Category: Teen Life

How to Recover from Stress in a Healthy Way

Stressful moments come in all shapes and sizes. You might have a disagreement with a close friend, sibling or parent. Tempers flare, and you find yourself feeling anxious and upset. Tests or projects in school bring another kind of stress, worrying about deadlines and making the grade. The way you recover from a stressful situation is just as important as how you make your way through it.

Take a Deep Breath

Your body’s response to stress is hardwired deep in your brain. Almost every living thing on the planet has a stress response that experts refer to as the fight or flight response. When you are under stress, you may notice that your heart beats faster and you feel anxious. Your brain has released hormones that signal your body to get revved up for action. In addition to a faster heartbeat, your body also releases energy that prepares your muscles to snap into action. When you take a deep breath, you are reversing the signal and telling your body to slow down. This meditation app explains that when you intentionally take a few deep breaths, you will start to feel calmer and are able to think more clearly about the situation.

Be Gentle with Yourself

Part of recovering from a moment of stress is learning to let go of it. This personal injury lawyer describes how traumatic situations can leave you with mental damage that can develop into anxiety, PTSD, or depression. Make sure you don’t retraumatize yourself by replaying the event over and over in your head. When you recognize that you are thinking about an upsetting event, instead of replaying it in a first-person view, try to replay it like a movie in the third person. This can give you some distance from the event, watching things play out in a safe way. 

It can also be helpful to spend some time in silence. When you realize that you are replaying the event, focus on your breath so you begin to control the thought pattern, recognizing that you are just thinking, and the event is not really happening again. Finally, take some time to read a book, watch a show or do something that will give you some distance from the stressful moment.

Go for a Long Walk

Because your body prepares for action when you are under stress, physical exercise can help you recover from stress. Going for a long walk, taking a run or dancing can help your body process the hormones and use the extra energy that is part of the stress response. Going out in the fresh air also encourages you to breathe more deeply, which will slow things down. Blue Zones describes how walking in the woods is seen as an important way to deal with stress in some cultures. There is something about being surrounded by tall trees that reminds you about how small your problems are in the grand scheme of things.

Make Healthy Choices

Sometimes, when people are under stress, they try to use food, drugs or alcohol to calm down. These may supply short-term relief, but they can cause serious long-term problems.  Hotel California By The Sea says that many substance abusers’ issues stem from people trying to self-medicate. It is too easy to fall into a pattern of reaching for something unhealthy every time you feel stressed or anxious. You will feel better about yourself if you stick with healthy choices as you recover from stress. If you are craving something sweet, reach for some fruit instead of candy or other sweets. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Stress throws you off balance, so you want to eat and drink in a way that gets you feeling normal.

Keep Things in Perspective

Once you calm down, you can start to put the stressful moment into perspective. A bad test grade is not the end of the world. Real friendships do not break after one argument. You were angry and upset at that moment, but that moment has passed. Once you have navigated through some of the emotion, you can think of the things that are going well in your life.  This can help your mind think rationally and let the small things go. Sometimes we need a break from our own thoughts. It is easy to overthink and to take life too seriously. Talking and laughing with others is a good way to keep life in perspective and to remember to enjoy it.  

Occasional stresses are a part of life. You will not always get along with everyone. Your plans will not always come out the way you expected. When you learn how to calm down and recover from a stressful episode, it will benefit both your physical and mental well-being.

Learn about healthy eating choices by reading, “Food Sanity: How to eat in a world of fads and fiction”.

3 Tips for a More Confident You

Confidence isn’t something that makes your life perfect or solves all your problems, but it can greatly reduce the extent to which you feel these problems or even see them as problems. It’s also not a feeling that overtakes all at once and sticks with you forever. Being confident on a regular basis is a commitment, and you need to understand these tips in order to make it stick.

Face Your Fears

Our biggest sources of pride are often ones that gave us the most fear. If you’re scared to ask someone out, it’s likely because you like them a lot. As uncomfortable as it can be to confront these fears, it’s not any more uncomfortable than it is to have “what if” dwelling on your mind constantly. Being rejected or not accomplishing what you set out to do can hurt, but it can also teach you to grow in resilience and not take failing so personally. Becoming your best self has less to do with measuring your efforts in terms of success and more to do with seeing how putting forth the effort means you win no matter what.

Overcome Self-Doubt

Self-doubt can be a voice in your head that tries to tell you what you are and aren’t capable of. It can also make you doubt your value as a person. There’s so much about you that makes you special, even the things that might not seem all that special or positive. The fact that you have your own mind and a perspective on the world means you have something to share.

