Learning to manage your stress and the pressures that come with it is such a key part to building resilience to these tough situations. Stress, especially in young people, can seem like an impossible obstacle to overcome however, it just takes some time to learn and understand how best to manage it.
Stress Awareness Month has been held in April since 1992 to raise well-needed awareness of the causes and cures of stress. This year – shared by the Stress Management Society – the theme is Community.
Being a part of a community brings a sense of belonging and friendship and it’s so important to have others around you in which you can talk, share, and connect with. Building positive relationships can improve your mental health as socialising can relieve stress as it distracts us from any difficulties we may be facing, and it gives us a more positive outlook on the situations.
Some of the most common things that young people are stressed about are schoolwork, exams, and difficulties involving friends and family.
When it comes to workload, it can become extremely overwhelming for students to do well and become successful and when it’s not achieved or feels too difficult, their stress can cause detrimental effects on their mental health. Their stresses caused by changes with friendships and home life is where the theme of community can come into play – a healthy circle of positive relationships needs to be formed around a young person so they can share and talk about their worries.
Transitions UK understand this issue within all our young people in our four projects, so we wanted to share our top ways of building resilience and managing the pressures of stress –
Taking a moment to focus on your own breathing can bring a sense of calm into your day. It can slow down your heart rate and take away from the initial panic you may be feeling. It can help to steady your emotions, release physical tension, and give you energy and focus.
2. Identifying your triggers
It’s always best to be aware of what issues come up regularly for you and what is currently on your mind to know where the source of the stress is coming from.
3. Finding your best time of day
Assess where in the day, you feel the most in control and motivated. This can be in the morning or in the evening. Once you know this, you can complete those tasks that are causing you stress with a better mindset.
4. Make Lists
Arrange your tasks in order of importance and complete them one by one without putting too much pressure on yourself. Be calm and patient with yourself and get the urgent matters done first.
5. Set small and achievable targets
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the bigger picture and the huge tasks that need to be done but if you take a step back and break it down into smaller, more achievable tasks, it can give you the motivation to get those done.
6. Vary your activities
Make sure you take time to have breaks and to not take too much on each day. It’s significant to let your mind rest and to focus on other things especially making time for your own hobbies and interests.
7. Ask others for help
There is no harm in asking someone you trust for advice when things become too much to handle. They may be able to take some of the stress away or provide you with help on how to manage what is bothering you.
8. Accept the things that you can’t change
Understanding and being aware of the things that are out of your control and that you shouldn’t be taking as a burden on your shoulders can relieve the stress and allow you to be calmer in certain situation
At Transitions UK, we help all our young people deal with their different stresses on all four of our projects.
Since high levels of stress can affect a young person’s mental health, our Affirm Project has the most expertise in that area. The project supports those with mental health and emotional needs through a 2-year weekly mentoring and befriending service.
Referring back to the theme of Stress Awareness Month this year being ‘Community’, throughout our 2-year mentoring programme, we like to form a positive community where the beneficiaries have a safe space to share any of their worries with the Transitions UK team and their mentor. We also help them to find positive influences outside of the project with finding a good circle of friends and fixing family relationships. A young person having these mature relationships in their life can improve upon their decision making, future opportunities and can better their mental health.
More about our Affirm Project – www.transitionsuk.org/affirm
To learn more about Stress Awareness, check out these resources –
Every Mind Matters (NHS)
What is Stress? (Mind)
Mental Health & Well Being Presentation
10 Signs of Stress You Must Not Ignore
Coping with change
Becoming more self-aware