How to ease teen anxiety


A recent survey revealed a sharp rise in the number of children struggling with stress and anxiety. Sleep problems were cited as a common symptom. Most children find secondary school a shock to their system, at a time when they are also navigating changing hormones. When a colleague’s daughter – Clara, 12 – started at her new school last year, she found the early starts, travel into Central London during the rush hour, heavy bags, homework and new friendships played havoc with her body clock. ‘My mind was always racing and I couldn’t switch off. I found it really difficult to get to sleep so I was always tired and having headaches. I would almost fall asleep in lessons and argue with my parents because I was in a bad mood.’ Six months on, Clara is free of headaches and managing her energy much better. She is getting on well at school and at home. These are the strategies that helped her:

● ‘A filling breakfast keeps me going. I leave too early in the morning to be hungry so I pack a peanut butter pitta or a tub of natural greek yoghurt with fruit and nuts to eat on the bus.’

Power Teen for her● ‘I take a supplement for teenage girls [Power Teen For Her/£17.80 for a month’s supply,], which you can chew. Mum’s face spray helps if my eyes are dry [Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic/£14,].’

● ‘Exercise helped relieve headaches. I have joined the school running club and jog with Mum once a week. She bought me bouncy trainers [Adidas Pure Boost X Shoes/£90,], which make running easier.’

● ‘Winding down is important. I don’t eat after 8pm as it can keep me awake but I might have a milky drink. No screens after that time either as the blue light can make it hard to sleep.’

● ‘I add Epsom salts to my baths, which contain magnesium for relaxation. For a treat I like to add a Lush Twilight bath bomb with lavender oil [£3.50,].’

Magnesium Oil Goodnight Spray● ‘I sleep better in a cool bedroom and only use my bed for sleep not homework. My lights are out by 10pm. Mum does some calming facial reflexology when she tucks me up – there is a video by Triyoga’s facial reflexologist Ziggie Bergman and her son Phoenix that shows children how to do it themselves [].’ ● ‘I sometimes spray magnesium oil on my inner elbows and behind my knees [Magnesium Oil Goodnight Spray/£12.20,], and wear an eye mask to keep out any light.’

● ‘Usually, I like to read gripping books like The Maze Runner. But at night I now choose calming books, such as How To Be Calm by Anna Barnes [Vie, £8.99], which has some great tips for relaxation.’


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