Top 5 Ways to Improve Teenager’s Mental Health in 2021
Did you know that 50% of mental health issues are established by age 14? And with the Covid-19 pandemic bringing more stimulus and stresses to add to the development of issues like depression and anxiety, there’s no surprise we see the number of teenagers with mental health issues surge. As a parent, these are concerning facts and figures. But, what exactly can we do to support and improve their developing mental health?
Often parents can feel isolated from their teenager when there are potential mental health issues. Teens can pull back from their parents, stay in their room all day and no longer share their thoughts or feelings. So how can they be expected to communicate effectively and support their ongoing mental health?
Please keep reading for my top tips as a therapist on how to improve your young teenager’s mental health in 2021 and ensure they face the rest of the year and their future with a more positive mindset.
Teenagers who face mental health issues may find it hard to communicate with their parents about their emotions. This can be because teenagers often don’t want to share their thoughts and feelings with their parents as they progress through their adolescence, or because their depression may be causing them to pull away from their family.
As we live in a technological age where many teenagers use phones and social media every day of their lives, it can be best to turn to this form to increase communication. Emojis are something teenagers use to express emotions and using emojis as prompts in life and via text can help you understand your child more and help your child articulate themselves.
Eat a Balanced Diet
The way we treat our physical body holds much influence over the way our mind functions. Many parents aren’t surprised to see their teenager snacking their way through lockdowns and the pandemic and may have been excusing this behaviour as a coping mechanism. And while it may have kept your child happy for some time, now is the time we bring back healthy eating for their physical and mental wellbeing.
Where possible, limit the number of sugary snacks your teen is eating and replace them with fruit, vegetables and low-sugar substitutes. Please pay attention to what they eat before bedtime as this can impact their sleep and, therefore, their mood.
Use Calming Techniques
As adults, we can often find it hard to control our anger and frustration, but our level of control is significantly diminished even in our teen years. It can be difficult for kids to deal with their anger and often lead to outbursts, violence or disruptive behaviour as they face many changes going on in their body and mind.
We can help our teenagers practice breathing techniques and other calming activities to bring more control over their emotions. Please look online for videos, top tips, and articles from experts around breathing exercises and their benefits. Teach them to yourself first before introducing them to your teenager. You won’t need to purchase anything, to begin with, but rather try out different calming methods until you find the one that works with your child.
Get Outside the House
After three lockdowns, we are all feeling a little trapped and caged. For teenagers who are used to being at school, playing with mates or going on lots of trips, it can be strange to no longer do this for weeks at a time. As a result, they can fall into a bad mood which develops into depression as they can’t find a way to overcome these thoughts and feelings.
Now that we are heading into spring, we can get out of the house more and let the sunshine and fresh air rejuvenate us. Family walks, outdoor exercise, picnics and (soon to be) outdoor meals can help us find some more normality in life. Ensure you are factoring in outside time for your teenager at least a couple of times a week. This will help drag them from the slump depression has put them in and find happiness and enjoyment once again.
If you want to improve your teenager’s mental health in 2021, then perhaps you should seek outside expert support. There’s no shame and stigma associated with therapy like there used to be as more people recognise the benefits of talking about mental health. Mental health is a huge aspect of all our lives, no matter our age, so we should have the best support possible.
Therapy can provide your teenager with a safe space to open up about their mental health, emotions and thoughts without feeling judged. With experience working with teenagers and tackling a range of mental health issues, I can help your child understand how their mind works, how to support their mental health, and overcome any problems they face.
Please take a look at my website to learn more about my services as a therapist and how I can benefit your teenager’s mental health journey. I am dedicated to making my clients feel comfortable and safe, creating and utilising strong relationships to help them overcome any mental health issues.