Set Yourself Up to Win

It’s not possible to completely eliminate all chances of failure. If that was the case, we wouldn’t need to teach people to build self-confidence. However, you can do your best to work with what you have. The story of Zach Hodskins shows that when you set yourself up to win, no matter the odds, you’re setting yourself up for success. He was able to play college basketball even without a left arm. Instead of falling into negative mind-traps, think about how you can meet your goals with the cards you’ve been dealt.

The energy from confident people can make you admire them in a way you’ve never felt before. The way they trust themselves so much is inspiring, but it’s also something that could apply to you. All you need is to believe in yourself and accept your flaws as not being indicative of your worth. Confidence wants to be in your life, and you should do your best to open the door for it.

How to Get the Help You Need for PTSD

You can experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from many types of events. Though most people think of war when they think of PTSD, you may suffer from its symptoms due to experiences that have nothing to do with time in the military. The instigator could have been a car crash, sexual assault, or any other traumatic occurrence. Fortunately, there are ways to get help with your PTSD so you can deal with it properly and get your life back.

Go to a Therapist

Seeing a therapist is not something to be ashamed of, and the stigma that used to surround needing help from a professional has all but disappeared in today’s society. PTSD is a real condition, and you can benefit from seeking treatment from a mental health professional. In fact, a therapist can help you find the root cause of your PTSD and teach you coping skills. Think of going to therapy just as you would think of seeking any other medical treatment. In essence, it’s no different from going to a doctor when you are physically ill. According to Stewart J. Guss, if your PTSD was due to the negligent actions of another, you may be able to receive compensation to help pay for treatment.

Join a Support Group

PTSD can leave you feeling extremely isolated. Suffering through the symptoms of this condition tricks you into thinking no one else could possibly know what you’re going through. The truth is, there are support groups full of people dealing with PTSD. Joining one can help you receive the support you need. As Bridges to Recovery suggests, you can look for a support group that addresses PTSD in general, or you can look for a group whose members’ PTSD was brought on by the same type of event as yours. Either way, having other people in your life who know what you’re going through will help you recover.

Talk to Your Doctor

Your doctor needs to know about your PTSD so it can be addressed when assessing your overall health and well-being. Your general practitioner may also be able to offer help for symptoms that won’t go away and are making your life more difficult. Medication will not cure PTSD, but some people choose to take something for the anxiety and depression that often accompany the condition. There are also natural options like nature retreats for helping your body cope with the problem when you are struggling with PTSD. Your doctor can discuss them with you.

Living with PTSD is not easy, but there are plenty of ways for you to deal with this condition. Seek help, and whatever you choose to do, don’t isolate yourself.

Why You Should Continue Your Education After High School

A degree is not simply something to do for a period of time after completing high school studies. Whether it is a four-year college or even another degree program, additional education is becoming more and more of a necessity in today’s world. Here are some reasons why you should consider continuing your education after you graduate from high school.

Do You Want a Larger Income?

There are numerous studies that have compared the earnings of those who have college degrees with those who do not. The results of these studies are always unanimous. According to Cornerstone University, those who have college degrees almost always earn larger paychecks than others. Your skills are more marketable, and employers are willing to pay for it. Of course, being able to earn a living no matter what is always a good thing. Your potential to make a living will be even better with advanced education.

Do You Want Better Financial Security?

Once you have an education, it becomes an asset that you own. It is something that will always be yours no matter what happens. This will mean that you will always have something to offer a potential employer. If your current job does not work out for whatever reason, you have something on which you can fall back. Your education will provide a base that you can build on in the future, either in another position or by getting more education. While education is not a guarantee of a future position, it is always a strong factor in your favor when you apply for a position.

Do You Have a Dream?

Many people appreciate education not just for what it can do for their career and earnings, but also for the sake of learning itself. Your learning can become your passion if you find something that truly interests and enchants you. Not only can learning change your life, but it can also help you to fulfill your dreams. You may have a professional aspiration that you will need a degree in order to be able to fulfill. The truth is that education can have any one of a number of benefits for you. 

How Can I Continue My Education?

The good news is that continuing your education is much easier than you ordinarily would have thought. Not only can you attend a four-year college at a traditional campus, but you can also receive an education online at your own pace and leisure. You can take a class every now and then or become a full-time student. Independence University points out that online universities are accredited, offer flexible course schedules, a wide range of programs, and financial aid. It has never been more convenient to receive an education, and you can even take night classes. Additionally, you will find that the amount of offerings has dramatically expanded, meaning that all you have to do is just learn what is out there.

