Teens and Anxiety

This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast we talk about: Teens and Anxiety.

Teens and anxiety.

Teens and Anxiety

With the world going through a long pandemic, teens are experiencing more anxiety than in the past (the same goes with their parents). Today Vicki discusses how to deal with anxiety for homeschool high schoolers.

Anxiety is part of the human condition; there is no such thing as a stress-free life. Most of the time, anxiety can be manageable. However, if life is stressful for long periods of time, stress hormones can build up in the body and cause:

  • Panic attacks (heart pounding, can’t catch your breath)
  • Digestive issues

These issues are quite easily dealt with using cognitive-behavioral therapy (btw- Vicki practices CBT with her counseling clients). It is worth getting these uncomfortable issues treated and then teens have a lifetime to be able to use their skills!

If anxiety has not built up to the level of experiencing panic attacks or physical symptoms, here are some simple tips that can help:

Parents: if you have anxiety, when you deal with your anxiety it will help the entire household

Parents, whether they like it or not, set the emotional tone for a home. If you set the tone of “yes, I have anxiety but this is how I deal with it”, children and teens grow up to understand that anxiety is a thing but it is a thing that can be managed and helped.

Teach deep breathing

Anxiety is experienced in the body as a dose of stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisol). It helps your teens to be able to run more quickly when the lions are chasing them. Unfortunately or fortunately, there are no lions these days, so stress hormones tend to stay in the body waiting to be used. That is the restless, muscle-achy feeling of anxiety.

God, in his wisdom, gave an antidote for stress hormones: oxygen. And it’s free! (For teens who have Apple watches, their watch actually tells them to breathe- tell your teens to pay attention to that.)

  • To deep breathe:
    • Breathe in through your nose (count to at least 5), try to fill your stomach with air, too
    • Breathe out like a birthday candle (purse your lips and breathe out slowly- count to at least 7)
    • The cool thing about the slow breathe-out  is that your teen is activating the parasympathetic nervous system (the part of the nervous system that says: It’s okay to calm down.
  • Once or twice a day do a deep breathing exercise:

Stay hydrated

If you are hungry, your stomach growls to tell you it needs food. One way your brain cells tell you they are dehydrated is sending anxiety signals. (Brain cells are mostly water, so they cannot do their work, if the water levels are too low.)

Eat healthy foods

The neurotransmitters (the signals that the brain cells make) that help manage mood, energy and anxiety are made from the micronutrients in real food: real proteins, fruits and veggies, probiotics. This is one reason we ask our kids to take their Health class in high school. It helps them own their own self-care. Look at 7SistersHomeschool’s High School Health for the Whole Person.

Get exercise

Teens need to move their bodies more than any time in life. The pandemic has crimped their style for many teens, which is contributing to anxiety. BUT it is SO important to anxiety management and academic success. Moving the body, increases oxygen and also dopamine (for better mood and concentration) and proteins necessary for concentration. (Food for thought: It might be easier to focus on difficult courses if teens exercise first.)

If your teens are too pandemic-stuck to come up with their own exercise ideas, perhaps some family walks or hikes on the weekends might help kickstart the process.

Anxiety is managed with: *Self-care *Thought-care *Lifestyle *Fun *Creativity

Laugh

Proverbs 17:22 reminds us that a “merry heart doeth good like a medicine”. (God is always right, you know.) It turns out that when we laugh, our brains release endorphins and oxytocin. These are mood enhancing and healing hormones.

Be creative

God is a creator and he make us to be creative, also. In fact, using the creative part of the brain activates calming parts of the brain. Creativity can look like:

  • Art projects
  • Doodling
  • Photography
  • Sewing
  • Building
  • Poetry
  • Dance
  • Creative writing
  • Singing
  • Playing musical instruments
  • Creating music on Garageband
  • Cooking

The most important thing that teens need to know about creativity is that they do not need to be good at it. The point is creating, not being “best” or “expert”.

Work on thought patterns

Teens often think negatively about themselves: If I can’t be good at this when I start out, I am a failure. (This causes avoidance and shut-down- writing papers the night before due dates!) Teach teens the power of “yet”. I’m not good at this yet, but I’ll keep working and get better. This is called a growth mindset.

  • Limit: “What if thinking.”  Don’t only plan for disasters. If your teen’s brain says “what if something bad happens”, have them add an empowered way to handle it. “If that happens I can do this.” Then start training the brain away for “what its” (because they usually don’t happen, anyway).
  • Catch self-critical thought and statements
  • Catch them on things well-done or well-tried and compliment
  • Give them a mentor that can model self-care, self-talk, self-confidence

Have new experiences

People need new things. During the pandemic we have all had too much of the same, same, same. This causes anxiety. However, anytime you do something new, when you get home, your brains release oxytocin (healing and bonding hormone).

