This guest post was written by Zara Lewis, a mom, fitness and yoga enthusiast, and a regular writer for High Style Life. She is devoted to implementing healthy life habits in every aspect of life of her family and friends. She loves to share her parenting tips and is always open to learning some new skills, because she sees her parenthood as going to school forever. She enjoys traveling, hiking, cycling, and baking. Follow her on Twitter @ZaraELewis.
Teen years are a time when nerve wrecks and emotional roller coaster rides lurk at every step, which is a major challenge for both teens and their families. Unfortunately, many parents are too quick to point fingers at their moody offspring and often fail to take into account the huge amount of stress (and different types of it) that happens at this stage of life. Nevertheless, having a teen at home does not mean parents should renounce all hope of peace, quiet, and quality family time. To help your teenager and the rest of the family stay safe and sane despite everyone’s rising stress levels, arm yourself with these fail-safe survival strategies.
Main Stress Triggers For Teens
You would think teens have it easy, but stress in this stage of life can grow to skyrocketing proportions if not detected and remedied in a timely fashion. In addition to physical changes and hormonal boom, teens are in for bucketfuls of school-related worries, mood swings, and peer pressure. Add to that a heightened sensitivity to family issues; body image changes; and internalized standards in terms of beauty, etiquette, and success. This will no doubt lead to a shaky, wide-eyed teen with hair-thin nerves. As a parent, you should strive to help your teen get through this tough transition to adulthood as painlessly as possible, so try not to impose unrealistically high expectations on them which can lead to anxiety and depression.
Common Signs Of Teen Stress
With all those pesky stressors breathing down their back, it’s a wonder all teens aren’t anxious or down with depression. If you are unsure if your teen is experiencing just another mood swing or is dealing with a severe case of teen stress, use this quick stress symptom checklist to establish whether it is time for you to step in and help put things into perspective.
Common signs of teen stress include:
- Isolation from family and friends
- Loss of interest in daily tasks and hobbies
- Sleep problems
- Appetite changes
- Substance abuse
- Intense mood swings
- Anxiety, anger, and aggression
- Increased frequency of illnesses and colds
- Problems focusing and following conversations
Most Effective Coping Strategies
There are several steps parents can take to help their kids survive the tough teen years. For starters, try to persuade your child to embrace healthy habits and keep expectations and criticism to the minimum. This will lay down the foundation for happy and healthy teen years despite rising levels of stress flooding their life from every angle. To help your teen ward off stress and anxiety even more efficiently, you can try the tips below. With a little extra patience, your child will be thanking you for understanding and support in a few years’ time.
- Listen to your teen. As busy as you may be, it is essential for you to take the time every day and focus on what your teen has to say. Active listening and communication will help your child build self-esteem and positive self-image, both important assets for their happy adult life.
- Make sure they eat right. Many teens experience appetite changes which can compromise their long-term health and well-being. To make sure your teen stays in solid physical shape, structure their menu around fresh and lightly cooked veggies and fruit, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean protein. Be sure to monitor their sugar and caffeine intake. Finally, try some calming foods.
- Encourage healthy sleep. Studies show that anxiety and stress can lead to teen allergies, asthma, and increased frequency of respiratory infections. Fortunately, you can shave the risk of health complications by fostering healthy sleep habits in your teen. You can also arm your teen’s room with a first-rate air purifier for allergies and allergen-free mattress.
- Get your teen to work out. With or without appetite changes in the mix, teens often feel reluctant to participate in physical activity, which can lead to health problems later on. If you want to make sure your teen stays fit and healthy in the long run, encourage them to work out regularly. For instance, your teen can take up a team sport like soccer or basketball or sign up for dance lessons, a gym, or a similar workout that fits their personal preferences.
- Foster close family bonds. Blood is definitely thicker than water, and you should strive to foster close family bonds to help your teen cope with stress more efficiently and grow into happy and emotionally healthy adult. Caring and sharing with family and friends is a powerful deterrent and remedy for anxiety and depression, so use every opportunity to surround your teen with people who care about them.
Life with a teenager can be challenging, but it can be much easier if you are ready to help your kid cope with high stress levels that are quite common at this stage in life. After all, if you do not help your teenager get a grip on the transition to adulthood, who else will? Good luck!
What tools do you use to help your teen manage stress?