You may have realized that your body is going through some big changes right now. This is perfectly normal and exciting, because you are on your way to becoming the person you were always meant to be.
Think about this: every single person has to grow up. Everyone you know, from your teachers, parents and neighbors, were teenagers once themselves. It may be hard to imagine or remember, but everyone goes through changes in their own ways.
If these changes still feel intimidating, there are many ways to help feel better every day:
- Work out– no one ever has ever regretted a workout, no matter how small. Take the time out to work your body out, and you will soon start to appreciate the changes in your body in a big way.
- Be prepared– Keep an emergency kit of all the things you may need. This may include pads, tampons, extra deodorant, a small sewing kit, and a hair tie. You’ll be grateful to have these on hand.
- Go shopping– Dressing for your body is super important. You want to fit into a pretty sweater that you saw on sale, or those jeans that you’ve had forever, but accepting that your body is changing, and dressing accordingly is much more important.
- Keep a journal– write those feeling down. Studies show that people who keep journals feel better after organizing their thoughts, so buy a pretty notebook and get writing.
- Drink plenty of water– This with getting plenty of sleep is advice that will always be true, so stick to it.
Truth is, our bodies are always changing. Although your teens are the time when your body changes the most, your body will continue to change over time, in big and small ways. Understanding this and embracing it can be the key to improve self-confidence and embracing your body for the wonder that it is.
Set your mind.
Make it happen.
There are many ways I teach my clients strategies to stay focused on their goals.
Here are 4 of my favorite ways:
Vision Boards. Happiness and success is having dreams, and then making those dreams come true. Visualizing your dreams helps to make it reality. Making dream boards or vision boards is one of my favorite activities to do with clients, family, and friends.
Food Journal. Having a food journal is a great way to keep a record of your efforts and figuring out what works and what does not. You also get a reality check about how much food you have consumed. It is as much about being honest and accountable to yourself as it is to what foods you really ate.
Practice Gratitude. Devote one time a day to gratitude. Every day write down 3 things you are grateful for. Trust me it really works to help you think more positively. This helps dreams come true. When you are grateful, you feel more confident.
“When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” -Lao Tzu
Movement. Adding exercise to your routine can feel overwhelming if you try to jump in too fast. Nobody is telling you that you need to join a gym and engage in rigorous workouts if that’s not your style. You’ll actually be surprised at how energized you can feel just by taking 30 minute walks using a jump rope or dancing like nobody is watching to your favorite song .
If you spend your time thinking about how overweight you are, how much you dislike yourself and how deprived you feel by your current diet, then you will magnify those miserable feelings.
Learn to love and appreciate yourself. Take care of your body.
Love yourself through self-acceptance, forgiveness and good self-esteem.
Love who you are.
That’s because sugar, the evil, yet so tasty additive is considered a “toxin” or a “poison” for your body and overall health.
It does seem a little extreme to label a food as a drug, but when you look at how sugar is metabolized by your body (especially the highly refined and processed kinds), then you can begin to understand why.
When I speak of “sugar” I mean both sucrose — beet and cane sugar (aka refined sugar), whether white or brown — and high-fructose corn syrup.
Refined sugar is quickly broken down into glucose and fructose when ingested. The increase in glucose spikes insulin and blood sugar levels, giving you a quick surge of energy. If you do not use this energy immediately your body may turn it into fat. The quick digestion of refined sugar also prevents fullness even after you eat a calorie-rich chocolate bar, leaving you hungry.
Fructose (fruit sugar) is metabolized in your liver and is absorbed at once, increasing fat cell production and overworking your liver, compromising your immune system, creating crashes in energy levels, causing weight gain and creating a physical addiction.
But what about artificial sweeteners? Because they are a chemical-based product, sugar-like alternatives like high-fructose corn syrup, are not advised as a healthy alternative. Long term use of chemical artificial sweeteners have been shown to cause:
- Abdominal pain
- High blood pressure
- Increased appetite
- Neurological damage
To step off the blood sugar roller coaster, and step into a healthier – and yes, sweeter – way of life, here are 7 Tips to break your sugar habit:
- Eat well – Eat blood sugar balancing whole foods like fresh fruits and vegetables. Less from a box and more from the Earth.
- Stay hydrated – Drink enough water half your body weight in ounces or until your urine is clear.
