Is anxiety or stress starting to take a toll in your home? Maybe it’s not just the adults feeling the pressures of life, but also the pre-teens and teenagers expressing and showing signs of stress and anxiety. It can show up in different ways and can be very personal as to how we all experience it. Although we as adults can relate to some of the sources of stress that teens face, they also have demands on their life that we no longer face, as well as issues and experiences that didn’t exist when we were younger.
Stress isn’t always a bad thing! It can be helpful in small doses and can help you perform under pressure and push you to do your best. But feeling or being in a constant state of stress and running on what feels like a constant emergency can take a toll on your mind and body. Beyond a certain point, stress can stop being helpful and starts causing damage to our health, mood, relationships and quality of life.
For teens, things like family, school demands, and social relationships can become tangled and complicated. Expectations in school, extra-curricular, family, self image, peers and friends, daily influence of technology and social media on top of the changes that occur growing up are some of the stressors teen face. Anxiety can include extreme amounts of fear, nervousness, and worry. This worry can focus on many things, be it past, present or future, and possibly include past conversations, behaviours, upcoming events or school and family problems, health, school or sports and even issues in the world. These stressors and anxiety can interfere with their daily life.
The nervous system isn’t always good at distinguishing between physical or emotional stress. The brain may react the same when stressing over studying for a test, or a life and death situation. This can put the body into a state of ‘fight or flight’ which is what takes a toll on our health. Some of the health concerns that can show up as symptoms, for adults and children, include:
- Sleep problems, fatigue
- Digestive problems, skin problems such as eczema, weight problems
- Difficulty concentrating
- Depression, moodiness, irritability, anger
- Muscle tension, aches, pains
- Loneliness and isolation, withdrawing from others
- Eating more or less
- Substance use
- Nervous habits
Some teens, when feeling daily stress or anxiety, may not have the skills to cope with these stressors. Which leads to the question of how do you cope with stress in your life? How are you modelling coping strategies when life, family, or work create added anxiety in your daily life? Children witness these actions and having healthy strategies to use and teach them are important. Teens that develop stress management can become healthier and more balanced individuals.
Self-care is a strategy that sometimes is hard to make the time for. I believe in the value of self-care and working hard personally to create more time in my schedule for it, but it can be a challenge when life’s demands seem to take precedence. I also know that while self-care is important, it’s also important to take care of family. If you are noticing that you and your daughter are experiencing some stress and anxiety and needing some time to rebalance, relax, and let go of the “fight or flight”, contact me at Stillpoint Bodyworks for a Mother and Daughter session.
If you are feeling unbalanced, ungrounded, or carrying some aches and pains in your daily life, contact us for a free discovery session to see how we can help you on your self-care journey!