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Helping teens care about mental health

Helping teens care about mental health

Every teenager is going to experience pressure at some point in his life – pressure to achieve academically, pressure to fit in, pressure to establish a career path, etc. With the increasing demands put on teens today, it’s essential for them to understand the importance of mental wellness. Developing self-confidence through mental wellness will make it easier on teens to resist peer pressure.

Mental health is just as important as physical health, and it’s crucial for teens to appreciate its role in wellness as they prepare to venture into the world on their own. Below, we offer a few tips on how to encourage your teen to prioritize mental health.

Teach coping skills

Learning how to deal with and conquer negative emotions takes time. Work with your child to establish healthy coping skills that will ease the stress of the daily struggles he faces. Coping techniques can be different for every teenager, so work together to find what works. The goal is to establish a habit that will help your child put his negative feelings into perspective, allowing him to seek a healthy solution. 

Be open to having hard conversations

It’s no secret that talking with teenagers about controversial subjects …

Sleep and your child’s mental health

Sleep and your child’s mental health

It’s no secret – sleep is an essential factor when it comes to your child’s overall health and development. While a few bad nights can be normal, children with persistent sleeping problems could lead to temperament, learning and social behavior issues. Below, we outline steps you can take to improve your child’s sleeping habits, ensuring they get the critical sleep they need to develop and function properly.

Bedtime bravery

For a lot of children, the looming thought of going to sleep can be anxiety-inducing. That’s why it’s important to help them face it with bravery. Try drowning out odd noises with a sound machine; illuminating the room with a night light; or re-labeling an air freshener bottle as “monster spray.” Stay consistent in helping them face their fear. If they wake up in the middle of the night, bring them back to their own bed – instead of resorting to letting them sleep in yours. In turn, celebrate your child’s good nights by using a rewards system such as a sticker chart.

Sleep environment control

Allow your child to take control of his or her bedtime routine by choosing which stuffed friend or blanket to bring to bed. Find an …

Have you told yourself how awesome you are today?

Have you told yourself how awesome you are today?

The impending stress of the holiday season can bring about a mix of emotions, especially to those dealing with mental health challenges. We all could benefit from reminders about how valuable we are. Sometimes, we have to be the one to give that reminder. Always remember that you have the right to feel good about who you are, and there are steps you can take to feel better about yourself. Below, we offer tips on how to boost your own self-esteem this holiday season.

Think positive thoughts

One of the first steps in changing the way we feel is changing the way we think. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones and say them out loud or in your head with full confidence. Give yourself a reminder that you are enough, and make it a daily task to mentally accept both your strengths and your flaws. You might not feel immediate results, and that’s OK. Slowly and gradually, positive self-talk will begin improving your quality of life.

Do unto others

Once you start telling yourself you matter, let others know they matter! Showing kindness and compassion to others is rewarding. Make time to volunteer, spend time helping your family or simply …

Can the environment impact your mental health?

Can the environment impact your mental health?

Have you ever considered the effects the environment has on your mental health? You might have noticed a correlation between dreary weather and dreary attitudes. This happens because humans have an innate awareness and need for comfortable environments – both physically comfortable and psychologically comfortable. Sometimes, it may be difficult to find those comforts during the bleak, winter months.

While you can’t control the weather, you can take control of your mental health. The weather might be gloomy, but that doesn’t mean your outlook has to be! Below, we offer ways to boost your spirits and take care of yourself this winter.

Turn on the lights

Or better yet, open the blinds and draw the curtains. Rooms with bright light – both natural and artificial – can improve health outcomes, such as depression and anxiety. Take note of how you feel once you’re surrounded by light. If you notice a positive change, make an effort to keep your house lit, to some degree, day and night.

Find activities that make you feel good

It’s easy to get caught up in a routine of work, eat, sleep and repeat. Make an effort to take time out of each day to do …

Early intervention: Babies’ mental health matters

Early intervention: Babies’ mental health matters

When talking about mental health, you may only think about it affecting adults and older children, right? Did you know that babies can struggle with mental health challenges, as well?

As babies, the way we are cared for builds the foundation for our social and emotional development. The way we are treated as infants teaches us about who we are, and this strongly shapes who we will become.

It’s crucial for parents to build a strong foundation for social and emotional development during the first three years of an infant’s life because it’s on this foundation that future learning and relationships will be built. Below, we offer tips on how to promote strong, positive mental wellness in your young child.

Engage in affectionate and nurturing interactions

Holding, singing, rocking or talking to infants are interactions that might seem natural to parents. But, these exchanges are more fundamental to a child’s development than one might know. These connections provide your child with the stimulation his or her growing brain needs. Positive interactions send messages to your baby that he or she is valued. As a result, your child will grow up knowing to treat others in a similar manner.

Study your

Let’s talk: How to discuss your behavioral health illness

Let’s talk: How to discuss your behavioral health illness

You’ve been diagnosed with a behavioral health illness. What do you tell people? How do you share? Who do you tell?

You may have mixed emotions over these questions, and that’s perfectly fine. Know that being scared is normal, and anticipating how friends, family, coworkers etc. will react to your diagnosis is natural.

The decision to openly talk about your diagnosis is a personal one, and you don’t have to share until you’re ready. Do realize, however, that you may never be 100 percent ready. Think about it – are we ever 100 percent ready to do anything that’s difficult in life? But, stepping out of your comfort zone, knowing you have people who are there for you and facing your fears head-on, will likely help you move forward in your journey toward recovery.

Below, we offer some advice to keep in mind when preparing to discuss a mental health diagnosis.

It’s just an illness.
It’s plain and simple. You live with it just like any other person with an illness – diabetes, for example – lives with it. And, just like any other illness, it can be managed and treated once identified.

Most people just need to be educated.