- Make it fun – Crowd in healthy fun foods that you enjoy.
- Use the magic 15 minutes – When you have a craving or urge for impulse eating, take 15 minutes and do something positive for yourself before you give in to that treat, and then see if you still want it.
- Live 80% – Plan your meals and plan your fun and treats. Do not strive to eat 100% healthy or you’ll never stop thinking about cake. Plan nights out or treats in the house and enjoy them.
- Plan Ahead – Set an intention every morning.
- Have a habit breaking buddy – Everything is more fun with a friend to share the experience.
And remember to start the next day fresh with no guilt. Lifestyle changes take time. If you fall, start over the next day.
So why does this make our sleep so out-of-whack? Simple – we’ve gotten used to a certain pattern and any sudden shift is going to make our bodies, for lack of a better phrase, freak out. Our internal clock will be out of sync and mismatched with our current day-night cycle. How well we adapt depends on several things.
Generally, losing an hour in the spring is more difficult to adjust to than gaining an hour in the fall. It may seem simple, but a good rule of thumb is that it takes an additional day to adjust for each hour of time change. If you regularly get 7-8 hours of sleep per night, and go to bed at 11 p.m., try going to bed at 10 p.m. for the next several nights and by Sunday morning, when the time actually does change, your body will be naturally adjusted to the new system.
Sleep is like food for the brain. When you sleep, important body functions and brain activity occur, and skipping sleep – whether intentional or unintentional – can be harmful. Not only can it affect the way you think and the way you look, it can be deadly, too. If you’re behind the wheel of a car and you fall asleep, you can risk injury or death to yourself and others. Sleepiness makes it hard to get along with others, it makes you moody and it affects the way you work and complete projects.
A brain that is hungry for sleep will get it, even when you don’t expect it. More than 100,000 car crashes every year occur because the driver is tired.
Sleep is vital to your well-being. It’s as important as the air you breathe, the water you drink and the food you eat. For teens, there are several important facts you need to keep in mind:
- Teens’ sleep patterns naturally tend to shift toward later times for both sleeping and waking – meaning its natural to not be able to fall asleep before 11 p.m.
- Teens need 9-10 hours of sleep each night to function best. Some can get by on 8-9 hours, but on average, teens do need at least 9 hours of sleep. Studies have found that only 15% of teens reported sleeping over 8 hours per night on school nights.
- Teens tend to have irregular sleep patterns across the week: staying up late and getting up late on weekends, which can affect their biological clocks
- Teens that don’t get enough sleep can suffer from treatable sleep disorders, such as narcolepsy, insomnia, restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea
What can you do to help? As parents, you want the best for your kids, no matter what. As teens, you want to do the best you can to please your parents, your teachers and your friends. Here are some helpful tips:
- Make your sleeping area a haven. Keep it cool, quiet and dark. If you need to, get eyeshades or blackout curtains. In the mornings, get into natural light as soon as possible to get your body in the “wake up” mode.
- Make sleep a priority. If you find yourself dozing off, getting irritable, not paying attention when you should – keep a sleep diary for a week or two and make adjustments where you can so you can get the sleep you need.
- Naps can help pick you up and help you work more efficiently. Plan them right.
- Avoid taking pills to make you sleep or replace sleep.
- Don’t consume caffeine close to bed time (at least 3 hours prior to your bed time).
- Establish sleeping and waking times and stick to them as much as possible.
- Don’t eat, drink or exercise within 2-3 hours of your bedtime.
- Try to avoid doing heavy work right before bedtime, like homework or physical activities (chores). Also plan to leave electronics alone at least an hour before bed. This will give your brain time to shut down and get in the mood to sleep.
- Establish a routine for your pre bedtime. Your body will naturally understand that when you take certain steps, and do certain things, it will get in the mood to sleep and your sleep will be deeper and more satisfying.
- Keep a to-do list. This will help if you have a busy brain that is always thinking of the things you have to do. Make your to do list 2-3 hours before bedtime and don’t keep it by your bed so you won’t think of it last thing before you go to sleep or first thing when you wake up.
While there may be some tired or groggy people hitting the streets on Monday morning, you don’t have to be one of them! Try some of the suggestions listed here and let me know how they’re working out for you.