The sun is FINALLY coming out, schools starting to wrap up in some areas, but.. your teen STILL has anxiety. Now is a good time to check into activities that can engage your teen in mind, body and spirit, that will help connect him or her with nature and content outside of their own heads.
Sometimes helping your teen by distracting them works. Sometimes it doesn’t. It NEVER hurts to ask, and see if they’d like a light-hearted little adventure with an easy-going, reliable and caring parent. Here are 7 excellent ideas we appreciate! 🙂
- Three One Words: Healthy dessert hunting. This activity, with a somewhat oxymoron touch, has the ability to please and empower at the same time. By scoping out new treats in your area at local health food stores or bakeries, you are spending time with your teen and teaching them that they can affect their physiology by what they put in their mouths. For example, going out for a double mocha vanilla cappu-chino-hudino is probably not the best choice for anxiety, given the insane amounts of sugar and caffeine. On the other hand, if you go spend time together and find interesting new low-sugar or Paleo treats filled with fruits and other vitamins and minerals, it will reinforce the power teens have to make good choices about what they eat while also having quality time with you.
- Sign up for a 5k walk/run race together. By signing up for a walk or run with a cause, you get a triple-threat of good deeds all in one. First, for the next several weeks or months, you are focusing your time and energy on a cause outside of yourselves. By signing up for a race or event for a specific cause and learning more about what that cause does for your community, it helps give more perspective that there is more beyond ourselves and our problems at the moment. Second, endless studies have shown the impact of prolonged cardiovascular exercise on stress and anxiety. A 45-minute jog together –or even a 10 minute walk!– can reduce symptoms of depression and alleviate anxiety. Finally, by committing to a regular training schedule with your teen, you will have a great experience both getting in shape yourself as well as memories for ages to come as you both work toward a great goal.
- Start a mini book club with each other. One idea that may help keep your teens mind off of anxiety and on to some other emotions is a thrilling mystery novel or light and humorous romantic comedy story. This will not only help your teen see how their attention on other topics IS possible despite anxiety, but by discussing a book of THEIR choice with them, you may learn more about your teens personality and perspectives as you walk through the stories and narratives together.
Happy eating, running and reading! Share your stories and activity ideas in the comment section below.