When we’re working with chaotic schedules, complicated relationships, or long school days, stress can become nearly impossible to manage. Below is a list of tips and resources that can help you and your teen alleviate some of the tension in your lives. Feel free to practice these things together or individually! We hope that this list will provide your family with helpful strategies to practice self-care.
Ways to relieve stress
- Sunset bible study. Taking time with your teen to dive into God’s Word is vital for their faith’s foundation. Reading His Word together in front of a sunset only adds to the beauty and peace that God has to offer us. Studies show that simply being in God’s good creation reduces stress and anxiety, making us aware of all the goodness and beauty surrounding us all. So, go find a beautiful spot, open up the Word, and start connecting with your teen!
- Evening/morning meditation and prayer time. We all need moments of respite. Meditation can give both the mind and body a calm, restorative feeling. Check out these great ways for your family to commune with God, either individually or together.
- Find a creative outlet. Rest your mind and get your creative juices flowing! Things like painting, coloring books, writing, and DIY projects are all great ways to relieve stress and focus on something beautiful and creative.
- Family walks. Go for a walk with your teen and take the time to debrief the day. Ask about the tough parts of their day, the good parts, and the stuff they’re really looking forward to—all while getting some well-deserved fresh air!
- Outdoor fitness classes. With school back in session, your teen is going to be sitting at a desk or a computer all the day long. Fitness classes boost mental and physical wellness by engaging the body. If you don’t have a fitness class to attend, find a fun workout on YouTube, go for a run together, try a Zumba video, or discover a totally new fitness activity to do outdoors. Go outside, enjoy a fresh environment, and get moving!
- Listen to your favorite album. Music can provide a safe space to relax and escape, allowing the mind to wander and unwind. And remember, music tastes differ greatly from person to person. Allow your teen to listen to whatever playlist or artist makes them feel peaceful. Their artist of choice may not be Christian, and that’s okay! There is so much beauty and meaning that music has to offer, Christian and non-Christian alike. We encourage you to plug into whatever works best for you and your teen to relax. If you’re having trouble finding relaxing music, check out our recommended list of Christian artists, playlists, and channels:
- Read a book. Books allow our minds to slow down and take in a whole new world. Need a place to start? Take a look at our staff-recommended book list here.
- Try something new. Switching up the normality of life can be invigorating, especially if you feel stuck in the same routine. Trying a new hobby, watching a new show, or simply going somewhere new may help your family to bond over new shared experiences! Even if it’s a huge flop, you can all be proud of stepping outside of your comfort zone.
- Take a social media hiatus. Yes, it’s important to stay informed and connected. But too much involvement on social media can be damaging. Nature, COVID-friendly clubs, friends, and family are there for both you and your teen to be present in. Even if it’s only for one hour, we encourage you to find tangible outlets outside of social media, and invite your teen to do the same!
Life is stressful, but thank goodness we have cool apps to help us manage that stress! Explore these free apps that can help you and your teen de-stress from a busy day.
- Echo Prayer. If you’re feeling scattered, the Echo Prayer app is a great way to organize and remember your prayers.
- Labyrinth Journey. Looking for a space for prayer and mindfulness? Prayer labyrinths are bordered paths, similar to a maze, that help you recenter yourself and to commune with God as you walk through them. As you and your teen travel through the path, you can talk with God, recite verses, or simply focus on His presence. If you don’t have a prayer labyrinth near you, try practicing with this app!
- The Breathing App. Feeling anxious? Take a moment to focus solely on breathing and being fully present in the moment. If this is something you feel your teen could benefit from, invite them to do some breathing exercises with you!
- Verses - Bible Memory. Nothing redirects your mind quite like focusing on God’s Word. This app is great for memorizing verses to call upon during the hard moments of your family’s day. You may even challenge one another to learn verses each week and make it a fun family competition.
- MyLife. The MyLife app makes checking in with yourself an easy task! They provide helpful articles and meditative activities to practice mental health. You can practice these activities either alone or with your children.
- What are you stressed about this week?
- What usually triggers your stress or anxiety?
- What is the best way for you to manage your stress?
- Is there any way I can help you in finding new techniques and rhythms to manage stress?
- Did you find any of these apps helpful? Why or why not?
- What is your favorite way to relax after a stressful day?
- Do you find it difficult to focus on God during stressful times? Why or why not?