You have every incentive in the world to further your education after high school. Pursuing further education opens you up to a better quality of life, unique life opportunities, and the ability to chase your dreams. The hard part, then, is choosing from all of your options.

Keep Your Teeth Healthy with These Snacks

It’s important to see a dentist regularly for a dental checkup, but there are plenty of things that you can do at home to maintain a healthy smile. You’ll want to brush regularly, floss and there are even some foods that are beneficial to your overall dental health. Munching on a few of these foods each day will keep your teeth and gums in peak health — it might not seem like a concern now, but you’ll thank yourself a couple decades down the road.

Milk 

Milk has the ability to neutralize saliva that has been acidified by other foods, like candy and soda. Acid can lead to dental erosion, discoloration, sensitive teeth, and a lot more. Having an acidic mouth also encourages plaque growth. 

You only need to add one glass of milk to your daily diet in order to reap the benefits. You can also snack on other dairy products, but beware of the sugar content. Yogurt, pudding, and chocolate milk all contain a lot of sugar that could lead to cavities. Cheese is a great alternative low-sugar dairy snack.

Carrots 

Carrots are a wonderfully nutritious food that is beneficial for your whole body. While they’re most often associated with eye health, they’re also great for your teeth. The keratins in carrots can reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol (which can be bad for dental health), and also help keep your teeth clean. Raw carrots are the best because they leave more nutrients intact and have that crunchy quality that “brushes” your teeth naturally. Try to munch on some raw carrots each day, but you can also steam them lightly if you prefer.

Celery 

Celery is a vegetable that functions as a natural toothbrush. It’s a pretty tough vegetable, so eating it raw can help scrape away plaque, tartar, and leftover food. Have you ever wondered why celery is often served on the side of a meal? You’re meant to eat it when you’re done, in order to freshen up your mouth a bit. You can also get rid of harmful bacteria in your mouth with a snack of celery.

Apples 

The more saliva that your mouth produces, the fewer bacteria that you have to worry about. Apples generate a lot of saliva in the mouth. They’re also very refreshing, crisp, and can clean your teeth quite well if you’re in between brushes. Keep some apple slices with you in your bag when you’re out and about.

In general, crunchy and raw fruits and vegetables are very good for your oral health. The vitamins and minerals in produce are helpful when it comes to preventing cavities, keeping your teeth clean, and cutting down on bacteria in your mouth. You can speak with your dentist to find out other natural ways that you can boost your oral health.

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Growing Up Comes with Responsibility— Ways to Show You Can Be Responsible

Many teenagers are eager to prove themselves ready to handle the challenges of adulthood in order to gain more freedom. After all, growing up comes with its fair share of responsibilities that require maturity to handle. If you’re looking for some good ways to show your parents or guardians that you can be responsible, then here are a few pointers to get you started! 

Driving

One great way to demonstrate how responsible you’ve become is to drive safely and avoid mishaps. Being a responsible driver not only guards your well-being, but it gives you plenty of opportunities to prove yourself as well.

For starters, make sure you’re driving attentively: A responsible driver is aware that there are several road dangers that cause accidents, so it’s important to be alert and pay attention to the road. Don’t let friends, music controls, or phone notifications distract you and put you at risk.

Additionally, demonstrate your level of responsibility by planning ahead when you go out so that you come home at a reasonable hour and show a solid ability to manage your time. 

Working

Getting and performing well at a job is another excellent way to demonstrate to your parents or guardians that you’re more responsible than you used to be.

When you get your first job, make sure you do well with whatever tasks you’re responsible for and ensure that you’re a reliable member of your work team. This will help you demonstrate your value in the adult world and show that you’re willing to learn and work hard.

In addition to showcasing how well you can manage tasks that you’re given, having a job will also give you the opportunity to demonstrate responsibility by handling money well. Start saving as much of your earnings as you can and show the adults in your life that you can adhere to a smart budget. Being responsible with your resources is a huge part of adulthood! 

Being Proactive at Home

Another way that you can show your increasing level of responsibility is by taking initiative around the house. It might seem frustrating to have to deal with the same chores you’ve been doing since you were a little kid, but completing them more efficiently than ever is a great demonstration of your growth as an individual.

Along with tackling your usual chore list with renewed vigor, try going a step further and taking on some extra tasks here and there as well. Doing the bare minimum is never going to impress anyone, so look for added opportunities to shine.

