How to Support your Teens Mental Health During the Holidays
It would be fair to say that it has been a pretty tough year for our young people being in and out of lockdowns and experiencing interruptions to schooling, sports, and social lives. If Covid has taught us anything it is the importance of wellbeing and of all us having the skills and strategies for managing our wellbeing. To this end our Wellbeing Team have been hard at work continuing to deliver our Wellbeing curriculum.
At the moment our Year Level Wellbeing Communities are engaged in:
- Year 7 – Positive Coping and Self Knowledge
- Year 8 – Play, Humor and Fun
- Year 9 – Wellbeing Activities for a Remote Context
- Year 10 – Resilience
- Year 11 – Courage
To support your young person with their wellbeing over the break here are some strategies you could use.
Check in with your Teen. Amidst all of the hustle and bustle of family life it can be difficult to find the time to really check in with your kids. It’s important to really listen and to take cues from what your teen is saying. And if they’re not saying much, ask open ended questions that show you care about your wellbeing. If you’re struggling to find the words try saying things like; ‘This is a tough time. I want to know how you’re experiencing this. What are you finding that’s helping you get through it? How can I support you?’ You don’t have to offer immediate solutions. In fact, sometimes trying to solve the problem for them can do more harm than good. Sometimes our kids, as all of us do, just need a sympathetic ear.
Watch this clip published by the Resilience Project with Lael Stone on connecting with your kids no matter what’s going on.
Don’t let routines get blown out of the water. The brain loves routine. Covid restrictions have meant that lots of us have lost routine and school holidays is always a time where routines can be completely lost. Having a regular bed time, wake time, eating regular meals and keeping social media out of bedrooms can make a big difference on both our physical and mental health. Maybe give your teen a little bit of latitude on the holidays but don’t let the routine go completely.
Find some time to find some joy and wonder. The pandemic has resulted in many of us going into survival mode. We are all experiencing increased stress and pressures as a result of this set of circumstances and lockdowns can make things especially tough. Doing something as simple as going for a walk along the coast and stretching the eyes with a view over the ocean and the cliffs can have a big impact on both our physical and mental health. Being out in nature can improve our mood and lower our stress levels. Whatever you can do to experience the wonder of this amazing part of the world we live in or find some joy with your young person it will be beneficial.
Seek help if needed. Sometimes no matter what we do our young people just need more help. Seeking help from others is an act of strength and courage. No one in our community deserves to feel depressed or anxious so if anyone in your family is feeling that way please reach out to your family GP.
We hope all of our young people and families have a safe, restful and re-energizing break and we look forward to welcoming all of our students back to school in term 4.
This article was adapted from ‘How to Support your Teens’ Mental Health During Covid and Beyond’