As summer approaches and testing at the end of the school year begins, students’ stress levels can increase. April is National Stress Awareness Month and it is a perfect time to talk to your kids about the stress they may be experiencing and healthy ways to cope with it.
Junior Scholastic, the current events magazine by Scholastic for students in grades 6–8, compiled a list of ways the body responds to stress and healthy ways to cope. A few helpful tips for responding to stress are included below:
- Get moving: Regular aerobic exercise activates the body’s response to “good stress” that helps you deal with psychological stress.
- Meditate: Designating time to rest the mind and utilize deep breathing exercises can decrease your blood pressure and improve any symptoms of anxiety.
- Eliminate distractions: Stepping away from technology that can be distracting such as texting and social media can help you clear your mind and allow you more time to relax.
- Focus on one thing at a time: Multitasking can be overwhelming, so try taking on only one task at a time.
- Seek support: If you feel stressed or overwhelmed, talk to your family, friends, or a professional such as a doctor or a school counselor who can help you.
For more insights about the body’s response to stress and healthy ways to cope, read the full-length article online.
Reading with your children is also a great way to help both kids and their parents relax. The Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report™: 6th Edition revealed that “reading together is/was a relaxing bedtime routine” and is one of the top reasons parents (57%) and children ages 6–11 (46%) say they like reading aloud together.
Reading about characters in books can also be a great resource for kids to learn about others who have had to overcome challenges or fears. The report indicated that “while a good story remains the most important aspect of a book, characters who can be role models or who face challenges and overcome them are looked for by many parents and kids. 35% of kids ages 6–17 and 41% parents with kids ages 6–17 say that they look for “smart, brave or strong characters and characters who “face a challenge and overcome it” (30% of kids, 41% of parents).