I am a mom of two teens, a 16 year old daughter and an 18 year old son. I also work with Youth Outreach Services organization within my community. I have mentored youth for over 10 years. So in addition to my children I encounter troubled youth DAILY and I have came to the conclusion that its really tough being a kid in 2018. Life seems to be even more challenging for teenagers. From my experience, today’s youth are experiencing mental health challenges and fighting depression like never before. There’s a ton of stress that they’re carrying without an outlet. Key factors like school, home, friends, violence, traumatic events, and social media are all major contributing factors to stress.
I know that mental health concerns and depression runs deeper than every day stress but I believe that with a few changes, a more stress-free life can be enjoyed. Less stress makes more room for your MAGIC! I have a few tips to make your life a little more enjoyable and much SWEETER!
1. PLENTY OF SLEEP.
Its recommended that youth and teens get about 8 hours of sleep. I know its unrealistic to get 8 hours of sleep every night but I would suggest going to sleep an hour earlier to help control stress.
To relax your mind at night consider reading an inspiring book or writing in a journal to get your feelings out.
2. TALK ABOUT IT.
I already know, talking to parents is TOUGH. Make an attempt to discuss your feelings with a parent but if that becomes a challenge please talk to another adult that you trust. Consider a teacher, coach, or mentor. Whatever you do, SEEK HELP from someone. Don’t attempt to hold in your feelings. That is unhealthy for you. You can also call 800-852-8336 (Teen Live) or 800-273-TALK (8255) if you’re having suicidal thoughts.
3. DONT ISOLATE YOURSELF.
Spend time with friends and family. Being around loving friends and family makes us happier and gives us energy. Get involved with activities that you enjoy! Consider volunteering. Spending your time helping others is rewarding and will allow you to feel better mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
4. CUT BACK ON SOCIAL MEDIA.
Its not healthy when too much time is spend online because its tiring on the body, eyes, and mind. Besides, there will also be more pressure to compare ourselves with what we see. The images are deceiving.
5. MAKE HEALTHIER CHOICES.
Exercise! A little activity can change our mindset. It doesn’t have to be a lot.
Try a dance class! Consider ballet, hip hop, or even an African dance class. Go skating or bike riding. Any activity helps.
Eat smarter. Try not to eat too much sugary foods like cookies, candy, chips, pop, and juices. That’s one of the biggest challenges but it works when we make small changes. Add more water and veggies. Our food impacts the activity of our minds.
Avoid alcohol and drugs.
6. ALWAYS SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVE PEOPLE.
If you’re feeling the stress of bullies, insults, and lack of support, find positive people be around. Make sure your friends are loving and supportive. You want friends who are gonna clap for you and encourage you. You also want a friend who’ll offer constructive criticism in love when necessary. Life is too short to be around negativity. You don’t need a lot of friends to be happy. You just need ONE GOOD FRIEND.
7. DO SOMETHING YOU’RE PASSION ABOUT.
Take time and figure out what things you absolutely LOVE doing.
Its okay to not always know. As you grow try to find what gives you true joy and focus on that. What are you gifted at doing? What do you do well? Do the thing that makes you happy. Life is more appreciated when we spend some time doing what we absolutely love.
Its last on the list but PLEASE don’t let it be your last option. You can always talk to God about your feelings or anything else you may be experiencing.
Overall I just want to encourage those young ladies who are feeling really stressed and overwhelmed with life. You can begin to make small changes in order to live your BEST life. You can do it. The world needs what you have to offer. Get rid of the stress so you can SPRINKLE YOUR MAGIC!
For more assistance or counseling
Youth Outreach Services
773-777-7112 Ext. 7719