Saturday, 1 June 2013

Popping the stress bubble

Stress is a part of life. At times, it seems to be more manageable than others. But when you are faced with too many activities and responsibilities and not enough time, everything can become overwhelming. When we were gathering research for our book, we found out from Expat Teens, worldwide, that their top stressors (in descending order) were as follows:

  • Grades
  • School
  • Body Changes/Image
  • Peer Pressure
  • Boy/Girl relationships
  • Sports
So, what do you do about stress? There are natural stressors that come with moving from country to country, school to school, culture to culture, and you may feel like you can manage those. But what if you get to the point where it feels like it's one country/school/culture too many? Or what if the stress associated with those moves is higher because you are older, more advanced in school, and/or feel like you have fewer resources? Here are some tips to help you make that stress more manageable:
  • Identify what, exactly, is stressing you out - Is it the quantity of responsibilities? Is it the amount of time it will take? Are you worried that you don't have the resources that you need? Are you worried that you won't be able to get everything completed?
  • Take each of those concerns and identify a potential plan of action for each one. For example, if you feel like you have too much to do, prioritize the tasks and address them one at a time so that you can feel like you are making progress. Writing all of this down can make the tasks more manageable, and can be a visual way of tracking your progress.
  • Delegate or Ask for help - if someone else is able to do one or more of the tasks on your list, then ask them if they would mind doing it for you. Similarly, if you need assistance with any of the tasks, don't be afraid to reach out to a friend, parent, teacher, or sibling to ask for help.
  • Reward yourself - consider setting a deadline for task completion, and then identify something that you can reward yourself with (e.g., going out for ice cream; downloading a song from I-Tunes; reading a book that you've never been able to find the time to read). This will not only give you something to look forward to, but it may also provide just the motivation that you need to get started or to finish what you've already started.
We hope that you can use these suggestions to help pop that stress bubble and be able to manage all of your responsibilities more efficiently. For more information about this and other topics geared towards Expat Teenagers/Third Culture Kids, we invite you to check out our book, Expat Teens Talk, available on Amazon and at

No comments:

Post a Comment