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  • Effective Strategies for Helping Your Teen with Anxiety

    As a parent, you’ve always wanted what’s best for your children — from the time you and your partner found out you were expecting to now. 

    Parenting isn’t easy. Just when you feel like you’ve somewhat mastered your children’s sleep schedules or eating habits, they change. They grow up and everything starts at square one again. 

    You’ve gotten through the baby years and the toddler years. Now, you have a teenager on your hands, and with that comes added challenges that you haven’t had to deal with yet.

    Your teen is struggling with anxiety and you want to show up for them in the best way you can. Here are some effective strategies for helping your teen with anxiety. 

    Be an Active Listener

    As a parent, since you want what’s best for your child, it can be easy for you to want to jump in and fix everything for them. Try not to do this, as this can actually make your teen’s anxiety worse. Instead, one of the best approaches is to be an active listener.

    Let your teen know that you’re there for them. Let them tell you what they need from you or how they’d like you to show up to support them so that you can be there for them however they need it. They may want help with their homework or help studying for a test. Or maybe they just wanted someone to hear them out to help them feel understood and that their feelings are valid.

    Practice Relaxation Techniques

    Try to implement relaxation techniques that you can do together as a family. Relaxation techniques can be a great way to cope with anxiety in the moment. They’re also a great tool to have on hand to be a little bit more proactive rather than reactive toward anxiety. Here are some relaxation techniques that you can practice together to help your teen with their anxiety:

    • Art therapy
    • Deep breathing
    • Listen to music
    • Meditation
    • Write in a journal
    • Yoga

    Help Them Take Care of Themselves

    Help your teen take care of themselves by making sure they’re choosing healthy habits. You can help them feel good from the inside out to make sure that they’re taking care of their overall mental health and wellness.

    Help them make smart choices when it comes to their meals by going grocery shopping and meal prepping with them. You can even eat meals together as a family. Encourage your teen to fuel their body with foods that are filled with protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates.

    Exercise has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety while also increasing one’s overall mood. Encourage your teen and your family to get outside and get active. You can sign up for a fitness class together, go for walks around your neighborhood, plan a hike together, or hop on a bicycle or rollerblades. All it takes is thirty minutes each day to start seeing the benefits.

    Anxiety can get in the way of your teen’s sleep. Make sure they are aiming for at least eight hours of sleep each night by getting them on a good sleep schedule and routine. You can do this by having them follow a nightly routine before bed to help prep their body and mind to start slowing down. Encourage them to limit their screen time before bed and not stay up late while mindlessly scrolling on social media.

    Seek Additional Support

    You and your teen aren’t expected to have all of the answers. If your teen is struggling with anxiety, you and they are not alone. A therapist may be the answer you’re looking for. Reach out to us today to learn about the different therapy options for your teen and their anxiety.