The end of the school year can be an incredibly stressful time. If you're feeling it, know that you're not alone. In August we did a survey and found that 55% of young people in New Zealand aged 15-24 thought that stress was one of the biggest issues facing them, and the biggest thing stressing people out was school/university/exams/study/homework.
The feeling of overwhelm and the pressure to be successful is a lot. We've pulled together some useful resources to help you understand where stress comes from and some tricks and tools for managing it.
1. Identifying Stress
In small doses, stress can help you get things done, like pass a test or achieve a goal. But if you’re stressed all the time, you end up draining your body of the energy it needs to function normally. Learn how to identify signs of stress in yourself so you can take steps to improve your mood. Learn the signs.
2. How Stress Works
Back in the caveman days, our brain developed in a way that helped us to keep safe from danger. So if we started getting chased by a bear, our brain would release chemicals that would help us to fight the bear off, run away from the bear or freeze so the bear wouldn’t see us. This was known as the “Fight, Flight, Freeze” response. Today, our brains still respond to stressful events in the same way and this can get in the way of living our lives unless we help release those FFF chemicals. Learn how stress works.
3. Relieving Stress
This is the big one! And there are a lot of different tools and techniques - different strokes, for different folks.
Here are some of our favourite ideas:
Creative ideas for stress relief
Exercising for stress relief
Decluttering your mind
Talk it out - with a friend, family member or with us. Calling or texting Youthline is free, anonymous and confidential.
4. Supporting Others
If your friend is really stressed out, being there to listen can be a huge help. Please make sure that you're also getting supported as the support person. We are also really happy to help you come up with a plan to support a friend.
If you are a parent or teacher worried about your kids or students, please feel free to reach out. We offer exam stress seminars in schools around this time of year, please get in touch to find out more.