Expensive Youngsters, Right here’s Defend Your Emotional Properly-Being

Dear Teenagers, Here’s How to Protect Your Emotional Well-Being

According to my most recent column offering adults a 2020 Back to School List of Teenage Emotional Wellbeing, several teenage commentators asked me to address them as much as they did their parents: “As intelligent people who have the tools, support you and their loved ones in this difficult time. "

Dear teenagers, you are right. And I'm so glad you asked. Here is my guide on what you can do to stabilize yourself in the turmoil of the pandemic.

Teenagers experience feelings more intensely than adults, both negative and positive. While this adds to the psychological discomfort you are experiencing, it also means you are getting more out of joys and joys. These days, the only bright spots many of us find are small ones, and for many adults these don't feel very satisfying. But for you, small comforts and joys are more comforting and joyful than they are for adults. When your mood needs a boost, make the most of this emotional superpower.

What makes this power work for you will be very personal. You can enjoy video games, indulge in pumpkin spices, cuddle your pet, be in nature, listen to music, go for a run, or do something completely different. The adults in your life may not fully understand how happy it makes you to watch your favorite movie for the umpteenth time. No problem. Just know what is giving you a boost right now and enjoy it to the fullest.

If you are worried, sad, stressed, frustrated, or anything else, trust that you are almost certainly feeling the "right" feeling. I say this because you grew up in a culture that is unnecessarily afraid of uncomfortable emotions and which may have given you the impression that emotional stress invariably signals fragile mental health. That is not true. In difficult times, feeling annoyed proves that your emotions are working exactly the way they should. You are in touch with reality – though painful – and tailored to your circumstances.

When your mood is good, trust that too. When the world is deviating from its axis, you may wonder if it is okay to be comfortable. It is. Should you find calm emotional waters following stormy waves of distress, don't assume that you have somehow lost touch. Most likely, you have processed and overcome a painful mood, mainly by allowing yourself to have it.

Sometimes we make room for uncomfortable feelings. In other cases, psychological defenses such as circuit breakers kick in by themselves to protect us from emotional overload. Although psychological defenses can be problematic, e.g. For example, when people use denial to ignore a painful truth, they are often healthy and can help us regulate how much we suddenly find ourselves in a difficult situation.

For example, you might find that the anger you feel about your troubled school days gives way to an appreciation for your growing self-sufficiency. As you move from anger to rationalization, your connection with what is happening remains while the emotional burden is reduced. Using humor – say, if you're inspired to come up with inventive ways to beat up your classmates in order to deal with the frustration of sitting in online classes – works the same way. Here's the point: your mind is designed to help you through this difficult time. Value the ability to keep your emotional flow at a manageable level.

Getting plenty of sleep and physical activity will improve your mood, reduce your stress levels, and increase how much you like yourself and other people. Enjoy the company of people who will calm and energize you. Avoid the ones that make you feel troubled or depleted.

Distribute your mental energy carefully. So much is going to go sideways this year, and you have a right to fret about the challenges and frustrations of Covid-19. Give yourself time to get excited. Then try to focus the majority of your energy on what you can control. What kind of friend do you want to be this year? What do you want to learn and get better? What Can You Do to Help Others? Focus on what remains in your power because when you use that power you will feel better.

If hardship is to be expected, when is it time to worry? A first reason would be if your unwanted feelings feel like bad roommates: always there and taking the fun out of everything. It is one thing when sadness, fear, irritation, outrage, or grief come to visit. But it is different if they move in or linger for more than a day or two.

A second cause for concern would be if you routinely use unhealthy strategies to numb or contain painful feelings. Avoiding everyone, constantly angry, abusing substances, or sacrificing sleep to get involved in social media can bring short-term relief, but cause bigger problems later on.

Finally, if you feel like you are harming yourself or otherwise unsafe, you should worry. If you are concerned about your own wellbeing or that of a friend, reach out to a trusted adult. Tell a parent, a counselor at your school, or another adult you can count on that you are taking the situation seriously and are mobilizing the right supporters.

These are incredibly difficult times that are emotionally draining for everyone. But teenagers shouldn't underestimate the value of their own particular strengths. Understanding, using, and protecting your mental health resources will serve you well now and for the rest of your life.


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