For Stress Awareness Month this April, we hear from National Anti-Bullying Youth Board member, Paige, who shares some top tips for dealing with stress and maintaining a positive mindset.
My name is Paige, I’m 15 years old and a proud member of the Diana Award, National Youth Board. This month is Stress Awareness Month, so I think that it is vital to take some time to relax and really think about what our bodies and minds need.
We all face stress for a variety of different reasons; it could be homework, school, home life and even friends. So, I have put together my top tips to combat these stresses and ultimately improve your mindset.
Listen carefully to what your body is telling you
Your body will always tell you what it needs and when it needs it. For example, if you begin to feel overwhelmed, that’s your cue to take a break, refresh your mind and come back even stronger.
Imagine that you are holding a glass of water. If you hold it for a couple of minutes, its fine. If you hold it for an hour, your arm will begin to ache. Hold it for a day and you will feel flustered. The weight of the glass never changed but the longer you held it, the heavier it felt. Stress and general worries are like a glass of water- if you think about them for a little while, nothing happens. Think about them for slightly longer and they begin to hurt. Be gentle with yourself and you will flourish.
Take some time for yourself
Sometimes in life we are so concerned about helping other people than we forget to help ourselves. This can have detrimental effects and stress can soon begin to build. Do something you enjoy such as going for a walk or even baking a cake to treat yourself with. The love and attention you think you need from someone else is the love and attention that you need to give yourself first.
Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’
It is so easy to give in and say ‘yes’ to someone, but the consequences of that aren’t beneficial to your mental wellbeing. Before you agree to something, stop and consider what it would mean for you. “How will I feel afterwards?”. “Is this something that would make me happy?”. If your answer to either of those questions is negative, say ‘no’.
Reach out for help
Asking for support when it comes to stress is not a weakness. It’s brave. It’s courageous. It’s okay to let yourself feel. It’s okay to let yourself hurt. But what matters the most is that you never give up on yourself. Whatever you are going through right now, the feeling is temporary, and you will get through it! You’re capable of much more than you believe.
If you feel overcome by stress, I urge you to reach out to someone you love and trust.
Alternatively, the Diana Award Crisis Messenger is always available. This service provides free, 24/7 crisis support across the UK. If you are a young person going through a difficult time, you can text DA to 85258. Trained volunteers will listen to how you’re feeling and help you think about the next step towards feeling better.
1_Promote the Crisis Messenger in your school. You can print copies of The Diana Award Crisis Messenger poster and put them up in your school to ensure everyone knows how to get support: www.antibullyingpro.com/resources/diana-award-crisis-messenger-poster
2_Check out our resources on mental health and digital wellbeing. Stress Awareness Month is a great time to run some activities that help students and staff in your school to look after their wellbeing: www.antibullyingpro.com/resources
3_Spread awareness of the causes and impact of stress and use assemblies or your school’s online platforms to share tips for managing stress.