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How Teenagers Actually Care for Themselves in Times of Stress

Background on Stress

Stress is a feeling of physical or emotional tension. It can come from any thought or event that makes you feel angry, frustrated or nervous. Stress is your body reacting to a challenge or demand. Short bursts of stress can be considered positive, but not always. And when the stress extends for a long period of time it may harm your health. 

Anna Schultz-Girl On Computer Stress
Anna Schultz / Her Campus

Physical Symptoms 

  • headaches or dizziness

  • muscle tension or pain

  • stomach problems

  • chest pain or a faster heartbeat

  • sexual problems


Mental Symptoms

  • difficulty concentrating

  • struggling to make decisions

  • feeling overwhelmed

  • constantly worrying

  • being forgetful


Changes in Behavior

  • being irritable and snappy

  • sleeping too much or too little

  • eating too much or too little

  • avoiding certain places or people

  • drinking or smoking more


Notice: If you are not sure how you feel try this mood self-assessment.

Important: You may have some of these symptoms and not be stressed. 


Analysis of a Survey 

I created a Google form for teenagers to fill out to see how they actually care for themselves in times of stress. I got 40 responses and the data was interesting. Respondent’s ages ranged from 15-22, but the overall age was 18 years old. 90.5% of the respondents were all stressed or get stressed. 

I then asked them what causes them to get stressed. School, your thoughts or feelings and family were the three leading causes for this group of teens. School is the leading cause of stress and 65% of the students are stressed all the time because of it. 

In the next few questions, I asked them how they relieve stress and what activities they perform? Their main goal was to just distract themselves from whatever was stressing them out. 90.5% of teens picked, listening to music, it was a very popular activity. 71.4% of teens picked, watching TV, Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, etc. And taking a nap or resting also came in at 71.4%. Some other activities that were commonly liked were exercising, taking a shower or bath, being creative or talking to a friend. 

indoor yoga
Zen Bear Yoga via splash

I also asked how effective those methods are? Most of them said their particular method was very effective. But some said it depended on how stressed they were, and that it might only help for a short time period. 

Another question asked was, are there any self-care activities that do not work well for you? Writing in a journal, drinking tea or coffee and talking to someone were the most popular answers. For instance, drinking coffee can wake you up more, and then you’ll realize how much you have to do. Writing in a journal can be difficult for people, or it may just seem like a waste of time. And talking to someone can cause you to overthink the situation even more. 


After conducting my research it seems like most teenagers have a good understanding of how to care for themselves in times of stressful situations. Everyone works through it differently, but no one is ever alone. Do not be afraid to ask for help because taking care of yourself is the most important thing. For more information go to stress management and teens or help guide

Suicide Prevention Week
Photo by Dan Meyers from Unsplash

My name is Maddie. I am a freshman majoring in Fashion Design. This is my first year with Her Campus and I am so excited to be apart of it. I have decided to complete my fall semester at home. So I work at Gloria Horns Sewing Studio on the weekends. I am a very artistic person. I love to sew, paint, scrapbook, and anything that is creative. Let the next 4 years of my life begin!