For the new year, Girls’ Life magazine is giving kids the tools to unplug and de-stress. Parents could learn a thing or two as well.
Being a teen is never easy, but today’s kids are under even more scrutiny. The insecurity of pubescence is only magnified with the added pressures of social media. The December/January issue of Girls’ Life is offering simple ways to make life in a plugged-in world a bit less complicated. And none of them has to do with retail therapy or a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.
Here’s how teens can up their “happy” in 2012.
1. Get a hobby. Instead of following the crowd, find out what you love to do. It doesn’t have to involve a sport or a school activity to deliver some major fun and relaxation. If you find some other people who enjoy the same activity, well, then the more the merrier.
2. Take on more responsibility. Taking some more control over your life can bring a sense of calm. Ask for more responsibility at home or at school.
3. Take a hike. The effects of exercise on mood have been proven time and time again. Fresh air and sunshine will also increase vitamin D, which is proven to release serotonin, a powerful, mood-altering brain hormone.
4. Eat happy. Eat regular snacks to control blood sugar, but avoid sugar. Whole grains, protein, and a little healthy fat will keep you focused, energized, and therefore happy throughout the day.
5. Hug it out. In the e-world, it’s easy to miss out on human interaction. So, get in some real face-time with friends and family. And when you’re going in for a hug, give it at least six seconds–long enough for the brain to release more of those mood-altering chemicals.
6. Happiness is contagious. Surround yourself with a support network of people who are generally happy.
7. Just. Say. No. While it’s great to take on responsibility, too much of it can create utter chaos in the lives of even the best task-masters. Learn to speak your opinion too, instead of just going along with what everyone else wants. If your friends can’t respect your choice in pizza toppings, well, are they really friends at all?
8. Do something. The holidays can create a little extra cash flow, but instead of blowing it all at the mall, why not spend it on making some memories? Go bowling with friends, or go see the latest “Twilight” movie. The flick might be awful, but you can always bond over a mutual love for Team Edward.
9. Face your issues. Don’t run from conflict. It’s better to face it head on than to let a bad situation fester.
10. Relax. Sometimes the best way to get rid of stress is to just be. Take some time to chill out reading or listening to music.