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  • Jennifer Smith

5 Strategies for Managing Stress

  1. Take care of your physical health:

  • this includes adequate sleep (8-10 hours per night), proper nutrition, staying hydrated, exercise (30-45 minutes 4-5 times a week) seeing the doctor for injuries and illnesses and regular check ups

  • limit screen time

  • this also includes plenty of affection and laughter!!

2. Practice Intentional scheduling/time management:

  • Be mindful of your schedule and where you are putting your energy. Walk through the steps of your day, considering details such as when you will eat, transportation, expectations, etc.

  • Schedule homework time in a quiet and comfortable area of your home.

  • Schedule downtime for yourself

  • Daily checkins and reminders on the schedule, calendar, etc. The teenage brain is still developing and not yet like an adult brain yet and teens are still developing these skills so parents be patient, reminders are often necessary. Practicing these techniques will help to reduce miscommunication which often leads to stress and conflict between teens and parents.

3. Parents: Be a good listener:

  • Our teens desire to feel heard, practice listening, acknowledging, validation of their experiences and feelings

  • Encourage your kids to be active participants in problem solving

  • Active listening reduces stress, promotes connections and empowers our kids

4. Promote Kindness

  • Kindness to others, and to ourselves, reduces stress, improves connections and self esteem, creates a sense of purpose and belonging.

5. The best way to teach your kids how to manage stress is……..

  • Manage your own stress!

Jennifer Smith, LMFT

2043 Westcliff Drive, Suite 201 Newport Beach, Ca. 92660 949-922-8661

Most common stressors for teens 14-18


  • Homework, high pressure to get good grades, tests, too busy to do homework, procrastination, not being prepared, too much to do and not enough time to do it, forgetfulness, lack of organization, not enough time to relax


  • Relationships (friends and dating), fitting it, looking “normal”, pleasing others, feeling judged, FOMO, feeling excluded, stress about upcoming events


  • Pressure to excel, time consuming, demands from coaches, comparison to peers

Social Media:

  • Comparison, pressure


  • Family conflict, pressure from parents, money


  • Not enough sleep, fear of unknown, fear of change, negative self talk, catastrophizing, making a bigger deal out of things, not being able to let go

Tips for reducing Test Anxiety

1. Be prepared and arrive early. This will increase confidence. Know your location, time to be there, what parking will be like, what you need to bring with you, etc.

2. Get a good nights sleep and fuel up before you go. Your brain will be more alert and your body will have more energy. Lack of sleep or being hungry can cause irritability, restlessness, lack of focus, decreased confidence and an increase in anxiety.

3. Have a positive mental attitude. Practice this for days before using visualization.

4. Center yourself before you begin. Do some deep breathing , say a positive affirmation or mantra, check in with all 5 senses. Then begin by reading the directions carefully and thoroughly. Don’t rush.

5. Focus on your work only, watch the clock to pace yourself and focus on calm breathing and positive thoughts all the way through.

Practice these techniques at home before the test day


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