“When I was your age…”
Everyone over the age of 30 has said this at some point to someone 18 or younger. And yes, the world was a different place when you were their age. Maybe you got a job at 15 and still kept up with your schoolwork.
But did you know that for a lot of teens, college classes start while they’re still in high school? Workloads have increased. The competition for even getting accepted into the college of their choice, much less earning a scholarship, is stiffer. Tuition costs more, so grades as well as earning money is important. And if you want to stand out, you need extracurriculars as well.
Reducing Stress In Teens
Even if your teen isn’t worried over college, there are plenty of other stressors in today’s teenage life: social media, bullying and events. (Did you know you now have to orchestrate an event to ask someone to homecoming or prom? Seriously… it’s a thing.)
So, yeah, when you were their age, you were amazing and didn’t feel the burdens of stress and anxiety like so many do now. Or maybe you weren’t given a voice to express it. Regardless, today’s teens do tend to have stress and anxiety.
And you are a loving person who wants to give them healthy ways to manage those stresses and anxieties now… before the pressures of the “real world” hit.
One of the best tools you can not only give your teen, but model for your teen, is the lifelong importance of exercise. Not only does it facilitate a healthy body, it facilitates a healthy mind. Exercise is an excellent coping skill for stress.
The best exercise is the one you enjoy. Love to run? Go for it. Love to dance? Do it! Lifting weights or surfing your thing? Own it! Best of all, exercise can turn into a family affair or be done with friends. Exercise can encourage real life conversations and connections that can also help process thoughts and reduce anxiety and stress.
One of the most overlooked aspects of health is the need for consistent, sufficient sleep. Getting enough quality sleep can turn an overwhelming trigger into a tolerable situation to be considered and worked through. In order to get restful and restorative sleep, try the following:
- Shut off all technology (TV, phone, tablet or computer) at least half an hour before bed.
- Use relaxation techniques such as meditation or deep breathing.
- Make sure your room is cool, quiet and dark.
- Develop a calming routine, such as reading, writing in a journal or listening to peaceful music.
If sleep is difficult to come by, consider using a natural supplement like PM Rest to help calm the mind and body into a place of rest.
I know, easier said than done. But maybe not. There are lots of ways to help reduce anxiety in teens. Relaxing can be taking time away from stressors and anxiety by engaging in a hobby that brings your teen joy, such as going to a movie or making or looking at art. It could be as simple as taking a walk in the park or even making a daily ritual of watching the sunset outside on nice days or from a favorite window seat on yucky days. Maybe your teen finds escapism in books. Or ask your teen to close their eyes, breathe deeply and describe their “happy place.” Help them find the tool that provides them with the healthiest and fullest form of relaxation.
#4 Eat Well
A stressed eater is rarely a healthy eater. I know very few anxious or stressed out people who are just craving celery! Unfortunately, diet and mood go hand in hand… as well as round and round. Unhealthy eating leads to unhealthy craves leads to unhealthy eating. And the brain and body are the victims.
Encourage good nutrition to stabilize energy and blood sugar levels, which in turn affect mood and the body’s response to stress. You can even use natural supplements such as Relaxed Brain to promote better rest and sense of calm. Relaxed Brain not only can help your teen unwind and calm their mind; it can even help curb the carb cravings.
Model and Give Grace to Your Stressed Teen
Your teenager is watching you, probably more than you realize. They’re watching how you respond to the stress in your own life, as well as how you treat them. Give them grace… after all, it’s not the same world you grew up in. You can also model healthy stress and anxiety coping skills.
Our team at BIPRI is here to partner with you and your teen in managing stress and anxiety and setting them up for lifelong healthy habits. For a limited time, purchase a subscription to Relaxed Brain or a subscription to PM Rest and get 15% off – plus a free 15-minute consultation with our Clinic Director!