Being a teenager is no easy experience by any means, most of all not in the day and age we live in. So what do we do to lead somewhat normal teenagehoods? What do we do to make sure that we don’t view our teenagehoods as some sort of prologues to our very existence?
The Teenage Dilemma
Many teenagers nowadays, have grown up in homes that struggled a lot in their childhood years; in fact, they themselves have bore witness to traumatic events during their childhoods; from the 2008 financial crisis, to the Arab Spring in 2011, to the Bird flu in 2013, to a full-fledged pandemic in 2020. In other words, we’ve all been in our homes, far longer than necessary.
Just how much are our home environments truly impacting our mental well-being?
Regardless of how much we want to believe that our home lives have minimal impacts on us, or how hard we try to force a brick wall between our home experiences and the other parts of our lives; our upbringing, our parents, their parenting; it all stays with us. It stays with us in our inner monologues, in our small habits, in our outlook on life.
But what happens when that environment becomes tainted, when our protectors turn into otherwise?
What can we do when our very shelter turns to become our very escape?
Teenagehood and Self Love
First and foremost, as teenagers we’ve to embrace the hardships, every one of them. We’ve to choose to sit with our emotions, day-in and day-out, even if they’re emotions we’d rather not experience.
That being said, hold your parents accountable, acknowledge that it’s ok to maybe realize that they didn’t do the greatest job with you growing up. Learn to parent yourself, care for yourself, nurture yourself; be there for yourself.
Teenagehood and Mental Health
Oftentimes, when certain areas of life get overbearing, we tend to lash out on those closest to us. Anger is certainly one phenomenon that paints teenagehood, regardless of the generation. What to do? Sit with the anger, hold yourself accountable this time. Realize that this is the first time everyone is going through everything.
But what if you feel that the problem is rooted deeper than that? What if your anger has become what feels like permanent; a looming partner that won’t let you go? Then you make the conscious decision of seeking help. Which is arguably one of the most difficult feats you’ll ever encounter as a teenager; it’s not easy by any means. Reach out to a friend, or if that feels too soon, too raw, reach out to yourself… let yourself in on the pain, speak to yourself openly and candidly and bit by bit, speak to your loved ones about it, seek professional help over it.
Your Teenage Social Circle
Curating a support system that will bend over backwards for you, is arguably one of the biggest acts of kindness you can ever do for yourself. Finding people who value your presence, who appreciate your connection, who respect you; your thoughts, your energy, your space; that is arguably the biggest act of self-love one could ever undertake. To protect yourself from ghosting prospects, from feelings of angst and depression that arise from unsituated and unhealthy friendship dynamics, make sure that the people who have access to you are cherry picked.
A Happy Epilogue
It’s easy to lose yourself in the name of teenagehood, this is all that the media has ever shown. But your teenage years don’t have to be years in which you feel captive, or restrained. Love and let yourself be loved and experience life to the fullest. Give yourself the space to experience it to the fullest.