Managing Personal Stress
For Teens Only!
All of these ideas can lower stress without doing any harm. None are quick fixes, but they will lead you toward a healthy and successful life. Think about what makes you feel good and what you can do to cope with life’s pressures.
Tackling the Problem
Point 1: Figure out what the problem is and make it manageable.
A lot of people deal with problems by ignoring them. This does not make them go away; usually they just get worse.
People who try to fix their problems tend to be emotionally healthier.
When it comes to work (like studying or chores), the best way to enjoy yourself is to get the work done first. Sometimes people say they will do fun things first and do their work later, but the problem is they’re having less fun because they’re worrying about the work they’re ignoring. And of course, the longer they put it off, the more they worry.
Fights with parents and friends don’t go away unless you deal with what upset you in the first place, or unless everyone says they’re sorry and decides to forgive each other.
Two ideas can help you manage a lot of work.
Break the work into small pieces. Then just do one small piece at a time, rather than look at the whole huge mess. As you finish each piece, the work becomes less overwhelming.
Make lists of what you need to do. This will help you sleep because your head won’t spin with worry about whether you can do everything. At the end of the day, you will have less to worry about as you check off the things you have finished. You will look at the same huge amount of homework and say to yourself, “I can do this!”
Point 2: Avoid things that bring you down.
Sometimes we know exactly when we are headed for trouble. Avoiding trouble from a distance is easier than avoiding it up close. You know the people who might be a bad influence on you. You know the places where you’re likely to get in trouble. You know the things that upset you. Choose not to be around those people, places, and things that mess you up.
Point 3: Let some things go.
It’s important to try to fix problems, but sometimes there’s nothing you can do to change a situation. For example, you can’t change the weather, so don’t waste your energy worrying about it. You can’t change the fact that teachers must give tests, so start studying instead of complaining about how unfair they are. People who waste their energy worrying about things they can’t change don’t have enough energy left over to fix the things they can.
For more information visit www.healthychildren.org
Keeping hands clean through improved hand hygiene is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water. If clean, running water is not accessible, as is common in many parts of the world, use soap and available water. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol to clean hands.
When should you wash your hands?
Before, during, and after preparing food
Before eating food
Before and after caring for someone who is sick
Before and after treating a cut or wound
After using the toilet
After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
After touching an animal or animal waste
After handling pet food or pet treats
After touching garbage
What if I don’t have soap and clean, running water?
Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to reduce the number of germs on them. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations, but sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs.
Hand sanitizers are not as effective when hands are visibly dirty. How do you use hand sanitizers?
Apply the product to the palm of one hand.
Rub your hands together.
Rub the product over all surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry.
What is the right way to wash your hands?
Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold) and apply soap.
Rub your hands together to make a lather and scrub them well; be sure to
Rub your hands together to make a lather and scrub them well; be sure to scrub the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
Continue rubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
Rinse your hands well under running water.
Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them
For more information on handwashing visit www.cdc.gov/handwashing/
The teen growth spurt is one of the most dramatic, rapid changes that the human body experiences; it’s second only to the amazing growth that takes place during the first year of life. To support this major transition, the body requires increased calories and nutrients. During the year of the greatest growth in height (about age 12 in most girls and age 14 in most boys) the average female requires 2,400 calories per day and the average male needs between 2,800 and 3,000 calories per day.
“Oh, great,” I can hear you saying. “My teen probably eats that many calories in bagels, burgers, cheese, pizza, and soda.”
Not to worry (too much). If your child isn’t obsessed with food (eating too much or not eating enough) and is getting good reports at regularly scheduled medical check-ups, then in all likelihood there’s no cause for alarm.
The Good Eats Department
Hopefully, by the time your child is a teenager, you’ve laid the groundwork for good eating. (Food consumption during the teen years probably won’t reflect the values you’ve taught; don’t worry, she’ll come back to them later on.)
Your child has internalized some basic ideas about healthy eating:
- Meal time is a pleasant time when the family enjoys being together, and no one gets nagged about what they eat.
- Family members are encouraged to stop eating when they’re full. No one is forced to “eat just a little more” or to clean their plate.
- Food is not a reward: A good grade on an English test doesn’t warrant extra helpings of ice cream.
- Food isn’t used as a substitute for comfort: If your teen didn’t make the hockey team, going out for pizza is not the solution.
- Adult family members model good eating habits, and if they diet, they do it safely.
- The fridge is stocked with healthy foods and most meals are nutritionally balanced.
Though snagging family members to sit down and eat together can be daunting, you ought to make it a priority at least twice a week. (And if dinners are difficult, what about a family breakfast on Sundays?) A few tips to make the most of family meals:
- On nights when getting the entire family together is impossible, see who’s available. If you eat only with your son, for example, he might tell you things you would never get to hear if the rest of the family was around.
- In addition to using meal time as a time to be together, a shared meal also offers you the opportunity to sneak some extra nutrition into your teen’s diet. You don’t have to mention the fact that your famous cheese lasagna is packed with calcium, but by preparing it, you’re giving your teen some of the nutrients she needs to grow.
- Meal times also offer you an opportunity to introduce different foods (no need to produce a sliced mango or a baked tofu dish with a big flourish; just serve it and let your teen try what she wants).
- In addition to a basic dinner, always provide teenage-friendly filler foods such as bread or a bowl of pasta. That way even if your son doesn’t like what’s on his plate, he will stay at the table because there’s something else that he’ll eat. In addition, this “filler” food will help him reach the caloric intake he needs.
- Leave a meal in the fridge for times when you won’t all be together. It offers the opportunity for her to have something healthy at the end of the day.
Short on time during the week? Everyone is, but there are still some ways to help the family eat healthy:
- Cook on the weekends, and freeze the food in appropriate portions.
- Teach your teen to cook—some healthy foods are simple to make. A grilled cheese sandwich provides calcium; a home-prepared hamburger is easy and nutritious; a quick baked potato topped with cheese, ham, or vegetables is microwavable; and pasta with sauce from a jar is fine, too. If your teen is an enthusiastic cook you may find yourself dining on a meal he’s decided to prepare.
- Keep frozen pizza on hand. You’d hate to have to eat it every night, but no one ever died of having it once in awhile.
Snacking: “You’ll Ruin Your Dinner!”
When your children were younger you may have had a very strict policy on when—and if—they could snack. By the teen years, your teen is in charge, and your job is to provide nutritious snacks and a flexible attitude.
Because they have high caloric needs, teens can’t get all the calories they need in three meals a day, so it’s natural and important for them to snack.
Keep nutritious and filling foods with lots of teen appeal within snacking distance, such as:
- Whole-grain crackers and a variety of low-fat cheeses
- Fluffy whole wheat bread and sandwich fixings (lean turkey, tuna packed in water, lettuce, and tomatoes)
- Colorful fruit (try plums, nectarines, bananas, kiwis, or a bowl of juicy mixed berries)
- Raw vegetables (pre-cut carrots and celery store well kept in water in the refrigerator)
- Healthy munchies like low-fat, low-salt pretzels and light popcorn
Read more on FamilyEducation: http://life.familyeducation.com/teen/foods/48523.html#ixzz2PagbmAOT