4 Tips to Improve Teen Mental Health
One of the most affected groups of the COVID pandemic in regards to mental health is our teens. Teens are made for connection so when that was limited, mental illness rates increased. We are still seeing alarming rates of suicide attempts, record anxiety scores, and loneliness from teens. Here are four tips to help your teen (or yourself) improve your mental health this spring.
Guard your heart and mind
Be aware of what you are putting into your brain. What social media accounts are you following? Who are your friends? What type of music are you listening to? What goes into our mind is often what comes out of our mouths and actions. Human nature shows us that we slowly become what we are most familiar with. If you are inputting positive messages, encouraging friends, and uplifting music, we are more likely to feel that and become that.
“Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future”
Prioritize what you can control
We often get overwhelmed. Many of the things that overwhelm us feel really big or even outside our control. Instead, write down 2 lists. One list is things you can control and the other list is things outside of your control. While looking at your list of things you can control prioritize what needs to be done. If a task feels overwhelming, break it up into smaller pieces to get that sense of accomplishment. Sometimes we are tempted to spend our energy on things that we have no control over. Instead, focus on things you can control and what is most important to you.
Find Good Supports
Find someone who you can be yourself around and share all your feelings with. It is important to find someone where you can share your happy feelings and sad feelings. We suggest finding someone who is older than you and can support you. Often people think about parents but it could be a church leader, coach, or teacher.
Practice Positive Thought Initiation
Often our thinking can turn into patterns. Sometimes we fall into negative thinking patterns. Instead, take a notecard and write 5 things on there that make you happy. This could be something from your past, an item, a future plan, or person. Next to each of those things write what makes you happy about them and all the details you can remember. Then, set an alarm and 3 times a day pull out your notecard and think about one or more of those things. Practice putting good in and see how it feels.
If you or your teen is struggling, we are here to help! We have other blog posts like this one to help and we have offices in Fuquay-Varina, Raleigh, or Wake Forest and are available on telehealth. We would love to work with your family to improve overall mental wellness.