It really isn't a surprise that with a constant plug attached to the entire world 🌎 life can be pretty overwhelming some days for an average adult let alone our youth.
According to health stats 1 in 5 teens in Muskoka suffer from depression and anxiety. I imagine the numbers are similar across the board in the GTA.
As a mother of a teen and a tween I can say with all certainty that our parents never had the challenges our generation is facing in parenting our children with a plug in to the World Wide Web 24 hours a day 365 days.
We consulted a local family counsellor for advice on how to best support our children through this difficult stage of growing up in today's world.
Ryan Baptiste CACCF recommends "in my experience the most important thing parents can do to support their children is listen and be available. Being a teenager is hard enough and most teens will seek their independence and it's important to observe from a distance any changes in behavior or eating habits.
Some doctors don't believe in prescribing anxiety medications to teens as most (and that word is key) as they alter the brain chemicals.
The top five tips I can suggest to teens to help combat the anxiety they may be feeling is:
1. Exercise or spend more time partaking in a hobby. Its a Great stress relief and has the potential to distract from the issue at hand.
2. Eat healthy. Stress can wreak havoc physically on a body. Its important to take care of yourself during times of stress.
3. Talk about it. Sometimes putting it into words can help you make sense of these confusing feelings.
4. Break large tasks into smaller more attainable ones.
5. Breathe, it's cliche, but deep abdominal breathing acts as a reset for the body and mind. Slow inhales and exhales work wonder.
If all else fails consult your phamily physician 👨⚕️
There is also support available online on the Canadian Mental Health Assoc. Muskoka Perry Sound.