5 Healthy Ways for Teens to Cope with Stress and Anxiety

Jun 21, 2023

5 Healthy Ways for Teens to Cope with Stress and Anxiety

Do you ever worry about how your teen copes with stress and anxiety? Believe it or not, every teen experiences these feelings at some point — and it’s perfectly normal. While navigating adolescence can be tough and stressful, there are concrete, healthy ways to help your teen manage their big and sometimes overwhelming emotions. 

With nine office locations throughout Jacksonville, Amelia Island, and Saint Johns, Florida, our caring pediatric psychologists at Angel Kids Pediatrics provide a full scope of effective, evidence-based treatments and therapies to lift your teen’s mood and improve their overall well-being. 

Don't let these challenges go unaddressed: We can help your child thrive — starting with a little input from you. Let’s explore the ways you can help your adolescent build and support better coping mechanisms in the face of life’s stressors and worries. 

Healthy ways to help your teen deal with stress

Stress and anxiety can be overwhelming for teens, and it's important to help them learn how to cope with it in healthy ways. Here are five tips that can help.

1. Encourage regular exercise

Regular physical activity can help reduce stress and improve teens' mental health in many ways. Exercise releases endorphins, or “feel-good” hormones that foster feelings of calm and a sense of well-being. It also helps lower stress hormone levels, namely cortisol. 

Regular physical activity can help teens develop better sleep patterns, too, further reducing stress levels and improving overall mental health.

Physical activity also provides an outlet for teens to express their emotions in a healthy way, as well as an opportunity for them to socialize with peers. This can help them build better self-esteem and confidence while reducing anxiety and depression symptoms.

2. Promote better sleep hygiene

Getting enough sleep is essential for teens to reduce stress and improve their mental health. Sleep helps restore the body's energy, regulate hormones, and reduce inflammation. Without enough sleep, teens are more likely to experience physical and mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and poor academic performance.

A consistent bedtime routine can help teens get the recommended 8-10 hours of sleep each night. Teens should avoid screens for at least one hour before bedtime and create a calming environment in their bedrooms by keeping it dark and quiet. 

Getting enough sleep is essential for teenagers because it helps them stay alert during the day and perform better in school. It also helps them maintain a positive mood and handle stress more effectively. With sufficient restful sleep, teens can make healthier decisions and have improved concentration levels which benefits them both mentally and physically in the long run.

3. Control their caffeine intake

Caffeine is a stimulant that can provide an energy boost, but it can also cause anxiety and stress in teens if consumed in excess. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that adolescents consume no more than 100 milligrams of caffeine daily. 

This limit helps prevent teens from experiencing the negative effects of too much caffeine, such as irritability, restlessness, insomnia, headaches, and increased heart rate. By limiting their intake of caffeine and engaging in other healthy activities, teens can better manage their stress levels and lead healthier lives.

4. Foster a balanced lifestyle

Teens need to find a balance between schoolwork, extracurricular activities, socializing, and leisure time. This can help them stay motivated while avoiding burnout from too much stress or pressure. Adolescents should take breaks from studying or working on projects to give their minds a rest and prevent fatigue. By finding a healthy balance between work and play, teens can be both productive and remain happy and healthy.

5. Offer relaxation techniques

Encourage your teen to practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises or mindfulness meditation whenever they’re feeling overwhelmed by stress or anxiety. Taking a few moments to pause and be mindful of their body can help them relax and de-stress. 

Learning how to manage stress is an important skill that can help teens feel more in control of their own autonomy. These simple strategies can help your teen manage their stress levels in healthy ways and lead happier, more balanced lives.

Be a proactive and nurturing caregiver

Being proactive about mental health is key for young adults navigating complex personal, academic, and social changes. By implementing just a few of these tips, teens can begin their journey towards overall wellness and improved quality of life.

No matter the challenges faced today or tomorrow, finding practical solutions to manage stress is an important first step in improving quality of life. Along with choosing reliable resources and asking for help, self-compassion is critical for all adolescents to develop the confidence necessary to lead successful lives.

At Angel Kids Pediatrics, our goal is to offer comprehensive care and support for parents, young kids, and developing adolescents alike. Whether you just need some advice, or you’d like your teen to have a mental health evaluation, we can help. Schedule your appointment today by calling 904-224-KIDS (5437) or using our online form.