Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength. ~Charles Spurgeon
Being an adolescent in today’s world is challenging. Just managing your school work and social media identity alone can be overwhelming. Not to mention worrying about the future and your relationships.
Whether you’re a parent trying to help your teen work through their anxiety, or are struggling with the grueling pressure yourself, here are some tips that may offer relief.
No matter what you’re going through, it is important that you find someone to talk to. Everyone experiences anxiety, and it’s natural to worry. However, that’s not a reason to suppress your feelings. Talk to a family member and try reaching out to a school counselor or therapist to get the help you need.
As a parent, be careful not to judge. Start a dialogue by sharing your experiences with anxiety; empathize and create a safe environment where your child feels they can be open and honest.
In an ever-growing, hyperconnected and overexposed society, it can be easy to make technology the culprit of adolescent anxiety. Time Magazine states, “Sometimes phones rob teens’ developing brains of essential downtime. But other times they’re a way to maintain healthy social connections and get support.” Therefore it’s essential that as a young adult, you find the balance between the two and make downtime for yourself. If you’re constantly comparing your life to what you see online, cutting back on screen time can make it much easier to gain perspective.
Getting plenty of sleep is also an important step to reducing your anxiety. “Ideally, adolescents should get nine hours a night,” says Psychology Today. So instead of staring at your phone late into the night, be sure to set it down well before bed so your mind has time to rest and recuperate.
Avoid the dangers of drugs and alcohol
According to The Atlantic, “over-commitment, between school, sports, a social life, and family obligations, becomes a balancing act that students can have trouble dealing with.” High levels of stress coupled with ineffective coping methods can sometimes lead teens to substance abuse. Teach your teen healthy ways of dealing with stress, so that when they feel like their emotions are out of their control, they don’t self-harm or reach for alcohol and drugs to make themselves feel better.
Additionally, educate your child on the risks and potential consequences of using alcohol and drugs. They may be feeling insecure and looking for acceptance among their peers. Talk with your teen to play out possible solutions to their problems as well as skills that will help see them through future success in life.
Learn healthy coping habits
Exercise is a great way to manage anxiety and stress, so get out there and find a fun way to start physically moving. Whether it’s joining a sports team, hiking, learning yoga or simply taking a walk, you’ll feel better if you blow off steam.
You should also channel your feelings and energy into a passion or hobby. Find your strengths by concentrating on what you’re good at and what makes you happy, and then remember to set aside time for it. Don’t hide from your life in order to feel less anxious. Try and recognize your symptoms early on so you can prevent panic attacks. If you’re a visual person, stay organized and calm by creating a list of priorities that will help you manage your time better.
Anxiety doesn’t have to hamstring your life. If you can find healthy outlets for managing your anxiety, you’re better prepared to handle whatever life throws your way. Remember to communicate with your parents regularly, as they can be the key to helping you find balance and give you the support you need.
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