Ten Top Tips for Teenagers
1. Remember you are so much more than your skin, your body weight, your height: smile and engage with others and be interested in them.
People are more likely to remember how you made them feel than focus on an element of what you look like
2. Shore up your support network: friends, family and, where you feel it would be helpful, other adults such as a Teacher, your GP, a Counsellor
Being a teenager can feel tough, it’s also tough being an adult … putting together a support network will help you now and build support for the future too.
3. Whatever it is … its normal!
So many young people come to see us because they think they are the only ones with particular thoughts/feelings. Trust me, whatever it is, you are not alone
4. Talk about it .. whatever ‘it’ is
The only way to know you are not alone is to be brave enough to take the first step and talk to someone. As a therapist I meet so many adults who haven’t learnt this lesson and who have suffered in silence for years. Don’t be one of those adults.
5. Focus on the positive
As human beings we have a tendency to focus on what is bad about ourselves/our lives and forget what is good. Keep a diary reminding yourself of your good qualities, what is going well. Keep a diary of everything positive that happens in the day or that you think about yourself. Absolutely do not write down anything negative. Complete your diary each evening and re read previous entries to remind yourself of positive things before going to sleep.
6. On the subject of which …. get a good night’s sleep!
Yes, I know I probably sound like your mother but sleep is important. We cannot think clearly, concentrate or operate as a rational human being if we are sleep deprived. Be kind to your body and mind and let it rest!
7. Be kind to yourself
You are a teenager, you are facing situations you have never faced before and you will make mistakes. You can either beat yourself up about what went wrong and/or be consumed by guilt or you can pick yourself up and say ‘well, that’s a mistake I’ll never have to make again’. Learn from each situation and then move on.
8. It’s OK to make changes
Nothing is set in stone. Didn’t do so well in your exams – re-take. Don’t like the career you’ve chosen – change it. You can either choose to see yourself as buffeted by the hands of fate or the master of your own destiny. Only you can decide …..
9. Be kind to others too
We feel best about ourselves when we are making others feel good about themselves. Look out for opportunities to carry out random acts of kindness. You have the power to make someone else feel really good about themselves. Use your power wisely!
10. Have fun
Make sure you laugh each day, look for ways to connect with others and take exercise (exercise gives us a natural buzz). You are facing some serious stuff – exams, grades, university choices, career choices …. all important but none of it so important that you shouldn’t make time to relax and let go from time to time.