By Guest Blogger Kathleen Kirk, Certified Healing Touch Practitioner

It’s “Back to School” time and for many families, that may mean more stress. I often work with students dealing with general stress, test anxiety, and sport injuries. There are many natural ways that adolescents can combat stress, and they can all be done at home when needed.

I compiled a list of my Top 5 Tips/Techniques to help not only students, but their parents as well.

1. Breathe! I know everyone talks about this, but it is very effective. This doesn’t have to be on a yoga mat for 30 minutes (although that would be great), but can be as simple as a deep breath at a STOP sign. Always be present when driving, but I love the reminder that a STOP sign offers – telling us to stop and take a breath. I will breathe in for four (S.T.O.P.) and exhale for four. If I was just cut off in traffic, my exhale may be through my mouth and more forceful. 🙂

2. Grounding (also called Earthing). Go outside and put your bare feet in the grass, or lean up against a tree. Our bodies are magnets and they get recharged with the Earth. Unfortunately, we spend a lot of time indoors or when we are out in shoes with rubber bottoms. Try reconnecting your body with the earth for 5 minutes and see what you notice. When I am feeling ‘keyed up’ or overwhelmed, I go outside barefoot, lean up against a tree and breathe. I imagine everything just draining from me and into the earth.

3. Water. Water cleanses and recharges us. Have you ever been around someone that drains you? Go wash your hands. We may not see the toxic energy, but it’s there. Use cold water and wash your hands with soap. As you are rinsing, take your right hand to your left elbow and brush it down towards the sink. Repeat with the left hand on the right elbow. Do this a couple times. A shower works just as well. Just imagine the water rinsing away all the negative, old energy right down the drain. This is a great one for teens because it’s a way to get away from someone that is toxic and not “wearing” that energy all day. You can just excuse yourself to use the bathroom. Not only do you get away from the situation, but you can also wash all that away.

4. Release. This can be physical or mental. When someone is really ramped up, it’s pointless to say, “breathe.” That will just make them angrier. Sometimes the best thing is to get that anger out of your body physically. It is never okay to take that out on anyone else, but a healthy alternative can be a punching bag, using a towel like a bat and hitting a bed, or going for a run. That energy needs to come out and when it has, then they can try the other techniques such as breathing, grounding or washing their hands. If your child has a lot of anger, have them do this daily for at least 5 minutes. The other release is mental, and journaling can help with that. This is a great practice to do daily because it helps you to tap into your emotions. We are so busy that sometimes we really don’t know what we are feeling. We say we are stressed and angry, but really may be sad, hurt, tired, hungry, or disappointed. Journaling should be private and a chance to really use your voice to get trapped emotions out of your body. I sometimes encourage teens to curse if needed. I also encourage clients of all ages to write letters to people who you can’t talk back to (don’t send them!), or even list things you are grateful for.

5. Hands Still. This is a technique I learned in my Healing Touch training. The palms of our hands have healing energy (it can be measured in Megahertz, but I’ll save the science). When placing the palms of our hands on our bodies, our own energy begins to heal and balance us. One thing I like to tell students is to cover both of your ears or eyes with the palms of your hands before bed. Not only does it start to calm the body, but it helps to balance it as well.

When our bodies are calm and balanced, we can think clearer and make better decisions. Tell your child to do the breathing or hands still technique (briefly) before a test, or try the grounding when they get home from school. While at school, wash their hands with the water technique and then journal before bed so their heads aren’t swimming with thoughts from the day.

I hope you find these tips/techniques to be helpful. Feel free to contact me at with any questions, thoughts or concerns.

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