Guidelines for Holistic Health
There are several things that contribute to the success of anxiety treatment. Some crucial variables to monitor during and after treatment include media usage, exercise, sleep hygiene and nutrition. These are important and contribute to emotional and mental well-being.
Media usage is a big issue for teens. It is vital to place consistent limits on the time spent using media and the types of media they use, does matter. It can be easy for media to interfere with your child’s sleeping habits, physical activity levels and other behaviors that are essential to good health. There are some things parents can do including designating media-free times. Examples would be excluding media from the dinner table, from car rides as well as making bedrooms media-free zones. The team at Anxiety Institute is here to help drive this message home. We will work with you to discuss appropriate limits on media, based on past usage history and individual clinical needs.
Regular exercise is positive for so many reasons. It makes falling asleep easier and sets your teen up to sleep more deeply. Encourage your child to be physically active at least 3 times a week. Physical activity should be a good mixture of aerobic and muscle/bone-strengthening exercises.
Teens typically need about 8 to 10 hours of sleep per night, but it is common for teens to get 7 hours or less each night. Keeping track of sleep patterns and schedules can help identify if your teen needs more sleep. Consistency is key in making sure that your teen gets enough rest. Maintain a regular sleep schedule every day of the week, including weekends. This means going to bed at the same time and waking up at the same time.
There are some things you can do to help your teen be consistent.
- Keep the bedroom at a comfortable temperature (under 75 degrees) and ensure that it is quiet and dark.
- Keep screens out of the bedroom as it can interrupt sleep brainwaves.
- Have a consistent bedtime routine where your teen has time to wind down by doing less stimulating activities such as reading or listening to calm music.
- Avoid going to bed on an empty stomach, but also don’t go to bed on an overly full stomach.
Nutrition is very important for everyone, especially for developing teens. Eating a healthy breakfast prior to coming in for treatment and packing a lunch, is a good idea. A balanced diet of natural foods with plenty of water is best. Having small snacks throughout the day will help regulate blood sugar levels.
There are some foods/drinks to avoid:
- Caffeine, which includes soda pop, coffee, tea, energy drinks or chocolate. These should absolutely be avoided in the late afternoon and evening.
- Alcohol disrupts sleep and is not good for your overall health and should not be consumed by teens for any reason.
- Cigarettes and vaping should also be avoided. It disrupts sleep and elevates blood pressure levels. It is best to not smoke at all, but if necessary, do not smoke for at least an hour before bedtime.
- Sleeping Pills can be dangerous and cause dependence. They should never be taken without consulting your doctor.
Following these guidelines will help your teen maintain their physical strength so they will be able to focus on learning how to conquer their anxiety symptoms. Our team has extensive professional and personal experience with anxiety treatment. Visit our Experiences & Insights page for more information from our founders.
Written by Daniel P. Villiers, Ph. D. and Alexander W. Merrill, M.A.Yes, I know it was inevitable, but it is human …