Stress is normal, and affects everyone differently.
It’s helpful to know what stresses you out, and how stress affects your body, mind and mood.
There are many ways to manage stress so that you can better handle school, relationships and all the things that matter to you.
Spending time outdoors, exercising, talking to your friends/parents/caregivers/teachers, playing or listening to music, and learning mindfulness are examples of how you can keep the stress down.
Stress is Normal
It’s normal for all teens to experience stress and they can be caused by different things. After a concussion, you may feel more stressed due to missing school or having difficulty at school, hanging out less with your friends and/or not playing sports due to your concussion symptoms. Maybe you feel more irritated by your parents or siblings.
What is stress and the stress response?
Your mind and body are connected. When you feel stressed, your brain sends signals to different parts of your body which sets off the ‘fight, flight, freeze’ response. Your body is ready to fight back (fight), run away quickly (flight) or hide (freeze). This can feel very uncomfortable.
How does stress affect you?
Check out this diagram that shows how stress affects your body, emotions, thinking skills and actions.
Maybe you noticed that some of the symptoms of stress are the same as your concussion symptoms. Learning to recognize signs of stress in your body can reduce them before they become bigger and make you feel worse.
Stress and Concussion Symptoms
Stress can make concussion symptoms worse, and it can be hard to avoid stress. We recommend learning how to deal with stress, which can prevent concussion symptoms from getting worse.
When you are stressed, headaches may worsen, and you might feel more sensitive to loud noise or bright lights, but this does not mean you are damaging your brain.
It can be your body telling you that you are starting to get overwhelmed by stress.
Ways to Bounce Back from Stress and Become More Resilient
You probably already had ways to manage your stress from school, home and family, friendships, and relationships.
Add to My Recovery Plan 📒
Here are some common strategies that many teenagers find helpful. You can chose the one that you would like to add to your personalized Recovery Plan.
Learning Other Stress Management Strategies
Some strategies require learning from someone with experience such as a teacher, counsellor, therapist or psychologist:
Mindfulness is about being in the present moment, with curiosity, kindness and without judgement. When you are mindful you are not thinking about the past or worrying about the future. Check out Dr. Dzung Vo’s website [link].
Talking about your worries and what is stressful with a trusted adult may help put things in perspective and find solutions.
Check out this site for a list [Image] of tips for managing stress.