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Finding A Balance

Although teens may not be holding down full-time jobs, they are still under a lot of pressure from their daily responsibilities and they can benefit from finding a healthy balance.


Teen activities usually include academic studies, extracurricular activities, and chores at home and these can cause a teen's life to feel like a juggling act.


The lives of teens vary from teen to teen.  One teen may attend school and never get involved in any activity, have no extracurricular activities but he might have several responsibilities to help out at home and especially with younger siblings.


Another teen might be very engaged in activities at school, he might play a sport and is still active in other extracurricular activities but have no responsibilities at home.


Then there is the teen that goes to school and spend endless hours after school, surfing the net and playing online games.


Regardless of their program, all teens need help in understanding the need for a balanced life and here are some tips that you can use to help them.


Set Priorities

Help your teen decide what is most important and what needs to be done first. Help them to understand how they can prioritize what needs to be done early in the week, and what can be done later. If they focus on a few projects a night rather than worrying about all of them every night they will do a better job on each assignment.


Do Not Be an Over-Achiever

Being well-rounded is important but help the high achiever understand that he/she does not need to be the captain of the sports team, the lead person in the drama group and the chosen student to represent the school at every function.  Encourage your teen to choose one or two activities that they can enjoy while also getting your school work done and having time to relax and time for friends and family.


Set Realistic Goals

Teens always need help to set realistic goals.  Some teens might have really big ideas of things that they want to accomplish, but help them understand that they should start with goals that can be achieved within a week, two weeks or maybe a month before they set goals that are really not attainable. Setting goals that are too high can make them feel more stressed if they cannot realistically achieve them.


Acknowledge Their Feelings

It is normal to feel overwhelmed when things get busy, assignments are due, and the coach scheduled extra practice. If your teen is feeling especially stressed, you may want to help him/her review everything that they are involved in and see if there is anything that can be cut. It can be an activity that he/she no longer enjoys and is only doing it to make the teacher, coach or parent happy.   


Self Care

Help your teen to eat a balanced and healthy diet, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep.  Help them to understand the importance of good health and taking care of themselves.   A combination of a healthy diet, regular exercise, and plenty of sleep helps relieve stress and helps them to perform better at school and in their activities.


Schedule Time for You

Encourage your teen to set aside a half an hour a day to do something that makes him/her feel good.  It can be something as simple as reading a book or a favourite magazine, watching a video or even taking a walk.  This would help them focus better when they sit down to do homework or go to practice.


Meditation is also good for time out. 

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