How Teens and Young Adults Can Manage the End of the School Year While Taking Care of Their Physical and Mental Health

May 23, 2022

Sabine Combrié, PT, CST
July 28, 2022 / 5 mins read

The end of the school year is arriving very soon, and as I treat many teens and young adults who are dealing with stressful final exams before heading for summer break, I tend to see the same patterns over and over again: body pain, muscle tightness, poor posture, anxiety, and stress.

Most teens have been at home for almost two years, taking exams remotely because of the pandemic. Getting back to taking tests in person can make them more stressed and be a trigger on the body.

Teens and young adults go through bodily changes for a few years following puberty until they find their own personal, physical, and emotional balance that suits their body and lifestyle.

It takes a few years for young people to get comfortable with their ideal body image, set their mind and body in harmony, gain balanced muscle strength and flexibility, and figure out a perfect nutrition balance and a necessary workout routine. Each individual is different and some will feel the need to exercise more than others.

However, the best possible balance of physical activity is always recommended to keep muscles and joints healthy, and to help release the necessary endorphins to the brain while helping to reduce stress. Even a simple walk a day, or some arm exercises while sitting, can do the trick!

From an early age, kids have had to sit for long periods of time in a classroom. Most kids feel the necessity to move their bodies regularly in order to release energy. As they become teens, they face longer sitting periods and studying requirements as the pressure to perform and achieve increases.

Consequently, finding the time to work out regularly becomes more of a challenge. Even for those who are already accomplished athletes, adopting the best possible posture when sitting for a long time in front of a computer or in class can also be challenging.

So, what is the solution for teens and young adults who are trying to build a bright future and achieve harmony in their minds and bodies, while staying strong, healthy, and happy?

I have treated teens and young adults for over 25 years, and I always recommend that they find the best possible balance between studying, working out, stretching, using mind-body technique connection, and, of course, having fun.

In my experience, adjusting your posture when sitting for a long time, as well as easy posture and stretching exercises every couple of hours during study sessions, is always a good idea. When available and possible to use, simple tools such as a yoga ball, foam roller, or stretch bands can be useful to help stretch the muscles and keep a healthy posture. Additionally, setting up some time for exercise and/or fun time in an individual’s schedule between study sessions will help release endorphins and build up useful muscles.

Mind-body connection/mindfulness techniques such as Sophrology (see my last blog post), are always a good idea before going to bed and/or in between study sessions.

In conclusion, being able to build up a healthy, strong, and balanced mind and body is something that is challenging for teens and young adults, no matter what their personal situation is. However, it is necessary in order to help teens and young adults reach the best possible balance in adult active life.

Giving them good feedback and helping them to balance activities wisely will help make getting them through their end-of-school-year challenges easier and prepare them to enjoy their summer. It will also help set up a healthy lifestyle for a bright and happy future.