Recognise stress

If you feel overwhelmed and are struggling to keep up, chances are you're stressed. Common signs of stress are:

  • feeling nervous, anxious or grumpy
  • being very critical of yourself and your work
  • trouble focussing, concentrating and sleeping
  • headaches, crying and tense muscles.

Getting organised can help you feel more on top of things, but once you're stressed, you need to give yourself time to work things out:

  • if you can change something to make the stress stop, do it – if not, focus on parts of the situation you can change
  • do something physical, like walking or riding your bike – exercise helps clear your head
  • talk to someone about how you're feeling
  • go somewhere you feel calm, and breathe deeply.

Asking for help

It's easy to feel like no one understands how you're feeling, and that no one can help. That's rarely true.

Friends, family, teachers and school counsellors can support you and give you advice about coping with stress. If you don't feel comfortable talking to people you know, there are websites like Headspace, which offer information and support for young people.

If you'd rather talk to someone in person, there are telephone help lines like:

Just talking about feeling stressed can help you feel better. Remember, there's always someone out there who can help.