If you notice that no one’s taken the trash out and the truck’s coming in the morning, then go ahead and take care of it. If someone just brought home groceries, help carry them in and put them away. Seeing what needs to be done and completing tasks without being asked shows tons of responsibility!

Plenty of teenagers are eager for the freedom that comes with adulthood, but most of the time you have to prove that you can handle the responsibilities first. You can start by driving safely, getting a job and being responsible with your money, and being proactive by helping out at home.

How to Deal with the Death of a Grandparent

For many teens, the death of a grandparent is their first experience with loss. Grief affects people in different ways. Some teens may feel angry, others devastated, and yet others may be numb or in disbelief.

There is no right or wrong way to grieve the loss of a loved one. The most important thing is learning how to heal and move on.

Understand the Five Stages of Grief

Many teens who lose a grandparent will go through the five stages of grief, but you may also experience other emotions.

The five stages of grief include:

  • Denial and isolation
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

You may not experience these stages in this order, or you may not go through certain stages. You may go through these stages at different points in your life. Many people never reach the acceptance stage simply because we are not afforded the time to properly grieve a loss.

It’s common for bereaved grandchildren to feel:

  • Emotionally numb, or to have difficulty crying. This does not mean that you are not affected by the loss. It just means that it is taking some time for you to accept that it is real.
  • Alone or forgotten. You may feel like your friends and family don’t realize how much you are hurting. You may feel that your parents and your surviving grandparent are receiving more support than you, and that others don’t realize that you also need help.
  • Guilty for not spending more time with the grandparent. You may have so many questions or things you’d like to say to your grandparent.
  • Anxious about death, particularly if this is your first time experiencing a loss. You may feel anxious for the safety of your loved ones.

Take a Time Out and Talk About It

Many people will tell you to keep busy after the death of a loved one, but it’s important to instead take time out to process and work through your emotions.

If you try to rush right back to school, you may find it hard to be in the present moment and to pay attention to the work. Give yourself at least a day or two to work through the initial shock and grief.

Stay close to your family, and talk about your emotions. Sometimes, talking through it can help you process what you’re feeling.

Understand the Estate Settlement and Probate Process

The death of a loved one is difficult enough as is. The last thing you want to think at such a time is the legal steps that need to take place.

As a teen, you won’t have to worry too much about the logistics of making funeral arrangements or having to deal with the probate process or hiring a probate attorney. Depending on your family’s preferences, you may be asked to be present during the reading of your grandparent’s last will and testament. During the reading, you will find out what you inherited from your grandparent, if anything.

Support Your Family

Be there for your loved ones. Understand that you are all grieving the loss of your grandparent. Check in on your loved ones. Ask how they are doing, and provide as much support as you can to those around you.

How to endanger your chance to receive Federal Financial Aid

For most students, obtaining financial aid isn’t optional. It’s a must. College debt continues to rise, and the vast majority of students would not be able to pay for college without some sort of outside financial support. That makes it all the more important that you be able to qualify for financial aid. Here are four decisions that could disqualify you from receiving it.

Ignoring Graduation Requirements

Receiving federal financial aid means that you actually have to attend college, and doing so means that you must meet all high school graduation requirements. Failure to do so means that you lose your federal financial aid award, and it could also mean that you are ineligible to receive aid in the future. Make sure that you resolve any outstanding academic issues in your high school classes before the end of the school year so you can be sure to graduate. 

Following the Wrong Crowd

Pick your friends carefully as failure to do so can expose you to situations that can cost you tens of thousands of dollars or your college career. Certain criminal convictions, such as being convicted of a felony or drug charge, will cause you big problems later down the line. It’s important to remember that, as Michigan Defense Law says, those who commit felonies become ineligible to receive federal financial aid. Not only that, but you could also have trouble getting a job later on. Avoid these potential problems by making sure that you hang around with the types of people who will not pressure you to do illegal things.

Lying on Your Paperwork

Even after you sign all your paperwork, the process of receiving financial aid isn’t complete. Your signature means that everything you’ve filled out on the form is, to the best of your knowledge, true. If something is later found out to be false, and it is determined that the lie was intentional, you can lose all your funding and any eligibility to receive aid in the future. Additionally, if the lie is serious enough, you could face criminal charges and be sentenced to up to five years in jail in addition to having to pay a $20,000 fine, according to Edvisors.

