Teen Stressed About School

We live in a fast paced world. American teenagers feel more pressure to achieve and live up to educational standards than ever before in American history.  This pressure can cause your teen to be stressed about school.

Teachers are expected to move through a ton of curriculum by year’s end, and the kids feel the stress of moving at lightning speed through their lessons.  

Whether your teen is neurotypical or atypical, stress is a part of the American teenager’s life.  For teens with autism spectrum disorder, our fast, loud world can be a stressful place.  

Today,  Positive Synergy is sharing some fun and simple tips to try with your teen to help when feeling stressed about school. 

Every kid is different, so you may want to try a few of these ideas with your teen to see which ones feel right and to offer them some stress relief.

Watch a Nature Show

Research has shown that watching nature shows, documentaries, or videos, can create calming emotions and reduce stress, anxiety, and fear.  

Your teen may already have an aspect of nature they love.  Maybe they have a special interest in a particular animal, or the rainforest, or icebergs… whatever it is, finding documentaries on those subjects, videos from youtube, or a show that focuses on special interests in the natural world can be a fantastic tool to turn to when your teen is stressed.

Having one or more go-to nature shows to watch is a great way to help your teen calm down if they are having a hard time.  Even the idea of going to watch their favorite nature show can begin to calm them.  

You may want  to check out BBC’s Planet Earth series for some awe inspiring nature relaxation.

Into The Great Outdoors

Into The Great Outdoors

Getting outside no matter the season can instantly calm us.  For teens who’ve been in a school all day, surrounded by lots of people, heading outside for some good old fashioned fresh air can not be underestimated.  

There are endless things we can do together with our teens outside.  Even just 10-20 minutes a day can help them decompress after a long day at school.  


  • Tossing a playground ball back and forth.  You may want to ask your teen how many times they’d like to throw it back and forth and then have them count while tossing.
  • Going for a walk in nature.  It could be your neighborhood, the park, or a hiking trail.  It doesn’t have to be an epic hike—just getting out there with the trees and sunshine will help the destress.
  • Playing their favorite sport in the backyard for 15 minutes.
  • Bring what they love to do outside.  Do they love to read?  Maybe you set up a special spot they can read a book in your backyard that is their special spot to go to.  A cozy corner of the yard with their special chair and a soft outdoor pillow.  

Calming Music

If your teen loves music, coming home to the soothing sounds of calming music will help them decompress and unwind after a stressful day at school.

Classical music or even recorded nature sounds, like rain, birds singing, or waterfalls can be soothing to a busy mind.  

You can also create rhythms together that will help them focus and perhaps switch the focus from stimming behaviors.  Create a rhythm by simply slapping your hand rhythmically on your leg. 



Keeping a journal, whether it’s filled with images or words, or both, can be a time to escape into their own inner world.  

Creating a special time after school to spend with their journal can help them to get centered and feel in control.  

Offer your teen new images as a reward.  The images can be of whatever they love most in the world.  They can tape or glue images in their journal wherever they like. 

Blow Bubbles!

bubbles calming

Teenager or not, blowing bubbles is one of those things that no matter if you’re nine months old or ninety years old, it’s fun to watch beautiful bubbles float away into the blue sky.  

Blowing bubbles is a simple way to create a visual relaxation.  Watching the bubbles come to life with the iridescent colors can be like candy for your eyes.  

It inspires awe and is mesmerizing to watch them float away.  Who doesn’t love blowing bubbles?

Having your teen blow the bubbles themself if they are able.  This helps them to take deep breaths which helps create a sense of calm.  


Practicing yoga can be an awesome stress reliever for your teen.  Yoga reduces stress, builds confidence, and teaches breathing techniques that they can be used to calm down when a melt down occurs. 

Teaching your teen just a few yoga poses can have a big impact.  Start by teaching them 3-5 simple poses.  

Here are a few modified poses you may want to model for your teen to try:

  • Seated Pose with Lion’s Breath

Have your teen sit criss-cross applesauce on a mat, then  make their arms long with the backs of their hands pressed against their knees and fingers spread apart.  Finally, have them stick out their tongue and exhale while saying a loud “ha” sound.  The breath can be repeated for a few rounds.  

  • Cat-Cow Pose

Have your teen get on their hands and knees in a table position on a mat.  Next, they can round their spine towards the ceiling and take a deep exhale.  This is Cat Pose.

Next, have them take a deep breath in and lift their chest and bottom towards the sky allowing the belly to drop towards the floor.  This is Cow Pose.  

  • Mountain Pose

Have your teen stand with their feet hip width apart on their mat.  Have them gently rock on their feet to feel grounded to the mat.  Now, have them breath through the whole body while focusing on standing tall and strong. 

  • Tree Pose

Have your teen stand hip width apart on their mat.  Next, have them lift their arms out to the side like tree branches to help them feel strong and balanced.  Finally, if they’re able, they can gently lift one foot off the ground.  A small amount is the goal to start so they don’t tip over.  

Keep it simple, keep it fun.  We hope you found some ideas that work for you and your teen to unwind and de-stress after school.  Deep breaths, friends—you’re doing great!

Exercise Stability Ball

Exercise Stability Ball

Have your teen lay on an exercise stability ball  for a calming sensory experience.  Maybe they may gently roll forward and backward or simply lay over the ball.  Whatever feels right for them.

You can also try kneeling on the side of your teen and place the stability ball on their back and simply roll it up and down their body.  This gentle pressure can be stress relieving while giving them the sensory experience that will help to calm them.  

Keep it simple, keep it fun.  We hope you found some ideas that work for you and your teen to unwind and de-stress after school.  Deep breaths, friends—you’re doing great!