September 29, 2015 

Adolescents are increasingly stressed with the multiple demands placed upon them: they are expected to perform at their best in academics, in standardized tests and in extra-curricular activities. In addition, they should eat well, get enough sleep, exercise and successfully navigate through teenage relationships. All of this, while their bodies are being overrun with hormonal changes. The demands accelerates as they approach college.

The pressure spills over to the parents, who are juggling the multiple demands of parenting, work and health. Families can develop toxic levels of stress that overwhelm everyone if stress management techniques are not employed.

Sleep is Critical to Stress Management
  • Teens require 8.5 to 10 hours of sleep each night yet most teens average 7 hours of sleep nightly
  • Research shows that when stress levels are too high or too low, memory and learning can be impaired
  • Sleep deprivation can increase impulsive and violent behavior and is a factor in delinquency
  • Research shows that lack of sleep negatively affects mood and a depressed mood can lead to lack of sleep
  • Healthy sleep patterns are associated with healthier weight, lower risk of involvement in automobile accidents, better grades, higher test scores, lower depression levels and reduced risk of suicidal behavior
  • Chronic sleep loss in youths has been identified as one of the most common and fixable public health issues in the United States
Take Action and Get Positive Results 
All too often we read the headlines about a young person committing suicide; we wonder what went awry. Teaching our children how to manage stress effectively and modeling positive behaviors for them is a good starting point for them to build good coping skills.
  • It is okay to make mistakes
  • No one is perfect
  • Have fun and remember to laugh
  • Learn/ practice relaxation techniques
  • Exercise
  • Eat together as a family at least once a week
  • Pay attention to what your child is telling you- directly and indirectly
  • Build trust
  • Encourage good sleep habits
  • Teach your children to problem solve
  • Help them practice getting through a difficult situation
  • Do not over-schedule
  • Encourage the expression of feelings
  • Remind them: thoughts are not facts
When channelled well, stress helps us perform at our best. If your child seems to struggling, encourage them to talk. Envelop them with unconditional love. Seek professional help, if needed, for them to learn effective coping tools. Remind them, and yourself, that these struggles will subside: there is a college for everyone who wants to attend.

At Core Counseling, you can pursue Mind-Body Wellness through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness and other therapeutic techniques. To find out more or to schedule an appointment, call me at Core Counseling, LLC: 201.875.5699. Experience a comfortable, private and confidential environment with an atmosphere of encouragement, optimism and compassion.

Together we can find solutions to your core issues.  "There are no shortcuts to any place worth going." Helen Keller

In Health,

Lisa Fedder, MSW, LCSW, LCADC
560 Sylvan Avenue                     108 Baker Street
Englewood Cliffs, NJ  07632       Maplewood, NJ  07040
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