Failure to Meet Academic Goals

According to Student Loan Hero, you will lose your federal financial aid if you fail to meet your SAP, or Satisfactory Academic Progress. The good news here is that if you do lose your aid because of SAP requirements, you can appeal the decision or work to get your grades up. Either of these methods may allow you to receive financial aid again.

Federal aid can help you achieve your dreams, but in order to receive that assistance, you must meet all federal requirements and keep your nose clean. The good news is that these requirements are relatively easy to meet. If you keep your grades up, be honest and stay out of trouble, maintaining your financial aid should be a simple task.

Why you might want to see a Chiropractor

Chiropractic care is not just for adults. Even teenagers can benefit from this type of treatment. While most teens do not exhibit severe back issues, regular chiropractic adjustments can keep everything in alignment and prevent future issues from developing. In addition, they can treat injuries related to sports and help to promote good mental health in the process. Here are three reasons why you might want to see a chiropractor—even as a teenager.

Prevent Future Issues

It is no secret that today’s backpacks are heavier than ever before. While it may not seem like lugging this load around is hurting you now, it can be setting you up for back problems down the road. Regular adjustments can help to mitigate these future issues. According to the American Chiropractic Association, chiropractic care can also improve posture as you get older. Using chiropractic treatment as a preventative measure can assist you in staving off future back problems as you age. This is important because minor back issues as a teen can turn into chronic conditions that follow you throughout life. Not only will care as a teenager deliver relief for lower back and neck pain, but it may also reduce the incidence of degenerative joint disease while maintaining a healthy nervous system.

Teens Are Active

According to Congruent Life, chiropractors can help teens manage injuries related to sports. Even if you finish your competitive playing career at the end of high school with no major physical complications, you may carry the nagging sports injuries with you as you age. Treating your back and neck now will ensure that you are limber and relaxed and ready for competition. Regular adjustments will work to help you play better and feel better. They will also help prevent other injuries.

Better Mental Health

Chiropractic care is not just good for your physical health. According to Circle of Docs, consistent treatments can also help to mitigate mental health problems. Because chiropractic care is centered on finding the right mental and physical balance, these treatments provide an all-natural way to boost your emotional well-being. Chiropractic care encourages relaxation and helps you to sleep better. This holistic approach to health is also beneficial in treating anxiety and depression without having to resort to drugs and their side effects.

As one of the least invasive types of medical treatment, chiropractic care can help teens with a wide range of problems. The impact of regular chiropractic sessions can be useful as both a preventative measure and a positive way to treat an assortment of both physical and mental issues.

Here’s another article you might enjoy: 5 Ways to Avoid Stress as a Teenager

What Do I Need to Know About Living in an Apartment During College?

Thinking about making the move from the dorms to an apartment for the upcoming school year? It’s a big step, and one that you’ll want to consider from all angles. While dormitory living can be restrictive, it comes with convenience and affordability—two perks that are increasingly difficult to find in off-campus dwellings. Read on to find out if you’re ready to take the plunge. 

Cost

This is by far the most important consideration. Can you afford to pay rent and utilities while attending school full-time? When you take into account that you’ll also be responsible for your own groceries and incidentals, the costs grow even higher. There’s also the fact that you may need to furnish the apartment before moving in. Renting Out Rooms recommends that, while having roommates can help to offset these expenses, you’ll need to sit down and hash out your budget before making any decisions. Also, if the added expense means you’ll need to take on a part-time job, consider whether this will leave you enough time to keep up with your course load. 

Noise Restrictions

According to SouthGate Companies, noise regulations are designed to help tenants live in close proximity while keeping disturbances to a minimum. Check to see if the building’s rules or your lease mention anything about quiet hours. You might think that the restrictions are a drag at first, but when you’re attempting to study for finals or write a difficult term paper, you’ll be glad that someone had the foresight to put them in place. If you have a loud neighbor whom you suspect of violating the noise ordinances, pay them a warning visit before alerting your landlord or local law enforcement.

Proximity to Campus

You can bet that the closer an apartment complex is to campus, the quicker the units will be rented out to students who like the idea of sleeping in a bit longer. Walking a few blocks might not seem like a big deal when you’re signing the lease, but a longer commute means less time overall for studying, work, and socializing. University Business says that if you plan on driving to campus every day, ask other students what they know about the commuter parking situation beforehand. 

So, is living off-campus more trouble than it’s worth? Not at all. You just have to think realistically about what you can afford, in terms of money and time. Those who are able to successfully commute to college will find themselves well-prepared for the transition to adult life.

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