. Contact us to schedule an appointment for Therapy for Teens

2. Begin meeting with a skilled teen therapist

3. Begin managing your stress with effective coping strategies!

Other Services Offered at Liz Morrison Therapy

At Liz Morrison Therapy, we offer services for the whole family. So in addition to helping your teen express themselves and manage their stress in healthy ways with therapy for teens, our services also include Parenting Support for those looking to create healthy relationships with their children to help them live their best lives, Young Adult Therapy for individuals looking for support, guidance, and real-world strategies to help them deal with their struggles, and Anxiety Therapy for those wanting to cope with their anxiety in healthy ways. For more about us check out our Blogs and FAQs

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