Stress, motivation, and anxiety are three areas I frequently address in my coaching sessions with teens, college students, and young adults. Between academic pressure, personal changes, societal expectations, social media, and heartbreaking world events, teen girls and young adult women face incredibly high levels of stress and anxiety. Without proper tools for managing these heavy feelings and processing triggering experiences, stress and anxiety zap motivation, and create a vicious cycle. This week’s list offers helpful suggestions for how to reduce stress, improve motivation, and minimize anxiety. Some of these are intended to be practiced daily, while others are tools to use in the moment. I hope you’ll find them helpful.
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20 Ways to Reduce Stress, Improve Motivation & Minimize Anxiety Summer List
- Get enough sleep. The National Sleep Foundation reports that teens need 8.5 to 9.25 hours of sleep a night.
- Wait 20-minutes from when you wake up before grabbing your phone. Use this time to visualize a productive, happy day or to set an intention for your day.
- Go for a walk outside and pay attention to the colors, sounds, and smells.
- Help someone who least expects your help. Helping others promotes a sense of purpose, belonging, and joy!
- At least one day a week, reduce your screen time by half. I promise, you won’t miss a thing.
- Find an inspirational quote and post it somewhere you can see it for the next week.
- Try yoga and meditation. Both yoga and mediation are proven to reduce stress and increase productivity, focus, and calm.
- Journal. There are actually health benefits to putting pen to paper! Journaling brings clarity and increases self-awareness. It also reduces stress and improves problem-solving skills. Adding an artistic element to journaling, like drawing, painting, or collage, also supports whole-brain development.
- Make a point to share three positive comments on Social. Contributing to others’ well-being is a proven way to support your own.
- Write a gratitude note to yourself. Describe what you genuinely appreciate about who you are and what you do.
- Rethink FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). Instead, take advantage of your downtime to rest, reflect, and revive.
- Spend time outside. At least ten minutes a day will do wonders for your mood.
- Change your environment. Look for where you can make small or big changes to the furniture or color of your room. This sense of newness will spark energy and motivation.
- Don’t let heavy feelings build up. Process your experiences and emotions through movement, art, conversation, therapy, or coaching.
- Know what you need. When you’re feeling stressed or down, ask yourself what you need in order to feel peace and balance.
- Create a ZenZone. Find a corner of your room or house to create a cozy, relaxing place to retreat. Decorate it with candles and comfy cushions. Infuse it with uplifting music or inspiring images.
- Exercise. Dance, run, walk, or play a team sport, move your body every day. Just do it!
- Minimize sugar. Try to eat at least one less sugary or processed food a day. Replace it with something natural and nutritious.
- Breathe deep. Your breath can calm and reenergize your body. When stress or anxiety is high, give yourself an instant reset with five deep belly breaths. Feel your entire body expand with your inhale and relax with each exhale.
- Take your power back. Stress or anxiety can make you feel powerless but you can empower yourself when you broaden your perspective. Ask yourself, what else could be going on? What is another way I can think about this? What choices do I have? What action can I take to improve or change this situation?