Healthy Ways to Cope with Anxiety

Healthy Ways to Cope with Anxiety

Get Rest

Between homework, activities and hanging with friends, it can be hard to get enough sleep, especially during the school week. Ideally, adolescents should get nine hours a night. To maximize the chance of sleeping soundly, cut back on watching TV or engaging in a lot of screen time in the late evening hours. Don’t drink caffeine late in the day and try not to do stimulating activities too close to bedtime.

Focus on your strengths

Spend some time really thinking about the things you’re good at, and find ways to do more of those things. If you’re a math ace, you might tutor a younger neighbor who’s having trouble with the subject. If you are a spiritual person, you might volunteer at your church. If you’re artistic, take a photography class. Focusing on your strengths will help you keep your stress in perspective.

Engage in physical activity

Physical activity is one of the most effective stress busters. That doesn’t mean you have to go for a jog if you hate running. Find activities you enjoy and build them into your routine such as yoga, hiking, biking, skateboarding, or walking. The best types of physical activities are those that have a social component. Whether you’re into team sports, or prefer rollerblading with a friend or two, you’re more likely to have fun — and keep at it — if you’re being active with friends.

Do things that make you happy

Besides physical activities, find other hobbies or activities that bring you joy. That might be listening to music, going to the movies, or drawing. Keep doing these things even when you’re stressed and busy.

Talk to someone

It’s so much easier to manage stress when you let others lend a hand. Talk to a parent, teacher, or other trusted adult. They may be able to help you find new ways to manage stress. Or they may help put you in touch with a psychologist who is trained in helping people make healthy choices and manage stress.

Copyright Erlanger A. Turner, Ph.D. 2014