What if I ask you, “what’s the most awkward phase of your life?” what would you reply with? For me, it’s my teenage years and if I can make a guess, I’d say the same could be yours too. One of the most awkward times in our lives is our teenage years and as we enter late adolescence, the years become more awkward, especially if we don’t know what we are doing!
The end-of-adolescence stage is where we transition into young adulthood from our teenage years. More often than not, the late adolescence stage is all about wanting independence but not the responsibilities that come with it, wanting to make a choice but then floundering about all the choices in front of you, or the fear of messing up.
For many older teenagers (17-20-year-olds), there are times when the stress of late adolescence and early adulthood is more than what they bargained for and this makes them lose the footing they gained. These years are a trial-and-error phase that many older teens are not ready for.
So, how do we – their parents, older siblings, or guardians – can help our older teens deal with the end-of-adolescence stress?
Let’s take a look at how to identify adolescent stress and ways to help your teen cope with end-of-adolescence stress.
What Is Adolescent Stress?
Sadly, stress has become a part of our lives and I’m not only talking about adults. These days, anyone from pre-teens to older teens is stressed. While stress can be a motivator, too much stress can be harmful and cause overwhelming feelings of frustration.
Teenagers already go through so much pressure – from parents, peers, and teachers – and the additional stress of transitioning from a teen to an adult can become overwhelming too quickly.
While adolescence starts with a sense of loss, this phrase ends with worries. For example; they begin by letting their childhood comforts go, and then they end by facing the uncertainty of the future.
When teenagers are stressed, here are some signs that you can note;
Low energy or exhaustion
Loss of motivation
Too much stress among teenagers can be harmful to their physical and mental health. Eventually, it can lead to mood disorders such as anxiety disorders, depression, and more.
Let’s look at some stats, shall we? For teenagers, the most common stressor is academics at more than 80%, getting into college at more than 65%, and financial concerns at 65%. Many teenagers report sleep troubles, unhealthy eating, irritability, and overwhelming emotions all due to stress.
So, how can teenagers manage that stress?
Helping Teenagers With Stress
Adolescence is a more complicated phase than childhood and adulthood is even more complicated than adolescence years. During your teenage years, you’re semi-dependent on your caregivers, but when you enter adulthood, there comes independence. During a short while, you can feel inadequate and self-conscious.
Here’s how you can help your teenager cope with their stress when they are transitioning from a teen to an adult;
1. Acknowledge Your Teen’s Stress
When you notice your teen’s stress, let them know that it’s OK to feel stressed. You need to support them through their stressful times. As parents, you need to embrace them in warmth and compassion.
When you care for them, it allows them to feel safe to express their feelings. Encourage them to be self-compassionate too. Self-compassion can reduce the effects of stress on your teen.
2. Understand The Stressor
If your teen knows what’s the reason for their stress – academics, peer pressure, finances, life transition, etc. – then it will become easier for them to deal with it. As their parent or guardian, you can help them list the things they are doing and note how they feel about them. Is there something that they are doing that is disrupting their sleep? How can they stop?
3. Learn How To Handle Stress
This means you need to help your teen prioritize. If they are stressed about their academic performance, you can help them plan their week. Then see how that step helps them manage their stress. If they are concerned about their college essays, then you can help them prepare a timeline to work on together to help them complete their essay.
4. Promote A Healthy Lifestyle
A healthy lifestyle can help reduce stress, so make sure your teen’s getting regular exercise (or at least physical activity), eating nutritious foods, taking the time to relax and unwind, at least getting 9-11 hours of sleep, and are avoiding unhealthy practices such as drug or alcohol use.
5. Seek Teen Counseling
If your teen is easily overwhelmed by the newness of adulthood, then you can help them by reaching out to teen counselors. Seeking help from professionals who specialize in teen therapy can help you and your child know how to reduce adolescent stress and make the transition from teenage to adulthood as smooth as possible.
If you’re a teen, then to reduce teenage stress, you can;
Talk about your problems with your school counselor
Take deep breaths, accompanied by positive affirmations
Try progressive muscle relaxation
Set small goals, and take one task at a time. Avoid multitasking
Exercise regularly and eat healthy meals
Get enough sleep (at least 9-11 hours each night)
Focus on what you can control and let go of what you can’t
Work through all the worst-case scenarios until they lose their effect
Schedule regular breaks and fun times
Accept your feelings and emotions as they are
Avoid comparing yourself with others
Stress isn’t an uncommon thing, but for teenagers, it can be more than just overwhelming. To help your teen make a smooth transition from their teenage years to early adulthood, you can help them by talking to them about their feelings, easing their burdens, and helping them maintain a healthy lifestyle.
If you need additional help and support, you can connect with a professional or a teen counselor.
End-of-adolescence stress can be hard to work through, especially for a teen, but with the right support, it can be manageable.
I hope this blog helped you learn more about adolescent stress and how to help reduce stress among teenagers. For more, you can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM us on social media.
You can also share your tips and thoughts with us in the comments section below.