8 Tools Kids Need to Manage Stress

The key to teaching kids how to manage stress is to give them tools to problem solve and navigate through life more effectively.

boy sitting at desk looking at homework with hands on his head looking stressed and overwhelmed

Stress is a part of life. Good stress can add to our lives by keeping us on our toes and warning us when we encounter potential danger. Bad stress, on the other hand, can seem overwhelming. Managing stress effectively is an art form. Like adults, kids often feel stressed out. Life gets too busy, conflicts with family or friends arise, homework obligations increase, etc. The key to teaching kids how to manage stress is to give them tools to problem solve and navigate through life more effectively. Here are a few tips that might help:

  1. Take Time to Belly Breathe

Mindful deep breathing helps your body relax. It also helps to increase blood flow to the brain, making your thoughts clearer and more defined.

  1. Make Sleep a Priority

Getting adequate amounts of sleep can drastically reduce feelings of irritability, anxiety, and depression.

  1. Say No to Things You Cannot Fit In

Overscheduling can create one of the biggest stressors for kids as they are expected to pay attention in school for six hours, then excel in extracurricular activities, and complete homework. Modeling “saying no” to things you cannot fit in is a great way of teaching your child to do the same.

  1. Schedule Some “Me Time” Every Day

Even if it’s only 10-15 minutes, take time to “unplug” from everything and do something you really enjoy (sometimes that means do NOTHING at all).

  1. Prepare in Advance for the Next Day

A stressful morning can lead to a more stressful day. Doing as much as you can to prepare the night before (lay out clothes, pack lunches and backpacks, etc.) will help make mornings smoother and less hectic.

  1. Schedule Time to Actively Play

Fun is stress’s kryptonite! Having fun also re-energizes and motivates us to keep going.

  1. Exercise

Physical exercise enhances the brain’s ability to release endorphins that combat stress.

  1. Make a List

Writing down things that need to get done allows you to clear your thoughts and make priorities. Crossing completed things off of your list feels very rewarding and encourages you to keep going.


Keep in mind…You are a stress coping instructor for children! How you model dealing with your  own stress will teach children what to do and what NOT to do.


To help you and your students remember ways to relieve stress we are offering a FREE Destressing Activities Poster. This adorable poster includes a list of 25+ ways to manage stress and find calm in the midst of busyness

Written by Julia Cook.

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