Being a teenager has never been easy. Even before COVID-19, the incidences of anxiety and depression were rising. Today, the numbers are even higher.
Here are some suggestions to help keep your life more stable, productive, and positive.
1. Practice kindness. Start with yourself.
Teens are so often full of negative thoughts. Give yourself a time limit on being negative and then stop them the rest of the time. We call that thought spotting and thought stopping. Replace the negative thoughts with positive ones or just move on to something else. This works for your sports too.
2. Set up a daily schedule and stick to it.
The goal is to go from feeling overwhelmed to feeling competent! Taking control over what you can plan and achieve works wonders when you follow through. But be reasonable about how much you can accomplish within certain time parameters. Take short breaks.
3. Think about who you would like to be during this time.
Look at your responsibilities to your school work, your parents, siblings and other family, sports teams, coaches, and your friends. Write this out.
4. Do what brings you joy.
Set time for family, friends, and what moves you. It may be music, writing, reading, art, cooking, plants or just watching some TV.
5. Remember the basics.
Eat well, get enough sleep, exercise, practice good hygiene.
6. Ask for help if you need it.
- Seek help if you are not able to move past your negative behaviors or thoughts.
- You feel unhappy a lot of the time.
- You either eat too much or you are not hungry enough.
- You can’t manage your emotions, they manage you.
- To ask for help, contact your school’s student support team, talk to your doctor, talk to your family or reach out to a trusted adult.
7. Learn anxiety management techniques.
Try meditation. Practice yoga. Develop a success mindset and learn how to use the Sports Breath. It is helpful for athletes and anyone else who is feeling stressed. Use it every night and whenever you need a break.