Maybe your teen hasn’t seemed like themself lately. Perhaps they’ve been nervous going to school and struggling in their classes. They might seem distant from their friends or even try to skip attending family gatherings. Your teen may have even opened up to you about their anxiety. They’ve been feeling stressed and overwhelmed, but they don’t exactly know why or when it began.
You want to help your teen in any way possible. As a parent, you want your child to know that you’re always there for them, no matter how old they get. Here are a few ways you can support your teen if they’re struggling with anxiety.
Explore the Root Causes
First, help your teen dig into the potential root causes of their anxiety. When you pinpoint a few possible reasons for these anxious feelings, you can work with your teen to address them. Perhaps they’ve been anxious about school because they’re trying to tackle too many difficult classes and time-consuming extracurriculars.
Or maybe they’re having trouble getting along with their friends, and socializing has become nerve-wracking. When your teen is ready to explore why they feel the way they do, you can work together to come up with realistic solutions.
Check in on Your Teen’s Sleep Schedule
Anxiety can have a negative impact on one’s sleep schedule. But at the same time, exhaustion and fatigue will only serve to exacerbate anxiety. If your teen hasn’t been sleeping well, help them adjust their sleep schedule so that they can aim for a full eight hours every night.
You may want to limit their screen time before bed, or even make some changes to their room so that they have a more comfortable environment for sleeping.
Help Your Teen Get More Exercise
Today, teens often struggle to get enough physical activity. This can have a detrimental effect on other aspects of your teen’s health, including their mental health. You might want to go on daily walks with your teen, or sign up for a workout class that you could do together on the weekends.
If your teen’s schedule has room, and they’ve expressed interest in trying out for a sport before, why not encourage them? This can be a great way to work off pent-up energy, build their confidence, make new friends, and build essential life skills!
Establish Healthy Lifestyle Habits
Overall, helping your teen set up healthy lifestyle habits can serve them well. You may not be able to get them to “think positive” and “look on the bright side.” They may not want to hear these suggestions. Instead, do your best to assist your teen with changing their lifestyle habits.
This can have a lasting, positive impact on their mental health. For example, you might want to buy them a journal as an outlet for self-expression, or even take a yoga class together.
As a parent, you want to do everything you can to help your teen. But what if you’ve come up against your limits, and you’ve run out of ideas? You don’t have to try to do everything on your own.
Instead, it’s okay to recognize that it’s time to reach out to a therapist. While some teens may have resistance around the idea of going to therapy, but with a little encouragement, your teen might be more receptive than you would assume. You may even be able to attend a session with your teen.
Are you concerned about your teen’s anxiety? Working with a therapist can help them cope. Reach out to us to discuss your options for scheduling your teen’s first session.