Do you remember what it was like to be a teenager?
Any disagreements with your parents?
Your body changing and with that, feeling like you could sleep all day?
Just trying to figure out how to fit in, away from bullies, while still being yourself?
Now, imagine all of this and more within the context of social media. Pictures posted of those awkward moments, gossip floating around, and the non-stop availability to communicate with others 24 hours a day.
We can hear ourselves easily say, “It wasn’t like this when we were young.” And…we are right. We may have still faced similar pressures to fit in, be good students, and excel at sports, but it’s taken to a heightened level these days. The competition due to social media and the internet is exhausting and can even make some parents fearful. It is said that as many as one in five adolescents may be or have suffered from clinical depression (http:// www.mentalhealthamerica.net/conditions/depression-teens).
We want to now give some easy and fundamental tips on how your teen may be feeling and how to still connect with him or her for a positive, healthy relationship and environment. Parents don’t have to live in a state of fear, but rather a supportive and nurturing life condition that shows their teen they are there with them to figure it all out together.
So, let’s go!
NATURAL EMOTIONAL TEEN CARE
Years ago, many of us went to school, may have had an after school activity or sport, then came home, had dinner, and maybe did some homework and talked on the phone a bit before watching television with the family.
We were able to get some relaxation time in – even if it was just sitting in front of a tv. But at least we received a mental break from the daily stressors of being a teen.
Now, teens are more susceptible to anxiety and depression and we find many times that is due to not getting that mental break that is so badly needed. They get up, check social media, go to school, have after school activities that last for many hours, eat on the way home, do homework, get back on social media and then sleep.
Teens are often over-extended and lack the down-time that is needed to refresh and regroup. This down-time to process and replenish is different for each teen, but some ideas that can do wonders for these adolescents are:
– Being Outdoors: think a weekend hike with the family, a nightly bike ride around the neighborhood, taking the dog for a walk, a picnic in the park or mountains, or even just a stroll around a botanical garden
– Being Without Screens: sitting and reading a book or magazine, listening to music, enjoying a yoga class, etc.
– Participating In Non-Competitive Sports & Activities: forgo the trophy and opt for sports to just enjoy activities without competition such as traveling, restaurant tasting, kayaking, SUP, skiing, hiking, snow shoeing, camping, snowmobiling, biking, etc. Try things as a family to engage everyone together!
Most importantly, help them understand that their value is not based on the performance they provide to everyone. Engage them in life outside of competition and comparison to others (such as academics, sports, and social media) so they can feel loved and valued just being themselves.
In addition to relaxation time, parents can also:
– Show Our Own Vulnerability: by communicating that we are not perfect, our teens may be more apt to feel vulnerable enough to share feelings and experiences as well.
– Take Care Of Our Own Emotional State: starting off by making sure we are in a calm and collected mental state is not only a healthy way to engage our teens, but also provides a healthy foundation for teens to emulate.
– Provide Professional Guidance When Needed: by acknowledging that outside, professional help may be the best option, we can give our teens a non-biased and safe outlet to share. There is nothing to feel embarrassed or shameful about when seeking guidance. It can be a wonderful way for teens to feel comfortable enough to open up and learn to cope with stressors in a healthy way.
And don’t wait until serious depression sets in! We recommend contacting her if unusual behavior sticks around more than a few weeks at a time.
Make sure to check-up on your teen throughout the year. School starting can be a stressful time as well as pressures towards the end of the year. Let your teen know you are just checking in to let them know you are on their side and you are here to provide any tools they need to help being, well…a teen!
NATURAL PHYSICAL TEEN CARE
Your teen is slowly becoming an adult. And while you (and them!) may not be ready for it, there are some wonderful options to help with those crazy days everyone feels.
Physically, teens may exhibit:
– weight gain/loss fluctuations
– sleep issues (needing much extra sleep mostly)
– mood swings
– body growth/changes
Doesn’t sound much fun. And, remember that it’s probably not for your teen! Being compassionate about physical changes can help your teen feel less embarrassed and emotional about their bodies.
But what else can you provide your teen for physical health? We suggest:
– Herbs & Supplements:
– a basic high quality multi-vitamin such as Ultra Preventive® X from Douglas Laboratories can provide nutrients for those not-so-healthy eating habits.
– Adrenal Response® can help support your teen’s adrenal system and cortisol levels for more even moods. This supplement is geared to help the body and mind respond better to stress.
– Vitanica® FemRebalance™ is a solid supplement for stabilizing women’s hormones and mood swings.
– A B-Complex Vitamin with a high dose of B6 is known to help with mood and PMS
– Movement, Exercise: remember going for non-competitive sports and activities!
So what’s the good news after reading about the intense stress and pressure teens can be under?
We find they typically respond faster to natural therapies than most adults! Even though stress has gone up over the years, our coping skills have not. These natural tips and suggestions are to give you new perspective and options to help your teen – and you! – have a healthy and supportive relationship.
If you live in Castle Rock, Castle Pines, Lone Tree, Highlands Ranch, Centennial, Parker, Larkpsur, Monument, Colorado Springs, or the greater Denver Metro Area, and have a teen that may benefit from these or additional holistic therapies, please contact us at (303) 688-6698 or online to schedule a complimentary 15 minute phone consultation with Dr. Graves or Jeannette McMahon.
Find your own healthy way of life by helping your teen find his or her own.