Adaptability is the key for healthy teen self-esteem.
Adaptability has everything to do with being prepared for whatever life presents you with each and every day. For many of us we get caught up in daily routines. Daily routines provide comfort which is fine; however, when something changes in that routine for many teens it can be hard to handle. Once this occurs, they can feel disjointed, even depressed. Because of that one curveball, the rest of their day can seem ruined. This doesn’t have to happen. Be ready for whatever comes your way. Adapt to the change. How do you do this?
- By taking up different interests and different activities. Keep trying new things; and meet new people. Move beyond your comfort zone as often as possible.
- The teens I see with the best adaptability skills tend to have one thing in common. They work part-time or volunteer on a consistent basis. Why does this work? Because, you have to be ready for whatever comes your way when you work or volunteer. You get thrown multiple curve balls at the same time. You have to be responsible, on time, take directions well and execute. One day you may be answering the phones, another day you may be working on a computer screen while other days you may be interacting with customers. The unknown is good for you. You will be nervous in the beginning, but with time you build comfort in the process. This in turn builds confidence and self-esteem.
- Interacting with other adults and peers that aren’t your family, neighbors, friends, teammates or teachers tests your comfort zone and prepares you to become a stronger communicator down the road.
- Don’t stick to the same routine, challenge yourself and learn to roll with the punches. That way your whole day can’t be ruined by one problem or obstacle in your way. You get past it, adapt and move on.
Can’t fall asleep?
Sometimes it’s hard for teens to wind down by the end of the day. Between school, sports,
tutors, friends and homework—their brains are constantly on overdrive. No wonder many teens complain of waking up tired in the AM. They aren’t getting the proper rest they need. Think about it. People teach us how to drive, how to cook, how to study…so why don’t people teach us how to sleep? The solution is a sleep ritual.
Here are a few tips to help you sleep.
- Limit your screen time. Not just at night, but during the day. Opt for going outside, reading, or relaxing without a smart phone or tablet near by. It helps your brain wind down.
- An hour before bed, begin what I like to call the “sleep ritual”. Put away all school books, notebooks, homework, etc., and pack your backpack for the next day. Then, put the bag out of sight, ready for the morning.
- Shut all computers, smart phones, and video games off. The key here is no bright lights distracting you.
- Pull down your bed covers, then lower the lights in your room. This triggers your brain that sleep is coming. (*Low music is optional.)
- Take a warm shower in low light or no light. Slow down your mind in the shower by breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Focus on your breathe. The warm water helps produce oxytocin, which help us relax and preps us for sleep.
- After the shower, keep your eyes cast downward. This limits the visual distractions that cue your brain to be active again. After leaving the shower, so straight to your room. Do not interact with family, or get distracted by sounds.
- Once you enter your room, shut off the low light (and music if it’s not on a timer) and go to bed. Chances are you will fall a sleep faster and sleep more soundly.
1) Watching tv in bed is the worse! It doesn’t trigger sleep and inevitably you will keep waking up when the actions on the screen shift in volume. This disrupts your entire sleep cycle.
2) We sleep best in cool environments. So, if you have a habit of keeping socks on before bed or loading on the covers, think about changing that habit. Chances are you kick off the socks in the night and wake up from being over heated. Open a window as well.
3) Drink a glass of water before bead. It hydrates the brain and helps with it’s “self-cleaning” process. You will wake up more rested.
4) If you are a light sleeper, sleep with ear plugs. The average person wakes up far more during the night than they realize. Just because you can’t remember waking up, doesn’t mean that you didn’t.
Most teens don’t want to tell, worry or burden their parents when they are bullied, so they keep it inside. You should tell your parents every time and any time you feel you are the victim of bullying. Just because you can “handle” the bullying situation, doesn’t mean you should have to. I know it may seem scary, but you have to tell an adult. If not a parent, then maybe a teacher you trust. How do you bring it up? Sometimes that can be the hardest part. Find a time when you have your parents’ full attention. Maybe this is while you are driving in the car with them, eating dinner, or taking a long walk. Think about what to say beforehand so when you tell them you won’t get too nervous and forget everything. If you aren’t sure how to start the conversation, say: “I need to tell you something that I’m nervous about and it’s important.” I guarantee your parents will pay close attention. It’s OK if you get upset while telling them. If you want to tell a teacher instead, that’s OK too. Maybe after school when the rest of your class is gone you can ask to speak with them. Again, practice what you want to say. If it helps to bring a friend along for support, that’s OK too.
I can’t stress this enough, don’t avoid the issue for too long. This can lead to you minimizing the severity of the situation and adapting to the poor treatment. Some teens build a defense mechanism around the issue to avoid it. They pretend that it isn’t actually happening. Does pretending really help? No. The bully will continue. Remember, avoiding any situation doesn’t help. Stand up for yourself when dealing with a bully. Protect yourself; demand that the bullying stop. Say something early on. Don’t “accept” it. That’s not a healthy way to cope!
Now if your friend is the one being bullied, what can you do? Well, a lot of things. You can tell your friend that you are there for him or her. If the bully isn’t violent, you can confront the bully together. Show the bully you aren’t taking it anymore. Or, maybe if your friend is just too scared by the bully, you can tell a teacher on his or her behalf. Some teens just don’t know what to do. Be a good friend and do something.
Bottom line— Tell a parent or tell a teacher, but don’t let it continue.