A typical day for young girls may look something like this: wake up, shower and get ready for school, grab a quick bite of breakfast, ride the school bus, classes, after school activities, homework, dinner, homework, spending time on technology, bed. Their days are filled from morning until night with activities and responsibilities. This amount of commitment can lead to stress, anxiety, and unhealthy habits.
For example, teens who are pressed for time may opt to grab a pre-packaged snack that they can eat on the go during lunchtime instead of stopping for a healthy meal. Girls who have after school activities such as athletics or clubs may end up starting their homework after dinner and working late into the night, therefore losing sleep and developing unhealthy sleep habits. It may start as little things here and there, but when left unaddressed these habits can lead to negative consequences for their physical and mental health.
Knowing that many young girls lead busy lives, how can we encourage them to take time for themselves and create some healthy habits?
There are three key areas for adolescent girls’ health:
Physical: Adolescents who are feeling overwhelmed may not make time for exercise and healthy eating. Finding ways to make these aspects of their health fun and engaging can help them to feel some ownership around their physical health. This could mean going for a family walk, encouraging active activities with their friend group, or taking cooking lessons. It may also be helpful for young girls to schedule healthy habits into their day. For example, making sure they set aside a full hour at lunch to sit down and eat a healthy meal. When the time is already scheduled, they won’t need to worry that they are missing something else when they stop and refuel.
Mental: Teaching girls healthy coping skills can be beneficial when they are feeling overwhelmed or stressed. This could include practices like meditation and mindfulness. This could also look like providing a safe space for your daughter to communicate her needs and concerns. When she can talk about her struggles, you can better help her address those issues. Have your daughter track how she feels when she practices her healthy coping skills and compares it to times when she does not. When she is able to identify an improvement in her mental health, she may be more motivated to make time for those practices.
Emotional: Emotions are high during the adolescent years. Social dynamics are constantly changing, and things like social media can leave girls feeling isolated or depressed. Teaching your daughter to cultivate her friend group and her social media feeds can help her feel more emotionally healthy. Talk with her about what makes a good friend and how to remove herself from unhealthy relationships. Encourage her to block or delete social media accounts that make her feel bad about herself and help her implement time frames around social media use. With the time she is no longer spending on social media, she can instead engage in healthy physical and mental habits.
Solstice East Can Help
The Solstice mission is to support adolescents, and their families, in developing excellence in relationships, influence, character, and health throughout their life journeys. Through relationship-based programming, we help students restore and rebuild healthy, trusting relationships with their families, peers, teachers, and staff.
At Solstice East, your teen will be supported by a passionate team of therapeutic experts who have extensive training and experience working with trauma, loss, anxiety, addiction, and unhealthy behaviors. We are a proven leader in successfully treating adolescent students struggling with a variety of challenges. For more information please call (828) 469-0905.