Help your teen cope with stress

Elena Mikalsen, Ph.D.
Pediatric Psychologist
Section Chief of Psychology Department

Is your teen spending too much time on social media and not enough time sleeping? It’s one reason your teen may feel stressed and anxious. According to recent American Psychological Association’s (APA) Stress in America Survey, our younger generation is increasingly more stressed. More than one in four teens and young adults say they do not feel they are doing enough to manage their stress, compared with about one in ten older adults.

The APA’s survey also indicated that teens are more likely to report using passive rather than active coping strategies, which are not always as helpful. Teens rely mainly on taking a nap, listening to music, going online, eating and playing video games to cope with stress and depression. Below are some more active ways of coping which parents can easily discuss and teach to their children.

Physical activity
One in five teens and young adults reports exercising less than once a week or not at all. Exercise is one of the most effective stress and anxiety relievers. Any of these activities are helpful: yoga, hiking, biking, walking, dancing, running, rock climbing, and skateboarding. The best activity is one which involves a social component. It doesn’t need to be a team sport.

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Are you a sitting duck?

By Julie La Barba, MD, FAAP
Medical Director, Culinary Health Education for Families
The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio

It should not sit well that most of our nation’s time is spent in chairs. Dr. James Levine, a Mayo Clinic researcher, calls ours a “chair-based lifestyle.” Sound extreme? Then just think about how often our work, leisure time, transportation, entertainment and meal times revolve around a sedentary posture. High tech conveniences DO save us work, but sitting and pushing buttons also means we move our bodies considerably less often and with less force.  Continue reading “Are you a sitting duck?”

Make your pool a safe zone

By Dr. Ruchi Kaushik
General Pediatrics

Summer is upon us, and with the heat comes the desire to jump in the pool!  For parents, with this pool plunge comes the importance of swimming safety.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists drowning as the second-leading cause of injury-related death in children ages 1 to 14 years.  So, before diving into summer, be sure to review a few water safety tips with your “water babies.” Continue reading “Make your pool a safe zone”