Stress, Peer Pressure and Staying Healthy

You are faced with many decisions throughout your teenage years. From dealing with stress to avoiding peer pressure, it can often be difficult to make healthy decisions. Below are some tips for making the healthiest choices possible!

 Stress is a normal part of life for adults and teenagers.

Stress is a normal part of life for adults and teenagers.

 Develop the confidence to make decisions for yourself.

Develop the confidence to make decisions for yourself.

 Participate in healthy activities; have friends who do the same.

Participate in healthy activities; have friends who do the same.

  • Stress is a normal part of life.
  • Stress refers to the experiences people have when they face challenging events, or when circumstances exceed their ability to cope.
  • The body responds to stress to protect itself from emotional or physical distress or, in extreme situations, from danger.
  • Good stress occurs when a person meets and overcomes a challenging situation, which leads to growth and learning that promote’s a person’s ability to cope with hardship in the future.
  • Bad stress occurs when a person is faced with repeated or ongoing stressors (or hardship) in the everyday aspects of life, over which he or she has limited control.

Challenging events or circumstances that strain a person’s ability to cope causes stress. Stress could come in dramatic short-term threats or challenges, or in the form of ongoing challenges.  Stressors differ for each of us. What is stressful for one person may or may not be stressful for another, and each of us responds to stress in different ways. How a person copes with stress also plays an important role in the impact that stress will have on our bodies. Examples of stressors include:

  • Dealing with changes of being a teenager (physical, emotional, and mental)
  • Pressure in school
  • Relationships and conflicts (including romantic, friendship, and family)
  • After-school or summer jobs
  • Pressure to wear certain clothes or have a certain hairstyle
  • Pressure to have a certain body shape or size
  • Pressure to experiment with alcohol, drugs, or sex
  • Experiencing harassment (such as bullying or sexual harassment)
  • Exposure to violence in the home or community
  • Overburdened schedules (for example, juggling school, sports, after-school activities, social life, and family)
  • Talk to someone about the problems you are facing (such as a friend, parent, grandparent, teacher, coach, or trusted adult)
  • Take time to engage in activities you enjoy (such as physical activity, sports, or hobbies)
  • Break big tasks down into smaller, achievable goals, and schedule breaks
  • Be physically active
  • Eat regular, healthy meals (including lots of fruits and vegetables)
  • Get enough sleep
  • Identify your personal strengths and build on them

Many young people face peer pressure to do or try different things during adolescence. While this is a normal part of growing up, it is challenging because people want to be accepted and liked by people their own age. While many people view peer pressure as only something young people face, in reality adults face peer pressure as well (from friends, acquaintances, and co-workers).  It is important to recognize peer pressure and develop the confidence to make decisions for yourself.

Peer pressure is the sense that someone your own age is pushing you toward making a certain choice, a choice that you may or may not agree with.

Tips for resisting peer pressure:

  • Say no and mean it. Remember anyone trying to turn your no into a yes probably doesn’t have your best interest in mind.
  • Stand up straight
  • Make eye contact
  • Say how you feel
  • Don’t make excuses
  • Stick up for yourself and what you believe in
  • Visit http://abovetheinfluence.com
  • Visit http://www.theothersidepledge.com and watch The Other Side video.
  • Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs
  • Exercise your mind: Talk, read, learn a new hobby, and take classes that are challenging but not overwhelming
  • Exercise your body: Go for a walk or a hike, or try a new outdoor activity or sport.
  • Exercise is good for the body and the brain and can protect against stress and depression.
  • Protect your head: Always use a seatbelt and wear helmets for sports
  • Ensure good nutrition: Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, drink enough water (6-8 glasses per day)
  • Get plenty of sleep: Fewer than 6 hours can cause problems with coordination, thinking, and mood. Most people need 7-9 hours of sleep, and adolescents may need more

There are many activities to be involved with in San Clemente! Listed below are various opportunities to participate in leisure activities, to explore current interests or discover new interests, and to develop skills, get work experience, and prepare for life after high school.

  • After school activities
  • Clubs (try the SOS Club at SCHS. sosschs.com for more information)
  • Sports
  • Get active by trying new outdoor activities
  • Community service/volunteering
  • Part-time jobs/internships