Good morning! With our discussion of Emotional Balance this month, I thought I would take a few minutes this week and address how this relates to the teenagers in our lives!
The American Academy of Pediatrics estimates that 5-8% of adolescents will suffer from Major Depressive Disorder. They are also finding that this number continues to increase and affecting children at younger and younger ages. Outside of Major Depressive Disorder, there is an entire spectrum of depression and anxiety that many more teens are affected by. Between surges of hormone changes and navigating a world more independently than they have before-is cause for a range of emotions.
I have come up with a few things we can address with our teens to help them achieve better emotional health.
The first is Education
. It is important for our teens to understand what they are feeling and why they are feeling it. It is also important for them to know they are not suffering alone. Educating them on what depression feels like and how they can deal with it in its early stages is a great way to help things from spiraling out of control.
Second is Connection and Communication
. Don’t be afraid to have good conversations about emotional well being with your teens. Knowing they can come to you and talk about them without being made to feel crazy or weak, is a huge benefit. This isn’t easy. Most teens don’t like to talk-especially about emotional stuff! Lay the groundwork when they are young and remind them occasionally that if they need to talk, you are willing to listen.
Third is Exercise.
Burning off those excess hormones and getting their blood pumping is a great way to avoid depression and anxiety. Encourage them to play sports or join a swim team or weight lift with friends or join the school’s cross country team. There are many opportunities to exercise and helping them find a method that works for them is setting them up for a lifetime of healthy habits.
Fourth is Diet
. The standard American Teenage diet seems full of processed food, caffeinated drinks and sugar. While we can’t control everything they eat, giving them healthy meals at home and sending good options with them will help offset all the things they are bombarded with through friends and social pressures. And even if it doesn’t seem like they are listening or if you get the ever constant eye roll, talking to them about healthy foods will pay off in the long run!
Lastly, help them create a Wellness Toolbox. Have one for yourself even! We can all benefit from this. Here is a list of things that can be included in your Wellness Toolbox:
- 2-3 favorite essential oils (in roller bottles for quick application) that are known to boost emotionial health.
- A short list of activities that they know they enjoy doing. If any of these take place outdoors, it is an added bonus!
- Step away from technology--no phone or other device is needed in the toolbox!
- A Protein bar or other healthy snack. Often depression can simply be from low blood sugar because of that crazy teenage diet!
This doesn’t have to be an actual box, like a first aid kit, but it is a way to find what works and learning to turn to those items first! Arming our children/teens with tools to combat the stresses of their world, is a great way to prepare them for a lifetime of Emotional Well-Being.
And be sure to check out my article on the blog
for tips on combining Essential Oils and Mindfulness.
Essential oils offer great support to whatever lifestyle choices you are making. I would love to share with you more on this topic and see how these oils can bless your life. Click HERE
if you would like me to contact you with more information.
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