How to Support Your Burnt-Out Teenager

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Being a teenager (and a young adult). can be incredibly stressful. That’s what the American Institute of Stress found in a recent survey 64% of people between the ages of 15 and 29 have high levels of stress. Meanwhile, 61% of middle school students say they feel high pressure to get good grades.

“If you look at teen stress surveys from a decade ago, we see statistically significant increases in their stress levels,” he said Sheryl Zieglera licensed professional consultant and author of the book Mommy Burnout: How to Reclaim Your Life While Raising Healthier Kids. “Compared to ten years ago, it is significantly higher.”

But still a decade ago Teenagers reported experiencing more stress than their parentswith 31% of them report feeling overwhelmed by their stress, and 30% report sadness as a result.

How to recognize signs of burnout in your teen

Burnout is the result of chronic stress. signs of burnout These include mental and physical fatigue, irritability, changes in sleep patterns, whether one sleeps too much or too little, along with physical symptoms such as: recurring headache or abdominal pain.

“Emotional Exhaustion in a Teenager often looks like depression,” Ziegler said. If a teenager loses interest in their usual activities, seems unusually irritable, distracted, or cynical, or otherwise appears to be under a lot of stress, it could be a sign that burnout is the culprit.

As Ziegler notes, burnout is a combination of these mental, physical, and emotional symptoms. “They’re looking for all that clashes,” she said. “Burnout is chronic stress that goes untreated.”

The distinguishes between A teenager struggling with manageable stress versus being burned out is whether a break from stress is enough to recharge. If going on vacation or charging up on the weekend helps them, that’s a sign they’re stressed but not burned out. If a vacation or change of scenery doesn’t help you feel better, it’s a sign that your stress has turned into burnout.

How parents can help burned-out teenagers

If your teen seems to be struggling with burnout, There are a number of options Parents can help. The most important thing parents can do is “pay attention to the pressures that are going on in your child’s life,” Ziegler said. “Try to get a feel for your subjective pressure level. We can’t work a whole year on 10 out of 10. That’s a recipe for burnout.”

When it comes to the stress teenagers experience, it can be all too easy to dismiss their concerns as trivial or comfort them by saying it will be allTo the right. Ziegler warns against this impulse. “Do your best not to judge it because it leaves the door open for more conversation,” she said.

As parents, we often instinctively try to solve their problems for them. “Instead, meditate with them about things that make them more relaxed,” Ziegler said. “Teenagers are often very reluctant to what their parents have to say.” Instead, working with them to find ways to relax or let off steam can help teens find the answer that’s best for them .

“Another really good balance is to help your teen understand how to have quiet downtime,” Ziegler said. “We all need quiet and alone time.” When it comes to helping them figure out ways to have quiet downtime, it often involves talking about their phone usage. “Teenagers, what they’re doing is retiring to their rooms where they’re on their device, and that’s not relaxing,” Ziegler said. “It feels like it’s relaxing, but it actually isn’t for your brain.”

Instead, parents can help their teens find ways to relax —take a nap, meditate, or even stare at the ceiling for ten minutes. “What that does is learn to quiet the mind without stimulating it,” Ziegler said.

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