Personal emotional health has to do with feeling happy, self-confident and aware of what makes us who we are in this life. When people have good emotional health, they are better able to handle life’s challenges; they are resilient.
Emotional health isn’t something that simply takes care of itself. Just like we have to eat healthfully, exercise, and consult with doctors to maintain good physical health, we need to work to stay emotionally healthy.
Emotional health can be difficult to maintain, especially as a parent of a troubled teen. With challenges every step of the way, it can seem impossible to feel happy, confident, and have enough strength to overcome all of the difficulties.
The good news is that it is possible to have good emotional health as the parent of a troubled teen. You just need to take the following tips and implement them into your life regularly.
Do Something for Yourself
As you try to help your troubled teen, you may forget to care for yourself. It’s important for you to feel good about yourself to maintain good emotional health. According to Jeff Gardere, PhD, a licensed clinical psychologist in New York “When you feel good about yourself, it’s much easier to cope with life’s little ups and downs as well as bigger events, such as divorce or death.” This includes troubled teen behavior.
Doing something for yourself can be as easy as going shopping, taking a relaxing bath, or working on a hobby. Just stepping away from everyone and everything in your daily life will help you feel better.
Discussing what is going on with your troubled teen and venting your thoughts and feelings is highly therapeutic. “It’s very important that you have a support group of friends and family. You need people whom you can talk to about your problems – people who will listen to you when you need to get things off your chest – so that you know you’re not alone in whatever it is,” says Gardere.
Dr. Mercola says that hope can push you through the darkest times. When you can see hope in everything that happens, you won’t feel so defeated when it comes to caring for your troubled teen. Look for the little things, which will help you, in time, see the big successes.
Find Meaning in Trauma
Dealing with a troubled teen can be emotionally exhausting at times, but if you’re able to find meaning in it, you may find yourself feeling less defeated. Everything that happens has a purpose, so look for it when something negative happens. This tip comes from Dr. Guy Winch who says, “One of the main factors that distinguishes those who thrive emotionally after experiencing loss or trauma from those who do not is their ability to eventually find meaning in their experiences and to derive purpose from them.”
What has the experiences of parenting a troubled teen taught you? What will your troubled teen’s behavior teach him? How can the consequences of his actions help in his future? These are questions that can help you find meaning and purpose in all the problems you deal with right now.
Take some time to strengthen your emotional health. It’s important to not only you, but your trouble teen and family. The healthier you are, the more you will be able to cope with your teen’s behavior.