Life Balance

Lately, many articles written for adults are focused on the importance of a work/life balance. Although teens may not be holding down full-time jobs, they are still under a lot of pressure from their daily responsibilities, and can benefit from finding a healthy balance. School, extracurricular activities, sports, part-time jobs, and responsibilities at home can cause a teen’s life to feel like a juggling act.

If you feel stressed or overwhelmed, it is important to speak with the adults in your life. They may not realize how much pressure you are feeling if you manage to “get everything done.” Talk to a parent, teacher, or counselor and ask for help in dealing with stress using the suggestions below.

Set Priorities

Decide what is most important and what needs to be done first. You do not need to do everything in one night. Prioritize what needs to be done early in the week, and what can be done later. If you are focusing on a few projects a night rather than worrying about all of them every night you will do a better job on each assignment.

Do Not Be an Over-Achiever

Being well-rounded is important. However, you do not need to be the captain of the football team, the lead in the school play, and employee of the month. Choose one or two activities that you can enjoy while also getting your school work done and having time to relax or visit with friends.

Set Realistic Goals

Set goals that you can see yourself achieving within a week, two weeks or maybe a month. Setting goals that are too high can make you feel more stressed if you cannot realistically achieve them.

Acknowledge Your Feelings

It is normal to feel overwhelmed when things get busy, assignments are due, and the coach scheduled extra practice. If you are feeling especially stressed or depressed, you may want to look at everything you are involved in and see if there are one or two things you can cut out until you feel better.

Be honest with yourself. If there’s an activity that no longer brings you joy, think about whether you really want to continue pursuing it. It’s hard to let go of something you’ve invested years in, but if it’s become a chore with little return for you, it may be time to drop it.

Take Care of Yourself

Eat a balanced and healthy diet, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep. Do not sacrifice your health because you feel you are too busy to take care of yourself. A combination of a healthy diet, regular exercise, and plenty of sleep helps relieve stress.

Schedule Time for You

Set aside a half an hour a day to do something that just makes you feel good. Read a book or a favorite magazine, take a walk, or ride your bike. This time that you take for yourself will help you focus when you sit down to finish your homework or practice lines for the school play. Try new ways to deal with stress such as Yoga, Tai Chi, and meditation.