April is Stress Awareness Month. Check out these 10 tips for stress reduction and these great books all about stress management. 

  • Balance work and play. Make time to work on your tasks and goals (like schoolwork, chores, or practice). But be sure to make time for things you enjoy, too (like playing music, working out, playing with a pet, or spending time with friends). Even if it’s only a few minutes, daily time to relax and recharge lowers your stress.

  • Plan your day. Use a calendar or planning app to keep track of your daily schedule. Fill in your class times, tests, and when assignments are due. Add your activities. Block in time to study for tests and work on assignments. Block in time to do things you enjoy. Having a plan and a daily routine lowers stress.

  • Stick to your plan. Of course, planning is no good if you don’t do what you plan. Make it a routine to look at your planner every day. Check off what you’ve done. Get ready for what’s coming up. Make a routine time to study. Keep on top of assignments. This lowers daily schoolwork stress.

  • Ask for help when you need it. Schoolwork, grades, and tests are a big source of stress for many people. Keeping on top of it all isn’t always easy. If you need help preparing for tests, planning projects, or getting things done, ask a teacher, parent, tutor, or mentor to coach you. If you tend to procrastinate, pair up with a classmate to study or do homework at a set time.

  • Use the positive energy of stress. Don’t put things off until the last minute. That’s too stressful. And it’s hard to do your best if you’re in a rush. Instead, let stress motivate you to get moving on a task. If you have a deadline, give yourself a positive mental push. Think, “OK, I’ve got this — I’m on it.” Then go ahead and get started.

  • Deal with problems as they come up. Don’t ignore everyday problems — but don’t stress out about them either. Instead, figure out how to handle them. If you’re not sure what to do, ask for help and advice from others.

  • Eat good food. What you eat affects your mood, energy, and stress level. Choose foods that are good for you. You don’t have to avoid all treats. But if sweets are your main source of fuel, you’re likely to crash or feel cranky — and stressed!

  • Get enough sleep. After a long day of school and activities, you might feel like staying up late. Maybe you’ve still got homework to finish. Or you want time to talk to friends or binge-watch shows you like. But going to bed late doesn’t leave enough time for sleep when you need to get up early for school. Without enough sleep, you’re more likely to feel stressed over the day’s ups and downs.

    To avoid a stressful morning rush, stick to a set bedtime and wake time. Turn off screens well before bedtime. Wind down with quiet activities.

  • Exercise every day. Stress melts away when you’re working out, playing a sport, or dancing to your favorite music. Exercise does more than keep you fit. It’s a way to manage stress, lower anxiety and depression, and make your mood more positive.

  • Breathe deeply. When you feel stressed or overwhelmed, take some deep, slow belly breaths. Belly breathing is a quick and sure way to turn off your body’s fight-or-flight (stress) response. Practice belly breathing or mindful breathing every day to help you lower everyday stress.

Transforming Stress for Teens: The Heartmath Solution for Staying Cool Under Pressure by Rollin McCraty 

This unique and interactive guide offers practical skills to help you beat stress by helping you get a handle on your emotions. With simple exercises such as the Heart-Focused Breathing Technique–you’ll feel calmer, be more confident, think more clearly, bounce back faster from challenging situations, and enjoy life with a new understanding of what’s really important to you.

Mindfulness and Meditation: Handling Life with a Calm and Focused Mind by Whitney Stewart

From hormones to homework, parents to peers, health issues to bad habits, life can be a pressure cooker leading to anxiety and even thoughts of suicide. Author Whitney Stewart introduces readers to the practice of mindfulness.

The Stress Survival Guide for Teens: CBT Skills to Worry Less, Develop Grit, & Live Your Best Life by Jeffrey Bernstein

Provides strategies and activities for teenagers to manage their stress, describing such tasks as identifying stressor events, concentrating on the present, letting go of negative self-judgements, self-care, and focusing on the positive.

Be Mindful and Stress Less: 50 Ways to Deal with Your (Crazy) Life by Gina M. Biegel

This accessible, user-friendly toolbox for teens introduces them to mindfulness practice and shows them how it can ease their fears and anxieties, reduce their impulsivity, help them develop a more measured response to the stressors around them, and build strong relationships

Pressure: True Stories by Teens About Stress by Al Desetta

Teens share stories of feeling pressure at school, at home, and in relationships, as well as their stress-relief techniques, including exercise, music, writing, and more.

