Managing your stress

Everyone experiences stress at some time or another. It might be caused by problems at school or work, relationships with friends, siblings or parents, moving to a new place, or a traumatic event. Stress can affect people in different ways: have you become sad, angry, or anxious have you started to lack of confidence in yourself or in other important figures in your life are you avoiding other people especially close friends or family are you finding it difficult to get out of bed in the morning do you have an upset stomach or cramps do you get tension headaches or knots in your neck or shoulders are you having problems eating or sleeping You probably can’t get rid of stress, so how do you manage it? Challenge the causes Try and identify the things causing you stress and challenge them if you can Is it a person or people causing you stress? Try and talk to them about their behaviour If you are a young teenager you may be experiencing hormonal stress from puberty, talk to an older sibling or your parents about what you are feeling Keep a stress diary each night and record the things that seemed to cause you stress during the day Challenge yourself Express yourself – draw, write, play music Exercise – walk, run, cycle, walk the dog, join a gym, play a sport Avoid harmful behaviours like drugs, cigarettes and alcohol and situations where you might be put under peer pressure Talk to someone – don't be afraid to ask a friend or your parents to listen or call a support line if you want confidental support