It's no wonder teenagers are feeling overwhelmed and anxiety-ridden.
A recent study showed many teenagers are burning out before they even get to college.
Another reported the #1 stressor for teens is the pressure to perform in school, followed up by making decisions about the future.
Academic pressure on its own is more than enough to handle for most high school students.
Add to that sports, clubs, church groups, family, friends, dating, part-time jobs (!), and it's no surprise that teens are experiencing more anxiety than ever.
Handling all of this is no easy feat. Here are a few quick tips for teens affected by anxiety:
Make the last hour before bed completely screen-free.
Quality sleep is absolutely essential for success in and outside of school- a large study shows that teenagers are especially sensitive to the light coming from screen, and found a link between shorter sleep and increased screen time before bed. How about trying something different before bed- maybe yoga or (my personal favorite) coloring? These ones are hugely popular right now!
Be mindful of caffeine
Walk into a coffeeshop around 3:00 on any given weekday, and I'd be willing to bet you'll find it full of students reading quietly or studying in groups. Coffee of course is the classic drink of choice for students- caffeine has been shown to improve concentration. But it's also been shown to make anxiety worse- and it has a negative impact on sleep.
Practice deep breathing.
Breathe in slowly for a count of five, pause, and breathe out as slow as you can. Repeat this for a minute. As you practice each day, you'll be able to go for longer periods of time. Make sure your breathing is deep- your belly should stick out. Deep breathing has been shown to lower blood pressure and heart rate, helping you to feel more calm.