Monday, November 9, 2015

Simple Stress Test for Kids



This stress test is a simple activity to help students understand stressors and how they add up and impact us.  Everyone has stress.  The effects of stress come and go.
You can copy and print this activity for your students, however, this activity works best and nicely when shared with other activities and self-assessments from the Stress Busting Workbook for students. 




Stress Test

Let’s work on a self-assessment activity to see what stressors we are experiencing today.  Follow the directions for the Stress Test:
1)  What was the date six months ago?  Write the date here:

Six months ago the date was  __________________.

We are going to rate the amount of stress we are experiencing with a special test. Many years ago two social scientists, Dr. Holmes and Dr. Rahe created a way to count stress points on a scale of 1 - 100.  They believed all life events created stress and caused stress points from death in our family, moving to a new house, or working on a school project.  These events would have a lot of stress points because they are very stressful meaning they caused disruption in or normal routines.  Having homework, going on a vacation, or even the last day of school causes stress, but they have fewer stress points. 

2)  Look at the list of events on the Stress Test.  Underline the events you have experienced only within the last six months from the date you wrote down in #1.  If the event happened before that date, do not include it.  This test is based on a scale of 1-5.






Stress Test

Events            
Scale of Impact
Death of a spouse              
                                                                                          
5
Divorce                                                                             
4
Marital separation        
4
Break-up with boy/girlfriend 
4
Jail term          
4
Death of close family member
4
Personal illness or injury        
3
Personal illness or injury        
3
Health problem of family member           
3
Gain of a family member                   
2
Change in financial state        
2
Death of a close friend          
2
Change to a different line of work           
2
Many arguments at home       
2
Mortgage                                
2
Foreclosure on a mortgage                 
2
Changes in responsibilities at work           
2
Outstanding personal achievement           
2
Spouse begins or stops work
2
Begin or end school
2
Change in living conditions   
2
Change in residence               
2
Change in schools      
2
Change in recreation
1
Change in church activities
1
Change in social activities                  
1
Change in sleeping habits      
1
Vacation
1
Christmas holidays                 
1
Minor violation of the law
1


3)  Now add up your stress points.  My total is ______________.

4)  Use your total to check out your range of stress.



Use your total to find out what your stress score might mean: 

0-3 – Are you being truthful?  Remember, everyone has stress.  It is a normal part of life.  Many times, students with strong family support systems will report few stressors. If this is true for you, you probably have parents who protect you from problems and they probably do not share their personal problems with you, for example, when their mortgage payment is late.  You can be thankful for a strong support system that your family has created. 

3 – 8 – This is a normal range of stress points.

9 – 15 - Stress is affecting your quality of life and may cause you to have stress related symptoms and illnesses.  Do two stress busters a day. 

16 or more - People with many stressors can have nervous breakdowns and high probability of serious illnesses.  Stress can take a toll on your body.  Consider talking to your parents or your counselor about your stress score.  Sometimes students do not consider boundaries so their score is high; do not add stress points that belong to your parents or other people.    Your school counselor can explain this to you.  

 Don't leave your students hanging!  Next activity - share ways to relieve stress.  Explain boundaries if their stress scores are too high.  Refer out to mental health therapists in your area if more help is needed.  Be responsible.  

 The Stress Test is one activity is a series to help students understand stress.  The activities include understanding of causes, symptoms, ways to relieve stress, and stress with family, friends, and school.  Brain chemicals are briefly introduced.   Stress Busting is a self-assessment workbook for students in grades 4 - 12.  It is an introduction to stress management.  The booklet can be used for individual counseling or in small groups or classroom settings. 

Take the booklet a step further and create an informational workshop for your parents or people in your community.  People tend to feel the effects of stress more in November and December.  It is the most stressful time of the year.  We have used this booklets with parents and other adults and they love it because it is easy to understand.  Stress Busting is reproducible, so make as many copies as you need!

Stress Busting






   Grace Wilhelm is a National Board Certified Counselor with experience in mental health and school counseling.  She enthusiastically presents to counselors, teachers, youth workers, and parents on anger, stress, crises intervention, communication, data, counseling programs, play sessions, and more. 

       Mrs. Wilhelm has been awarded ASCA National School Counselor of the Year Semifinalist, RAMP, and FLDOE Parent Involvement Award.  She has written student workbooks on anger control and stress management. She has completed two DVDs on Games and Play to Enhance Counseling and Teaching Strategies: Creative Ways to Engage Students in Small Groups, Classrooms or Individual Counseling Sessions.
        Speaking engagements have taken Grace as far away as Papua New Guinea. She currently resides in Jacksonville, Florida with her husband Mark and three children.  She enjoys traveling, genealogy and playing the violin.

Need help?  Have questions?  Voice a concern?
Contact  info @counselorgames.com
Contact Grace at grace @counselorgames.com

 Get more here:
Teach Stress Management with everyday games using play therapy techniques.