Teens, School, and Stress Management

Teens, School, and Stress Management

One of the most important components of stress management and a busy schedule is prioritizing.

A lot of the anxious, perfectionist teens I work with feel overwhelmed by the amount of things to get done during the busy school year.

Rather than letting all of those tasks feel insurmountable, you can break down what needs to be done and when.

Step by step.

Figure out the steps needed to reach your goal, and keep those steps really specific and time-sensitive (such as, "I need to research 10 articles for this upcoming history paper by Tuesday," vs. just "I need to start work on my history paper.")

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Child Stress Responses

Child Stress Responses

Stress responses impact emotional and behavioral health in a few ways. 

Physiologically, a stress response leads to increased heart rate, breath rate, pupil dilation, and muscle tension. Your child’s adrenal glands are pumping to prepare them for a fight, flight, or freeze response. It’s a healthy activation. 

What happens with repeated stressors?

But when this stress response gets activated again and again, it becomes maladaptive on the body’s long term health. A higher amount of adverse childhood experiences (stressors) is linked to a greater chance of cancer, drug use, stroke and heart attacks. 

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Social Media, Stress, and Changing Habits - Part 2

Social Media, Stress, and Changing Habits - Part 2

In part 1, we focus on why it's important to cut down on tech use.

Anxiety often leads to self-medicating behaviors, and one of the biggest behaviors for kids and teens is social media usage.

What happens physically/mentally when you quit social media or go on a tech cleanse?

Going on a cleanse from media it’s pretty stressful. When you’re looking at curbing an addictive behavior, the first few days are the hardest. Then it gets easier, and then it gets harder again when your brain catches up and realizes that this isn’t just a temporary measure.

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Social Media, Stress, and Changing Habits - Part 1

Social Media, Stress, and Changing Habits - Part 1

Because I specialize in anxiety, I know how frequently addictive behaviors can co-occur.

I even have clients on my schedule specifically because of their media addiction, with anxiety as the underlying concern. So, I was so happy to talk with Huffington Post earlier this year on "going dry for a month" regarding tech, social media, and smartphones.

The reason addictive behaviors can occur so frequently is because anxiety is tough to deal with. And an anxious mind feels better when it’s distracting itself with media, sugar, or alcohol. All can be self-medicating behaviors.

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Anxiety Tools for Teens and College Students in St. Louis

Anxiety Tools for Teens and College Students in St. Louis

Managing anxiety is tough.

And it can be hard to focus on anything else when it feels like anxiety is at the forefront of your mind. It gets in the way of schoolwork, family time, stuff with friends or romantic partners. 

If you deal with anxiety on a regular basis, you also probably know how it builds over time. Sometimes it builds slowly, until you suddenly realize that you're way too stressed out. Other times, it seems to skyrocket and you're left dealing with a very unexpected panic attack.

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