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How to Navigate Stressful Situations

If you have a senior in high school, you might be experiencing some stress - don’t worry, this is normal!  There are a lot of changes that are coming up, this is the first time they get to choose what they want to do with their life and that in and of itself is stressful.  You might be wondering how you can navigate these situations with as much ease as possible.  Here are some things you can do to help your teen get through these stressful times:

  1. Say “I love you.” Even though it may not seem like it, teens love hearing this - it makes them feel like they are not alone and that you are there to support them through these ups and downs.  Make sure to say it out loud, even though you hope they know it is true without being told. 

  2. Tell our teen that you are already proud of them. Remind them that how they perform on this test, paper, project, semester, application, etc. does not change how you feel about them. Tell them you are proud of who they are and where they are going.

  3. Remember to take a deep breath. Be purposeful in your breathing, slowly breathe in and breathe out. This will help you stay grounded and reset your mind and emotions so you can fix the problem, not feed it.

  4. Remember this moment in time is not your whole story.  One thing I like to ask myself when I am facing a stressful situation is, “am I going to remember this in a year, five years, or ten years?”  If the answer is no, I work on letting it go. There is more to today and more to your future than this moment.

  5. How you feel in this moment is not how you’re going to feel forever. Remember this is not your “new normal.” You will make it out on the other side and be stronger because of it. 

  6. Remember back to some tough times you have had and remind yourself how you got through them. This isn’t the first time you have felt this way and it won’t be the last.  You have a 100% success rate of surviving things you never thought you would get through, now look at where you are at. You can get through this, too.

  7. Live in the moment. Think of the next thing you need to do, not the next ten things.  Be present in the moment and ask yourself if what you are doing now is helping you get to where you want to go.

  8. Ask your teen if there is anything you can do to help. It is important not to do the work for them but to help support them in the process. 

  9. Let your teen know you are there for them. Tell them that life is full of changes but one thing that will not change is that they can count you to support them through the ups and downs.

  10. You can’t go wrong with offering up some comfort food.  Try asking them out for pizza and/or ice cream.  

This time is not only stressful for your teen but is also stressful for you, as their parent.  If you would like any assistance navigating this time, reach out to me at or 612-735-1261.

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