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    Message from Head Girl Team

    Stress in Teenagers

    What is feeling stressed and how is it caused?
    Stress affects everyone at some point in their lives and it can range at many different levels. It may affect you physically, mentally and the way you behave. Teenagers face stress a lot due to various pressures in their lives this may include family pressure, peer pressure, school pressure etc.

    For example with a global pandemic for the past few months many teens have been affected from school closures to cancellation of exams. Over the past three months, feeling overwhelmed is no stranger to most teens for a number of different reasons. With exams just around the corner for year 10s and 12s, it is not surprising that teens would be feeling stressed without the learning resources they might require. The quarantine experience has been different for everyone and many have been at a disadvantage due to a lack of devices/ wifi connection. Others may have been struggling with a lack of motivation to sit down and do their work. These and many other factors can ultimately lead to a build up of stress for teens as deadlines are left overdue and piles of work begin to accumulate.

    Recognising Symptoms
    For many teens it can be hard to recognise symptoms at the beginning as it can sometimes just feel like “a bad day” and so we just ignore it. It is extremely important that we firstly concentrate on how we are feeling each day and recognise that there are some days where we don’t feel great.

    Here is a list of some of the many symptoms teenagers may show when they are stressed:

    • Headaches
    • Trouble sleeping
    • Increased worry
    • Negative Self talk

    There are also many other symptoms that may show stress in not just teenagers but people of all ages.

    What to do when you are feeling stressed?
    When you are feeling stressed it can feel extremely hard to take part in activities or go outside. You often feel like you want to hide yourself away from everything. However, you must try to talk to someone or try using some of the tips listed below:

    • As hard as it may sound, exercise is so important when you are feeling stressed. Exercise has direct stress benefits as it pumps and allows production of endorphins in your brain. These endorphins can directly help reduce stress and anxiety. (Why not try a 10 minute yoga session in the evening, I can assure you that you will feel a little better by the end!)
    • Setting time aside for yourself is extremely important. Try and do at least one activity in the day that will make you happy. Whether that is reading a book of your choice or baking yourself cookies with a warm hot chocolate, anything to make you feel better is always important to include in your day.
    • Try listening to mental well being audios, breathing/relaxations sessions by downloading mindfulness apps. A session a day can always help you prepare for the day/week ahead.

    Getting help
    So where should we reach out for help, when feeling overwhelmed we may not know who to turn too and feel trapped. The last thing you want to do when you have locked yourself in your room is to go and talk to someone about what you're going through. But I can’t stress enough how much of a difference it can make just by telling someone that you are not feeling great.

    Here are some suggestions of where you can go to talk to someone:

    • If you feel comfortable enough to reach out to a family member or friend, when sharing what's on your mind it can really help relieve any stresses weighing you down.
    • Childline provides counsellors for teens, who are always welcome to listen and support young people at any time. Have a read at “Sam’s Letter” for more advice         Childline
    • You can also contact your GP if you are finding it hard to cope with stress or wish to have a referral form your GP.

    I hope this article has taught you a bit more about coping with stress. Alice and Louisa who are two of the deputies in the new head girl team have kindly helped me with this week’s article.

    Please feel free to email us to discuss anything further or if you have any suggestions for future topics. We are also welcome to talk to you about any of the problems you are facing yourself.

    Mahfuza 11C
    Head Girl Team