We know this is a busy time of year for most teens. With Final exams approaching and the big transition of going off to college for some.
Parents often ask us, “What should we watch for in our teens to make sure they’re ok?”
Here are some tips you can use to help your teen cope with this stressful time:
1. Make sure your teen has someone to talk to.
It’s important to have someone who is not judgmental and can be a sounding board for problems or a source of advice. That person can be a friend, an aunt or uncle or any other positive influence. Often this person can help boost self-esteem and be a filter if they are not ready to talk to you about what’s bothering them.
2. Avoid negative people.
Watch out for friends who keep talking about how nervous they are or how things are not going to work out. It’s very common when someone is feeling nervous to focus on the negative, and that can be contagious.
3. Pay attention to the way your teen is eating.
Good nutrition is vital to well-being, especially when stress can take a toll on both physical and mental health. A poor diet can hurt not only the way you look but also the way you feel.
4. Pay attention to signs your teen may be using drugs or alcohol for stress management.
A recent change of friends, eating and sleeping habits, and irritable mood are all possible signs of drug use. If you are concerned that your teen has a substance abuse problem contact us immediately.
5. Encourage your teen to try mindfulness techniques.
Mindfulness is paying attention in the present moment without judgment. Even listening to music mindfully can have calming effects on the brain.
6. Make sure your teen is active and is getting exercise.
Exercise is a natural way to reduce anxiety and stress. Finding something your teen loves to do is the key. When exercise is fun, they’ll be more likely to do it!
7. Schedule time for fun.
Be sure that every day has at least few laughs, even if it’s watching a funny clip on YouTube together.
And congratulations to all of our high school grads!
Here’s to your Well Being!
-Jodi Murphy, LCSW