Having a teenager comes with educating them about physical and mental health practices. Starting this education as early as possible is the best way for them to keep in touch with their needs and wellbeing for their entire lives. There are a few ways that you can go about making sure they know when to ask for mental health help when they need it. Making sure your teen has optimal mental health also means educating them on treating their entire body the right way. Here are some tips to helping them navigate their mental well being.
Educate them on what they are putting into their body
One thing that sets a precedent for great health is to educate your teen on what they are consuming. They need to know to treat their body with care and eat healthy foods. This also means letting them know that it is okay to eat unhealthy sometimes, within moderation. Teaching them how to think about what they do to their body will help them establish a sense of self-respect that will result in better mental health. Once they learn to be caring towards how they treat themselves, they will be able to notice if they are having negative thoughts or feelings towards themselves. Hopefully, it will make them more likely to be introspective and get to the root of the problem, instead of treating their body negatively with unhealthy food and actions.
Mental health is easier managed when physical health is in a great place. Make sure to educate your teen on holistic health and ways to stay in touch with their body’s needs.
Help them become aware of the options
When a teen is struggling with mental health, they can feel isolated and scared. Be proactive and educate them on the steps to getting help and the types of treatment options. There are residential programs for troubled teenagers, group therapy sessions for teenagers, and one-on-one therapists readily available for when they need help. Some schools are beginning to take mental health more seriously in classes. This is a great asset, but don’t count on a school to fully educate them on what the options are if they are struggling with anxiety or depression.
Letting them know how you deal with any mental health issues is another way to teach them coping mechanisms. Maybe your teen feels anxious but doesn’t think therapy is necessary. Teaching them meditation techniques and breathing strategies might be the first step to helping them have an effective outlet.
Create an open narrative about mental health in general
Schools are moving towards more involved mental health education, but it also should be something discussed at home. Taking time to do relaxing activities as a family in honor of stress relief is a great idea to show the importance of winding down. Teenagers have a lot going on mentally and physically. It is important to teach them that taking a break and being nice to yourself is essential to happiness. Be a positive example for your teen when they are looking to navigate their personal mental health journey.
With all of these tips being taken into consideration, sometimes the best way to manage a teen’s mental health is to make them know it is OK to talk about. This can be done by discussing strategies that help with mental health like yoga or taking a day off from social activities. The best thing you can do is to let them know mental health is as important as physical health—they go hand in hand and neither should be neglected.