By Kirstin M.
When it comes to mental health in today’s society, many people, including teens, tend to put it on the back burner and not pay attention to it. Being someone who has done this before, I can now say that this is not optimal. In this blog I will be going over the importance of a teen’s mental health, and offering tips on how to improve your mental health. Keep in mind everyone works differently, so what works for one person might not always work for you! You can always experiment and change it around if you need too.
Address Your Feelings When They Arise
Stress and anxiety are a normal part of human nature that are practically unavoidable; however, these feelings don’t need to be the end of the world. Most commonly, stress and anxiety build-up over time because teens are unsure of how to address these feelings – but this doesn’t have to be the case! While addressing your feelings is often an uncomfortable experience, it is an important step in growing and learning more about yourself. The first step in this process is simply acknowledging that these feelings are natural, and there is nothing to be ashamed of. Once you have acknowledged these feelings it may be helpful to discuss how you feel with a trusted adult or a close friend. I have found that writing my feelings down in a journal or even just venting to someone can really help. While this may help temporarily, it is also important to get to the root of the stress and brainstorm ways to improve the situation.
Don’t Overload Yourself
A common occurrence for teens in today’s society is an overloaded schedule. Whether it’s cramming classes into your schedule or balancing extracurricular activities and sports, an overloaded schedule can lead to anxiety and stress. Sometimes this is unavoidable; however, there are a few tips that can help you balance your schedule and be on top of your activities and manage stress. One of the most important things I can remind you of is that there are only so many hours in a day. Scheduling multiple big events will inevitably lead to stress. Be honest with yourself and don’t bite off more than you can chew. This step will require some self-reflection and experimentation so you can learn your limits as an individual. Just remember that it is okay to say “no”, even if there are people pressuring you into saying yes.
Stay on Top of Your Work
While it may seem self-explanatory, staying on top of your work actually helps keep your mental health in check. This step ties in with keeping a manageable workload; however, it is arguably one of the most important steps in this process. For more tips relating to this topic, feel free to check out the blog, 3 Steps to Balancing Family, Friends, and School (November 25th, 2020) (https://gocarainbow.org/category/caiorg-blog/).
What to do When You’re Behind
If you start to get behind on your work, don’t worry, here are a few steps to help you calm down and catch back up!
- Step back for a moment and collect your thoughts
- Form a plan
- Make a list of what you need to do, and how you’re going to do it
- Make sure to take small breaks every so often
- Consider exercising, meditating, or playing a game to help you relax
Keep Positive and Don’t Give Up Hope
Keeping all this in mind, the most important step is remaining positive. Combining all these tips allows for the perfect amount of work/play, thus making life a little less stressful. No matter what happens, just remember to keep calm and do the best work you can. If you need help and are feeling like there’s nowhere left to turn, don’t be afraid to reach out. Below are a few resources to consider:
- Crisis Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- School Counselor
- A trusted friend/adult
Just remember that there is nothing wrong with asking for help and you are not alone- everyone gets stressed and needs help sometimes. I hope this blog has given you some helpful tips/advice to help you go about your daily lives.