Gen Z students have never known a world without the Internet. With affordable PCs and the latest research at their fingertips, some may think Gen Z has it easier than their predecessors.
But, the reality is, that even the students of today’s generation face the same stress of meeting deadlines, performing well on exams and even worrying about the future that lies ahead for them.
According to the American Psychological Association’s Stress in America Survey, however, Gen Z is more likely to speak up and seek help for stress and other mental health issues than any other generation.
To better support them, their institutions can make stress management support accessible. The most effective way to spread the word and put valuable resources in their students’ hands is with support from a leading digital signage solution.
The importance of stress management for today's students
Stress can be a positive motivator, up to a certain point. When students find coping difficult or impossible, the short-term and long-term effects of stress can take their toll and may include:
- Lack of focus and brain fog
- Memory loss and other types of learning interference
- Sleep disruptions
- Physical symptoms, such as headaches, stomachaches, tension, and pain
Students of all ages and grade levels can practice stress management techniques to curb these symptoms.
The five stress management techniques your students need to know
We all have our way of responding to (and managing) stress. Some methods will work for some students, while others may not. While it’s a trial and error process, there are five stress management techniques every student can benefit from trying.
Practice mindfulness exercises
Mindfulness means living in the present moment by moment without worrying about the future or dwelling on the past. Harvard University reports that students who practice mindfulness techniques can curb their stress by calming their minds and bodies. When they do, they’re more likely to engage with their academic work and stay the course.
By investing in a cutting-edge digital signage solution, school campuses can display mindfulness exercise tutorials, video clips and other resources on digital screens campus-wide.
Build a support system
Behind so many students are a team of teachers, guidance counselors, supportive professionals and social groups rooting for them. But today’s students are always on the move. And sustaining a familiar, much less constant support system may prove difficult and even unmaintainable.
To meet students in the middle, school systems and higher education institutions can use digital signage to bring a support system to their students. Some of the most popular ways to do this include:
- Broadcasting logistics about on-campus or remote mental-health support groups
- Displaying voluntary student testimonials and interviews about successes and inspirational stories
- Advertising student meet-ups and fun-day activities around campus
- Spotlighting student-led social media groups geared toward mental health awareness
Keep physical health in check
The mind-body connection is powerful and keeping active is one of the most effective stress relievers for students. Maintaining physical health means more than just going outside for a 30-minute recess or participating in a semester-long tennis course.
Physical wellness is multidimensional and includes the following components:
- Adequate nutrition and a healthy diet, preferably leaning into whole-food consumption
- A regular and consistent sleep cycle and schedule
- An active lifestyle with regular exercise
- Vaccination and disease prevention
Broadcasting your school's latest health initiatives, from free health screenings and vaccinations to sharing information about club sports, can help all of your students be more conscious about the health resources around them.
Be judicious about screen time
Research from The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry reports that, on average, teenagers spend nine hours daily on a screen. The screens themselves aren’t the issue, though. It’s what students are viewing that can be stress-inducing.
Social media is a top contender for stress-inducing screen time. TikTok, Snapchat and other platforms are not only time-consuming, they’re distracting. The National Education Association reports that social pressure is widespread across social media, too.
Although it may be easy to shrug off that finding as “typical” of the teenage experience, it’s bad news for students’ mental health. From bullying to gossip mills, research shows that the more time students spend on social media, the greater their anxiety. So setting boundaries around social media time and limiting their exposure can ward off those effects.
Turn to grounding exercises, like deep breathing
The phrase “just breathe” isn’t just a song or a cliche. When facing a stressful situation, our biological response is to either fight, flight or freeze. Using a grounding exercise like deep breathing can get a stressful situation under control.
Deep breathing benefits students because it’s calming and can transport them from a stressful mindset into a more present, mindful one. Also, they can practice it discretely any time they need to.
Share these stress management tips for students on your TV screens
When unmanaged, stress can lead to (or exacerbate) many mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression. Students from grade school through graduate school need stress-management support from their campuses to cope.
You can leverage UPshow’s digital signage solution to give your students the mental-health resources they need anytime they need them.
Create a space for positive encouragement
Consider the number of digital screens on your campus. Where are they located? Are they in high-traffic spots or dwelling points where students spend a lot of time?
Create and display content that can help students cope with their stress, such as:
- Highlighting current and future volunteer and community-wide efforts
- Showcasing student talent and achievements
- Sharing spotlights of students’ goals and initiatives
- Displaying positive affirmations and encouragement during exam periods and other stressful times of the year
Encourage practical tips that students can use daily
Providing students with everyday stress management tips on your campus screens can recenter them and make coping and healing within reach.
With UPshow, you can broadcast stress-management resources campus-wide or on as few screens as you wish. As for your digital displays, you can change them anytime and anywhere when new, more effective techniques emerge.
Consider displaying some or all of these stress management resources to show your students you prioritize their mental health:
- Video tutorials on relaxation, yoga techniques, mindfulness practices and more
- Podcasts about study habits and methods
- Campus-sourced videos about exam preparation tips from upperclassmen
- Motivational and inspirational quotations via UPshow’s fixed or multipanel displays
- Step-by-step instructions on some stress management tips to help students succeed
Share organizational materials and tools
Students can feel pressure and stress when faced with due dates, projects and activities. Giving them the tools to prioritize tasks and organize their school work and schedules can relieve the pressure.
Giving them access to a scannable prioritization list or student calendar can also help them visualize what tasks to complete and when. Or, try linking them to a student-friendly time management app they can access on their devices from anywhere might be an addition to their stress management toolbox.
Create an environment of support with your digital displays
Students of every grade level need a stress-free and supportive learning environment to thrive. Using your screens to disseminate stress management techniques will show them the breadth of your commitment to their mental health and well-being.
Try a risk-free demo of UPshow and discover how easy it is to put your students’ mental health first.