Mindfulness Workbook for Teens: Exercises and Tools to Handle Stress, Find Focus, and Thrive by Linette Bixby 

The Mindfulness Workbook for Teens is full of exercises, strategies, and meditations to help you practice mindfulness so you can cultivate peace and achieve balance in your life no matter what’s going on. Learn practical methods for mindful test-taking, moving through strong emotions, navigating relationships with parents and peers, and much more.

Mindfulness for Teen Worry: Quick and Easy Strategies to Let Go of Anxiety, Worry, and Stress by Jeffrey Bernstein

Is your worrying keeping you from reaching your goals? In Mindfulness for Teen Worry, a clinical psychologist offers quick, easy-to-learn mindfulness skills teens can use anytime, anywhere to stop worries from growing and taking over.

Dealing with Stress: Insights and Tips for Teenagers by Christie Cognevich

Teens today are dealing with stress at an unprecedented level, but they are not alone. This valuable resource offers practical coping strategies, useful resources, and insight from fellow teenagers to help young adults recognize and manage stress factors in their lives

Chill: Stress-Reducing Techniques for a More Balanced, Peaceful You by Deborah Reber 

Gives teens the insight and tools they need to manage the pressures of everyday life by offering expert advice and practical stress-reducing techniques.

This Moment is Your Life (and So is This One): A Fun and Easy Guide to Mindfulness, Meditation, and Yoga by Mariam Gates

This lively, hands-on guide to meditation, mindfulness, and yoga is a perfect introduction for tweens and teens. Don’t just do something, be here.The key to happiness is being able to find comfort in this moment, here and now.

The Resilient Teen: 10 Key Skills to Bounce Back from Setbacks & Turn Stress into Success by Sheela Raja

More than ever, teens need tools to manage stress and increase resilience. Based on the latest research in psychology and neuroscience, The Resilient Teen offers ten key skills to help readers bounce back from difficult situations, deal with difficult emotions, and cultivate a sense of joy, even in the face of modern-day stressors.

Mindfulness for Student Athletes: A Workbook to Help Teens Reduce Stress & Enhance Performance by Gina M. Biegel

Mindfulness allows you to stay present, focus, and be calm with your thoughts and emotions, no matter how stressful life gets. In Mindfulness for Student Athletes, you’ll find practical and tactical ways to cope with stress and anxiety in the moment, prevent stress in the future, and experience more satisfaction and enjoyment while playing sports. You’ll also find proven-effective tools to naturally enhance your performance.

A Year of Positive Thinking for Teens: Daily Motivation to Beat Stress, Inspire Happiness, and Achieve Your Goals by Katie Hurley

Being a teen can be an emotional roller coaster. When you’re overwhelmed by unrealistic expectations from your friends, family, social media feed, teachers, and even yourself, it’s normal to have thoughts and feelings like This is too hard or I’ll never measure up. With A Year of Positive Thinking for Teens, you’ll discover how to overcome these anxious thought patterns, and build a happier, more positive mindset to achieve your goals. Let go of stress with relatable prompts and reflections–all grounded in positive thinking and positive psychology strategies.

Anxiety Relief for Teens: Essential CBT Skills and Mindfulness Practices to Overcome Anxiety and Stress by Regine Galanti

With proven CBT-based skills and mindfulness techniques, this book can be your guide out of the spiraling stress of anxiety and get you back on track to living a happy and healthy life. Getting good grades, keeping up with social media, maintaining friendships… you have a lot on your plate and it’s more difficult when you add anxiety to the mix. You may even be avoiding situations, events, or people that could trigger your anxiety. So, how do you stop yourself from missing out on life’ With Anxiety Relief for Teens, Dr. Regine Galanti teaches you how CBT-based skills and mindfulness techniques can help you manage your anxiety and reverse negative patterns. Through simple and effective exercises that help you change your thoughts, behaviors, and physical reactions, this helpful guide gives you the tools you need to navigate all of life’s challenges. Anxiety Relief for Teens features: Quizzes and self-assessments to better understand your anxiety and emotions and discover their respective triggers. 30+ CBT-based tools to manage your anxiety along with practical strategies for dealing with challenging emotions such as anger and sadness. 30+ mindfulness practices to cope with your anxiety in the present moment through visualizations, breathing, meditation, and other exercises.