The schedules of high school students can be very demanding. The combination of class requirements, rigorous workloads, extracurriculars, and leisure activities can easily become overwhelming.
Findings from ‘Stress in America™: Are Teens Adopting Adults’ Stress Habits?’ an online survey conducted in August 2013 by Harris Interactive Inc on behalf of the American Psychological Association (APA) suggests unhealthy habits linked to stress begin early in life. Moreover, results show “similar patterns of unhealthy behavior in teens and adults, especially during school year.”
Data (based on a on a 10-point scale) shows that 5.8 teenagers verses 3.9 adults feel their stress exceeds what they believe to be healthy, and 5.8 teenagers reported stress topping the 5.1 adults that reported stress.
Additionally, 31% of teenagers report feeling overwhelmed, 30% report feeling depressed, 36% report feeling fatigue, and 33% skipping a meal due to feelings of stress.
Despite these reports of unfavorable consequences of stress, teens are more likely to report their physical health (54% or teens verses 39% of adults) and mental health (52% of teens verses 43% of adults) are narrowly impacted or not impacted at all by stress.
However, there is a relationship between stress and poor health habits. The same survey also displays those living with high stress tend to be less likely to get adequate sleep, exercise, or eat well.
In order to combat feelings of stress it is imperative to schedule time to unwind and maintain healthful practices; strive to get between seven and eight hours of sleep, exercise for 30 minutes per day, and stay hydrated and nourished.
By implementing these simple lifestyle changes, teens will be able to reduce instances of stress and overall improve their well-beings.