Help Your Student Recharge This Summer

Help Your Student Recharge This Summer

Summer is a precious time for high school students. It’s a chance for them to pursue activities they enjoyunwind with a good book or TV series, spend time with family and friends, and recharge their batteries before the next school year begins. 

Unfortunately, however, the past few summers have been unlike any others. In addition to the general stressors high school students experience year-round (e.g., extreme competition among peers, expectations set by parents, the college admissions process), today’s kids have had another major stressor to contend with: a seemingly never-ending pandemic. 

While it’s true that we’ve come a long way from March 2020, teenagers are understandably still feeling the repercussions of pandemic living and struggling with their mental health

All this is to say—if your student’s batteries aren’t naturally recharging this summer, they aren’t alone. So, what can you do to help your teenager combat stress and recover from the burnout they may be experiencing? 

How to Help Students Manage Stress Effectively 

Here are some ways for teenagers to manage stress effectively so that they can truly recharge this summer: 

Limit activities

Students are under immense pressure to build an impressive resume for colleges, and as a result, they may wind up biting off more than they can chew. Summer activities like jobs, internships, camps, volunteering, travel, and non-traditional projects can quickly fill students’ schedules to the brim, leaving little room for anything else. 

Encourage your teen to step back and evaluate which activities are serving them—and which ones aren’t. It’s okay for them to lighten their load and take back some free time if it will help reduce their stress levels. 

Avoid the tendency to “compare and despair” 

In this hyper-connected era of social media, it’s easy for students to assume that everyone around them is living a perfect life, which can make them feel down on themselves comparatively. This phenomenon, known as “compare and despair,” feeds students’ drive for perfectionism, leading them to burnout. 

While students should always strive to do their best, they must remember that they’re on their own journey and that their definition of success might differ from someone else’s. Which leads us to the next bit of advice. . . 

Create a personal definition of success 

Being #1 and living a meaningful life are not the same thing. Start a conversation with your student to find out what matters most to them, then help them redefine success on their own terms. From there, they can create and work toward specific goals that align with where they are and where they want to be. 

Prioritize health and self-care 

When anyone is struggling, the most important thing they can do for themselves is to focus on their health and self-care. Sleep, nutrition, and exercise are just as essential as all the other activities that fill a high school student’s life. 

If your teen has difficulty fulfilling their basic needs, it may be time to step in and encourage them to slow down and take good care of themselves. 

Reach Out for Support 

If you’re worried about your teenager, we recommend having them complete a Mental Health Checklist like the one on page 9 here to determine the next steps. From PCPs to school counselors to therapists, there are plenty of resources available to support students experiencing underlying issues. 

Please know that our team at Signet is here if you need us. Our academic coaching services give students the tools and support to put their best foot forward and pursue a meaningful and fulfilling life. Contact us today to learn more. 

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