Taking your mental health to heart

Staying well balanced

Taking your mental health to heart

Staying well balanced

Authors: AMÉLIE SEIDAH, PH. D. and ISABELLE GENINET, PH. D, PSYCHOLOGISTS

September 2020

The teenage years are full of good times, but there can also be times when you might feel depressed or anxious. To help you stay balanced, here are a few tips that you can apply to your everyday life.

Adopt good lifestyle habits:

 

😴 Try to get adequate sleep

Chatting with friends, gaming, watching videos… it can sometimes be hard to resist the urge for a late-night lights out. But did you know that your sleep affects your concentration and memory? It also impacts your mood and general enjoyment of life. Sleeping 8 to 10 hours a day helps you stay positive and make the most of your day.

🚲 Take care of yourself

Getting regular exercise and eating healthy foods will help you feel good about yourself—both physically and mentally—and allow you to spend more time with your friends.

📵 Take a break from screens

Social media and video games provide ample opportunities to have fun and stay in touch with others. But too much screen time can affect youth mental health: it can cause you to have trouble concentrating, and it might make you forget to be active or get quality face time with your friends. Establish how much screen time you need each day, and make sure to set some time aside for your loved ones.

Take charge of your emotions:

Find a trustworthy adult to confide in
Talking about things like love, sex, alcohol, or depression can be hard because you might feel like you’re disappointing or being judged by others. But speaking freely will help you feel better and make healthier decisions.

Learn to take a step back
When your emotions are getting the best of you and causing you to feel sad or anxious, a few meditation and soul-searching exercises can help you lower your anxiety and better manage your relationships.Below are a few support exercises you can do every day for better teenage mental health.

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Treat yourself the way you’d treat a friend:

Treat yourself the way you’d treat a friend:

Be mindful of your self-talk when in a stressful situation
Try to think of the last time you were faced with an obstacle or felt overwhelmed with anxiety. Were you overly critical or hard on yourself?

As you’ve probably noticed, we can sometimes be pretty harsh on ourselves when we’re going through a rough period. The good ol’ “kick in the butt” attitude is rarely effective, nor is it sustainable. So why not show yourself the same level of compassion and kindness that you’d show a friend?

Self-compassion is a way of finding the courage to face your troubles instead of ignoring or running away from them. Showing yourself compassion doesn’t mean that you’re passively addressing the issue. It’s not a resignation. It’s a means of actively relieving your suffering and, in doing so, supporting better mental health in teens.

 


🤔

Do you have questions about self-compassion?

Try taking this short quiz to get a better grasp of the concept. ↓

Self-compassion quiz

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“Practicing self-compassion will make me self-centred.”

• Learn to adopt positive self-talk:

Observe ton discours intérieur quand tu vis une difficulté
To start with, try to take stock of your thoughts and feelings, without judging them. Bear in mind that doubts, fears and painful emotions are part of the human experience.
It’s quite possible that someone, somewhere, is experiencing the same feelings as you. Rather than criticize or get angry with yourself, try to be a source of comfort and talk to yourself as though you were talking to your best friend.
And remember that you won’t get there overnight; you need to work at it. To help you learn to treat yourself with more kindness in moments of distress, try to take a moment to practice self-compassion. Don’t worry, you have nothing to lose by trying!

Take the self-compassion break

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Taking care of my mental health

Self-compassion
Self-compassion

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Learn about the contributor’s book

TOUT savoir pour composer avec les turbulences à l’adolescence – Isabelle Geninet & Amélie Seidah Ph. D Psychologists

Finding out that someone you care about is deliberately hurting themselves can be very upsetting. Family members often experience a great deal of anxiety and helplessness and may be unsure how to react.

This book offers some insight into the act of self-harm by providing clear answers to 10 frequently asked questions and, above all, outlining proven strategies and courses of action to provide better support for teens and help them safely and effectively overcome their challenges.

This guide offers reassurance and answers for parents and caregivers concerned about teens and self-harm.

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