Chill-Time: Ways to Stress Less

Just relax! Easier said than done? Being a teen today you know there is plenty to worry and stress out about. Even so, you can fit some chill-time into your day. Use these tools when you’re stressed out AND BEFORE you get overwhelmed. These tips can help prevent the stress from building up.

1. Seek out heat. Warmth tends to relax our muscles and relaxed muscles are a cue for our mind to chill as well. So whether it’s hot tea, a heating pad, the sunshine or using a beach guided imagery on the link below, heat may do the trick!

2. Download some free guided relaxation MP3s off of the web. Hearing some soothing instruction from someone else can be the right amount of help we need in the moment to get our mind off our worries and onto relaxation. The following links include some MP3s that I recorded with a friend for the University of California-Davis Counseling Center:

(Note: to download the files, right-click and choose “Save as” or “Download linked file as”. Please also note that The Institute for Girls’ Development acknowledges that these downloads are a self-help tool. The self-help resources on this site are not intended to be a substitute for therapy. Some people do not find these strategies relaxing or helpful and we encourage you to honor your own reactions. These types of relaxation exercises may be contraindicated for people addressing trauma.)

3. How about a change of scenery? Walking away from a stressful situation or taking a break from the room we are in at that moment can work wonders. If you want to take it a step further, take a few moments in a brand new environment, such as a coffee shop or a park you’ve never visited. This change of scenery can help distract us and soothe us. It can also spark our imagination, which aids in problem solving and figuring out a possible solution to a stressor.

These are a few strategies to get you started. The key is to experiment with new ways of relaxing. As teens, your demands and responsibilities continue to grow and so should your chill-time techniques!