HVS Counselor Newsletter
As adults we know stress is a part of life and that we must develop skills with which to manage it throughout our lifetime. Stress is also a natural part of every young person’s life.
Student stress is usually related to everyday experiences, worries, and challenges at school, at home, in the community, or within a peer group. For example, young people may experience stress resulting from social issues, peer relations, body image, or academic difficulties. While each student responds to stress differently, the impact of unresolved stress can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, irritability, poor concentration, aggression, physical illness, fatigue, sleep disturbance, or substance abuse.
Young people, like adults, can benefit from learning and practicing stress management techniques. Students who develop these skills are better able to cope with stress in a healthy way without resorting to self-harm or hurting others. Identifying personal stressors and acknowledging the feelings associated with them is an effective initial strategy for students. Once students can identify when and why they are experiencing stress, they can take a more proactive approach to managing it. Some of these strategies may include:
- Slow down, stay positive, and take steps to problem-solve
- Asking for support from a friend or family member
- Writing in a personal journal
- Drawing or doing something creative
- Focusing on self-care (eating well, getting enough sleep, limiting caffeine and sugar, etc.)
- Meditation or self-reflection
- Avoid overscheduling
In the Schools - What We are Doing
Students in Huron Valley benefit from having counselors who are skilled at helping students navigate life changes and develop healthy coping strategies.
Individual Support - School counselors help students manage their stressful situations on a daily basis. Sometimes teachers will notice a student feeling overwhelmed and send the student down to see his/her counselor. Sometimes the students themselves self-identify needing more help and come down to the Counseling Office on their own (hooray!!!). Most often, a few minutes talking about the situation and the stressors can lead to some positive action that the student can walk away with.
Small-Group Support - Educational support groups are run by the school counselors and social workers throughout the district. Small groups provide a setting for students to learn and grow in a safe environment with a sense of belonging and acceptance. Supportive relationships are formed while students gain information, expand self-awareness, and practice new skills that promote positive decision-making and empowerment.
One example of a small group is at Milford High School. Milford counseling offers the Mindfulness Group which helps students learn to focus attention, manage common emotions, and respond thoughtfully in stressful situations. Students also learn relaxation techniques and to have compassion for oneself.
Resources for Parents and Students
10 Stress Management Apps - Feeling stressed out? There's an app for that.
Stress Management Tips for Students - As students move on after high school and toward real world expectations, make sure they have some positive coping strategies.
Helping Kids Cope with Stress - To adults, childhood can seem like a carefree time. But kids still experience stress.