How should kids manage stress

India is expected to have 34.33% share of youth in total population by 2020. India is home to an estimated 57 million people (18 percent of the global estimate) who are affected by depression as per World Health Organization. The ratio of youth suffering from mental health is increasing year on year. Several Studies and research have shown a steady rise in mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety disorders and substance abuse disorders among the youngsters. The younger generation faces a unique dilemma today. They face isolation despite many social media friends. The stress of performance in education, work, is taking a toll on the mental health of youth.
Dr. Ekta Soni, Senior Consultant, Psychology from Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals shares some quick stress management tips:

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1) Indulge in regular physical activity: Physical activity is the best way to let go of stress. Any form of physical activity be it brisk walking, running, high intensity workouts, Power yoga, Aerobics, Cardio.

2) Get enough shuteye: Between homework, activities and hanging with friends, it can be hard to get enough sleep, especially during the school week. Ideally, adolescents should get nine hours a night. Most teens, though, are getting less. To maximize your chance of sleeping soundly, cut back on watching TV or engaging in a lot of screen time in the late evening hours. Don’t drink caffeine late in the day and try not to do stimulating activities too close to bedtime.

3) Strike a balance: Its crucial to maintain a fine balance between work, home and social life.

4) Follow Progressive Muscle Relaxation: Another great stress reliever that can be used during tests as well as before bed (to prepare for sleep), or at other times when stress has you physically ‘wound up’, is something called Progressive Muscle Relaxation, or PMR. This technique involves tensing and relaxing all muscles until the body is completely relaxed. With practice, you can learn to release stress from your body in seconds. Learn more about PMR. This can be particularly helpful for students because it can be adapted to help relaxation efforts before sleep for deeper sleep–something students can always use–or even to relax and reverse test-induced panic before or during a test.

5) Eat Healthy: One may not realize it, but your diet can either boost your brain power or sap you of mental energy! A healthy diet isn’t generally thought of as a stress management technique but it can actually function as both. Improving the diet can keep you from experiencing diet-related mood swings, light-headedness and more.

6) Connect with Family & Friends: The most active role played in stress management is played by Family and friends. It’s important that we speak and share with family on a day to day basis. Exchange of ideas and thoughts and always leads to solutions and progressive solutions, thus leaving zero space for stress.

7) Take medical Help: If symptoms of stress like Insomnia, lack of interest in everyday thing, poor attention, lack of concentration, low mood, preoccupation of thought, withdrawal persists for more than two weeks and is affecting your daily life then don’t shy away from talking to a counsellor or psychologist.

Stress is our body’s way of telling us that we’re struggling to cope with all of our demands or that we have to deal with a problem. It can cause physical problems like headaches and sleep problems. It affects the way our bodies fight infections like a cold, so we’re more likely to get sick when we’re stressed. Too much stress is also bad for our mental health. It can leave us feeling tired, irritable, or depressed. It affects our ability to think, concentrate and react. Too much stress may even be a factor in our risk of developing a mental illness or having a relapse.

-By Dr. Ekta Soni, Senior Consultant, Psychology from Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals
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