Maintaining friendships when stressed

Friends can be a great source of support during stressful times. However, stress can also put strain on relationships, occasionally causing them to break down. It’s important to have some strategies for maintaining healthy relationships during tough times to help relieve stress and maintain support networks.

Year Level



5 minutes


  • In class activity
  • Online learning

SEL Competencies

  • Relationship skills
  • Responsible decision-making

Learning Intention

Students explore how to maintain friendships while stressed, identifying a range of stress relief strategies to utilise with friends.

Key Outcomes

By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • identify a range of stress relief strategies to try with a friend
  • describe how to maintain relationships while stressed.
Activity 01

Instructions 5 min

  1. Provide access to the article ‘Friendship and exam stress’.
  2. Give each student a Post-It note and ask them to write down one thing they can do with a friend when stressed.
  3. Students place their notes on a poster to refer to in the future.
  4. Briefly discuss students’ ideas as a class.


Remind students that spending time with friends in a healthy relationship is a great stress relief tool. Also, encourage students to remember that it’s okay to want to have time away from friends to relax and regroup. Direct students to the article ‘Stress’ for some more ideas on stress relief, and remind them that it’s okay to ask for help from friends, parents or teachers.