Coping With Teen Stress
Mouloukou Bangoura | On 09, Nov 2017
Ms. Kimberly Van Burch, a licensed psychotherapist with a private practice in Jersey City, works with many adolescents on a daily basis.
A majority of teens she has worked with suffer from depression, low self-esteem, and anxiety, and all of three of these are impacted by stress.
“Teenagers are impacted by stress and anxiety just as much as adults are,” Ms. Van Burch said.
Ms. Van Burch was helpful in talking with The Commentator about five things that stress teens out.
Homework/School. Kids are worried about their grades and are sometimes given a lot of work that may overload their brains and cause them to panic.
Parents/Family. Teens often become stressed out by having to meet their parents’ expectations, or sometimes there are family issues present.
Social Life. Friends, boyfriends, girlfriends… Stress, stress, stress!
Time. Teens have lots of deadlines and they sometimes affect their sleep, which perpetuates the stress cycle.
Sports. Pressure, performance anxiety, strict regimens: all a recipe for stress.
So what are we to do to get mentally healthy?
Ms. Van Burch gave a few tips on how to deal with stress, and at the top of her list was sleep and nutrition.
“Teens don’t get a lot of sleep,” she said. [Sleep] is very important for teens to function throughout the day.” She also stressed healthy eating and not waiting too long between meals.
“Waiting too long to eat might trigger anxiety because your blood sugars are low,” Ms. Van Burch said.
Other tips for managing stress include staying connected with people. Social connection is very important, as is staying active like having a hobby or something that may be of interest to you, and that does not include your cell phone.
“[Teens] should take breaks from social media,” she advised.
Further tips for coping with stress include meditation, deep breathing, and visualization.
Finally, Ms. Van Burch strongly recommends that teens open up about their feelings with people who make them feel safe and comfortable.