In a recent post entitled Three Ways to Relieve Teen Anxiety Today, Tim Elmore provides insights and suggestions for addressing the growing issue of teen anxiety. As usual, Mr Elmore’s article provides observations and input from research and interviews of educators throughout the United States. In this article he notes three major culprits for high anxiety for today’s teens (probably true for younger kids as well....and maybe even adults?) and suggests activities and changes that can provide help. The three culprits-
1) Sedentary Lifestyles
2) Solitary Lifestyles
3) Saturated Lifestyles
Please take time for this 5 minute read of his blog (Three Ways to Relieve Teen Anxiety Today - Growing Leaders).
Next, take time to adjust your life and your children’s lives.
Seriously- make some plans.
Here are my reflections and reactions to these culprits in my life. Maybe you can relate and maybe these can help you make adjustments?
1- Sedentary lifestyles- I started with working a physical trainer toward the end of 2018. At that time, my walking was more of a waddle than heel/toe. My posture was certainly not one that was healthy. My weight was as high as it had ever been. I could have blamed my age and corresponding wear and tear but that’s all it would have been; blame, nothing but an excuse.
My trainer, who happens to be my son, listened to all that was wrong (I’m sure he was willing to add to the list) and began working with me three times a week. Lots of weights, squats and balancing exercises. The results could simply be that I feel better (most of the time!) but there is so much more. I know my walking is much better. I’ve had friends and colleagues mention I look healthier. And when I picked up my rental for our son’s Memorial Day weekend wedding, they had to find a jacket two sizes smaller (fist bump here if you would like).
2- Solitary Lifestyles- I enjoy monthly TLSP principal meetings. I enjoy admission counselor gatherings and visits with our marketing company. Board meetings are (mostly) a joy. However, I am I on my computer a lot with emails, watching political issues in our state that can affect our schools, and researching topics. But I know screen time and too much solitary time is not healthy. During the upcoming fiscal year, I need to plan my screen time. Elmore’s 2 hour limit sounds quite challenging but if it brings better health, it’s an imperative. Have you ever logged your amount of screentime in a day? It might be a valuable assessment.
3- Saturated Lifestyles- How many commitments do you have? What commitments get snubbed for less important obligations? As next year begins, I lose membership on a university board and pass the gavel of president on another board. However, TLSP picks up the need for fundraising causing a new time commitment (but the outcome will be healthy for TLSP). For years, experts have encouraged balance in life but all too often, balance isn’t achieved or even set as a goal. I look forward to the challenge of balancing family and TLSP while being motivated by faith in Christ.
“One of the greatest needs of our kids is margin in their day; for silence and autonomy; for going outside and making up a game with their friends.” Anyone want to go outside and play with me?