Remember, if things get too anxious, talk to your family doctor and counselor. Anxiety is such a help-able thing!

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Teens and Anxiety

Mommy Jammies Night with Karla Archer

Tonight’s topic: Mindfulness and its Connection with Anxiety

(Player at the bottom of the page. )

I believe that learning how to help and support your loved ones who are struggling with anxiety doesn’t have to be overwhelming.

And I believe that anyone can do it, one small step at a time.   Karla Archer | Mommy Jammies Night

 

Connect with Karla here on Facebook: Her Page

Visit her site and get your free journal pages, Living the Life Fantastic

About Karla:

Despite the fact that my husband and I had our own anxieties as children and adults, it was startling for us to realize that we had four bright, gifted children who were struggling to cope with their own as well. Helping our children navigate anxiety and anxious thoughts felt quite different from managing our own.

We were filled with so much confusion, doubt, worry, and a fear that we were failing our kids and letting them free fall. We desperately wanted to be able to help them cope and lead healthy lives but we didn’t know where to start. Traditional parenting books and tips just weren’t helpful. 

Determined to help, we began searching online, reading books on childhood anxieties, seeking professional help, and talking with teachers and other parents. As we dug deeper, we discovered ways to help our children navigate their own path through a variety of situations. We made it through with a sense of strength, perseverance, and confidence. We even started a local support group for other parents in the same situation.

Today, our children are thriving, happy, and learning to face, share, and manage their own anxieties.

I know you want the same things for your children, and I can help you get there.

Fear-Based Parenting – MBFLP 187

Are you a frightened parent? It’s one thing to be prudent, because there are real dangers that threaten our kids … but when our caution becomes fear, it can interfere with our children’s healthy development to competent adults … and psychologists say that anxiety is a hallmark of the Millennial adult. This episode, we look at some ways that loving parents might accidentally make things worse when they operate in fear, not faith!

The Cure for Curriculum Addiction

Do you accidentally buy curriculum that you already own or do you frequently buy or download curriculum that you never use? Do you keep running out of space on your bookshelves?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, you’ll want to listen to this episode of The Homeschool Sanity Show. If that’s not you but you know someone who could benefit, please tell them to listen in.

How to Conquer Curriculum Addiction: The Homeschool Sanity Show


Listen on ITUNES.

LINKS

Instagram

The Dove Channel

The Organized Clothing Challenge

Help for Anxious Homeschoolers

my review of America from the Beginning

the best places to buy, sell, borrow, or donate used materials

Have a happy homeschool week!

Helping Your Children Handle Loss

 

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 6.08.49 PMNo matter what stage you’re family is in, loss is inevitable and providing your children with the tools to communicate their grief is one of the greatest gifts you can give them. In this episode, Mary Beth and Kimberly are joined by Patrice Karst, author of the best-selling book, “The Invisible String” to learn how to comfort our children during times of loss or separation from loved ones. Whether your upcoming plans include pulling away from family or your journey takes you away from friends, everyone young and old can benefit from learning about the Invisible String that connects us all. Click play to hear more.

PRIZE OPPORTUNITY!!!!!

Win an Autographed Copy of The Invisible String or The Smile That Went Around the World from last night’s guest, Patrice Karst. To enter, email kimberly@fulltimefamilies.com by midnight Saturday April 30th, 2016, with one nugget of information or advice you took away from the show. Two winners will be drawn randomly, live on next Sunday night’s show (May 1st, 2016 9pm est).

Click play for your chance to win!

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Help for the Anxious Homeschooler

Help for Anxious Homeschoolers: The Homeschool Sanity ShowIf you or a child suffers from anxiety, you’ll appreciate the tips for coping physically, mentally, and spiritually in this episode.

I invite you to subscribe to Psychowith6.

 


Teaching Tip of the Week

This week’s tip is Trello.

Trello

Digital Planning Webinar

The Organized Homeschool Challenge of the Week

This week’s organized homeschool challenge is the Thanksgiving Challenge.

Links

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Progressive Muscle Relaxation Script

Youth With a Mission Christian Heroes biographies

How to Stop Worrying and Start Living


Anxiety-Free Kids by Bonnie Zucker

Helping Your Anxious Child by Ronald Rapee, et. al.

Anxious for Nothing by John Macarthur

Freeing Your Child from Anxiety by Tamar Chansky

Action Steps

Today’s actions steps are to seek to deal with anxiety in you or a child physically, mentally, and spiritually. If you need more help, seek a therapist experienced in treating anxiety and try one of the resources I recommended.

Next week

How to teach children to complete chores consistently.

Have a happy homeschool week!