You submitted your college applications, scores, essays and all. What a relief—for a few days, then you realize you are just hanging in limbo as you settle in to wait. Now, for the three or four months you’ve been waiting to hear from colleges and scholarships your anxiety builds as each day ends without an email reply. What can you do to ease the stress? And as parents, we know that extreme pressure has not let up.
Youth and adults alike pack a lot into their schedules. But teens today have to not only study and excel in school, but also play a sport, or an instrument; volunteer; get a job; figure out how and where to apply for college--and do it all at the same time! Now it’s clutch time. So how do we help them cope and keep their sanity as they wait? Here are 5 quick ways to help them take a breath.
They may have an exam tomorrow, but they still need to get a good night's rest. Sleep helps you avoid illness, relax and clear your mind. They will thank you (well, maybe not!) for easing that brain fog in the morning. And honestly, it is second semester senior year. A B won’t kill them.
This can be outside, running around type of play. Getting outside in the fresh air can improve your mood no matter what your age. Or it can be time with friends, just hanging out. It can be down time like reading a book or seeing a movie. Or it can be cuddling a puppy—suggest your teen connect with something or someone. Something to get some endorphins running through their body. Honestly, anything to keep them from becoming an application–status stalker!
It may feel like life right now is too serious to joke around; but that’s when they need it the most. Distract them from their endless email waiting and find something else to talk about than college. Find your sense of humor even if it's sarcasm or a dark humor. Laughter releases those awesome endorphins and helps your body relax. Go watch the Simpsons or whatever you find hilarious. Laugh it out.
It may feel like one more pressure added on, but it works. It really, really works. Move your body. Exercise pumps up your endorphins, improves your mood, improves your sleep and is basically mindfulness in motion. Run, hike or swim your stress away. Or try kickboxing!
t all starts and ends with the breath. Deep, slow, fill-your-lungs breaths calm you down. In the time it takes for 3 big breaths, your stress and cortisol levels plunge, physically causing a calmness and settling in your body. When all else fails, just Breathe.
You are going to find your spot.
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