April is National Stress Awareness Month and we thought it was an appropriate time to discuss stress and how it might affect students.
It's easy to forget that students of all ages, at every school, experience stress and they experience it for different reasons and in different ways. Regardless, stress takes a toll on a child's health and, in turn, impacts their ability to get the most out of their education.
According to a survey from Michigan State University, stress and anxious feelings are more prevalent in today’s students and are starting at younger ages than ever before. They report that 58% of students are concerned about their mental health. With drastic changes to their educational, social and home lives, children are struggling with stressors they’ve never faced before, impacting their mental health.
Further, stress is subjective and you cannot always tell when a child is expressing it. Students feel — and also cope with — stress in different ways. At the same time, what is stressful for one student may not be stressful for another. So this month, we ask you to take a moment to speak with the students in your life about stress and to think about simple ways to teach coping skills. A sampling of these include:
- Teach mindfulness
- Practice deep breathing
- Get plenty of sleep
- Use caution with social media
- Encourage conversation
- Teach visualization
If you would like more information about any of these coping methods, we encourage you to talk with school counselors or personnel or use educational resources such as the toolkit available at the Ohio Department of Education.