Maintain a healthy bedtime routine
We all know that a lack of sleep can lead to feelings of stress, anxiety, and can leave us lacking focus throughout the day. It is recommended that middle and highschool students sleep for 8-10 hours per night, however many teens struggle with achieving this optimal rest time with homework, projects and early school mornings. It is also important to evaluate your teen’s before-bed habits, like using technology or drinking caffeinated beverages. Working with your teen to develop a healthy sleeping routine can really help keep their stress at bay, and improve their focus during those busy school days. There are many tips to help your teen improve their sleep; here are some quick recommendations:
- Incentivize your teen to get school work done early in the afternoon
- Implement a “lights out” policy for tech, and reward them with a different freedom throughout the week
- Prepare a warm, caffeine-free beverage before bed (Try: Ramp! Down the Night)
- Go for a family walk or practice another calming activity before bed
- Encourage taking a hot shower or bath before bed to promote relaxation
These tips can help your teen naturally wind down at night and help them achieve optimal rest, to help them feel refreshed and ready for school in the morning.
Practice time management
One of the biggest hurdles of adolescence is trying to juggle school work, social and family life, after-school jobs and extracurriculars. Teens are going through a transitional period where they have to plan and manage their time effectively in order to get it all done, just like adults do! There are many tricks that can help with time management, here are a few suggestions for your teen:
- Write in a daily journal planner to schedule homework and activities for the week
- Use a whiteboard calendar to remember important dates
- Try taking breathing breaks or meditating using an app such as Calm or Headspace
- Block daily homework and study time to complete assignments before they are due
Encourage daily exercise
Including daily exercise can provide a great stress outlet for your teen. Exercise is not only a great stress reliever; it also improves physical health, mood and focus. That extra boost of energy and endorphins will help your teen feel ready to take on the day, and may even ease feelings of stress and anxiety. Not to mention, a daily sport or activity of your teen’s choosing can help them feel excited and motivated, because they have a fun activity to look forward to!
Some of us find it difficult to schedule in time for daily exercise in our busy schedules, but even 20-minutes of exercise can do wonders for mood and attention. Encouraging your teen to go on a walk or take a sport or class with a friend is a great way to encourage both exercise and social time. Another option would be to participate in a physical activity for the whole family, such as yoga or a rock-climbing night. This will provide scheduling ease for you and your teen!
Spend time with friends and family
Adding social time to your teen’s day will help them decompress and take their mind off school projects. Spending social time with friends is known to improve mental health by boosting happiness and reducing stress (not just for teens, but for all of us!). While this might not be possible every day between all of the other activities your teen is juggling, encouraging weekly hangouts on the weekend will help give your teen an outlet, and have something to look forward to so that they manage their time more effectively. This method can even be used as an incentive to implement some of the other stress-reducing hacks, like going to bed earlier or turning off tech at night. Your teen may be more willing to cooperate with these suggestions if they have a great hangout session planned for the weekend!
Try a natural, focus-boosting supplement
Adding a functional source of nutrition support in your teen’s diet is the perfect compliment to the lifestyle hacks mentioned above. A daily source of DHA and theanine can aid in boosting your teen’s focus and attention during the day for those long school days and nightly homework sessions. Likewise, theanine and GABA are nutrients that support your teen’s nervous system, promoting relaxation and reducing stress in the evening so they can wind down for the night. Ramp! offers both a fudgy chocolate smoothie booster to support mood and attention during the day, and a tangy blue raspberry nighttime drink to promote relaxation and rest. These sources of functional nutrition are the perfect way to round out your teen’s stress-reducing routine! And as always, offering a varied diet to your teen is key to make sure they are getting the daily nutrition they need.