Breaking-point: Teen stress and ways to deal with it

stressedstudents1Gone are the days when teenage was considered life’s easy, breezy period before the 20s and the grind associated with it actually started. Back in the days, all you had were long periods in school and some annoying homework to take care of once back home. The occasional zit and the cute boy you crushed on showing more interest in your friend than you’d like were perhaps your big worries. College? Well, there were the biggies and then there were the locals. Only the crème de la crème got into Oxford, Kings and the like but that didn’t mean the local university was lacking.

Cut to the present times. What does a regular day in the life of a regular teen look like? Put together daily classes, extra

sessions for weaker subjects, music lessons, sports, prep for college, social networking and the result is a jam packed day with not even a sign of a breather in sight. The 16 to 19 year olds of this generation have full plates and deal with much more emotional instability than the same age group ever did in the past. This is because they are more driven to achieve than their peers from the other generations ever were. While ambition and drive have always been considered the pre requisites for success but when achieved at the cost of mental well-being, is such success still worth it?

For the teens of today, life resembles a pressure cooker which is why it is more important than ever before to have ready stress-busting strategies in hand. Though it is perceived that teenagers hate interference from their parents and find their noble intentions bothersome, parents can still play a major role in helping their children cope with stress. Everybody faces trying moments on an almost regular basis and the sooner children realise it, the better.

“I have made sure my children know life can never be a smooth ride and this has nothing to do with one’s economical standing. Life is such and there isn’t much to be done about it. Instilling this theory in their heads serves two purposes – the inevitable failures of life will not leave them embittered and it will also boost their coping skills,” says Rebecca Baker, a mother of three.

It is advisable not to do too many things at the same time. “It’s okay not to be good at some subject and it’s okay if you are not a sporting sensation. If you are good at even two things, it is more than a lot of us were when we were your age,” says Louisa Brennan, another mother.

It is indeed good advice to ask youngsters to slow down. We all have a limited reserve of energy. All of us need to give ourselves rest so that the energy can be refilled. This calls for time management and intelligent investment of the hours in a day. Remember, the ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’ philosophy still holds true. Do not wear yourself out so thin, experience life as it unfolds.

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