Though only 1 in 20 children and teenagers are diagnosed in the United States with an anxiety disorder, most teenagers suffer from anxiety. Be that from school, not fitting it, familial issues; we all have anxiety over something, and, often times, we don’t know how to handle hit. So here are some tips to help you handle anxiety in the new semester:
- Be sure to get enough sleep! Teenagers, on average, should get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep. But, only 15% of teenagers actually report getting enough sleep at night. Sleep is necessary for our body to properly function. Without out enough of it, our brain doesn’t process information properly, and we struggle in school and socially.
- Drink water! As odd as it sounds, water is entirely necessary for our bodies and brains to properly process information. Over 75% of brain tissue is water! So when you’re dehydrated you prevent your brain from getting enough of the nutrients it requires, causing it to slow down and not function properly. Studies have actually proven that dehydration enhances anxiety and depression.
- Give yourself some “me time!” Not giving yourself a moment to relax and de-stress leaves you mentally and physically exhausted. If you don’t give yourself a chance to just spend time alone and relax, you end up in a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions. Most sufferers of anxiety disorders report that their anxiety is heightened after a lack of time to simply doing nothing.
- Nutrition! Nutrition! Nutrition! Your physical health plays a powerful roll over your mental health, and vice versa. Properly feeding your body is extremely important for how you physically function, but also how you mentally function. Depreciating yourself of required nutrients leaves both your brain and body in a poor-functioning state.
- Get a hobby! Doing activities you enjoy to do boost dopamine levels in your body. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in pleasure, motivation, and learning. So doing activities you love boosts your “happiness levels,” if you will.
Thumbnail by: Kelsey Wroten for NPR