All work and no play can do a lot more than make college-bound Jack a dull boy. It can result in “a mountain of mental and physical health problems,” according to Psychology Today. Cynicism, depression and lethargy lead the list of symptoms that cause exhaustion and stress in mind and body.
Families can take advantage of school breaks but what about daily routines? Here are six ways to incorporate downtime into busy schedules that parents can use to prevent burnout for their teens:
1. Address the issue with your parent-student team. Have short and regularly scheduled formal meetings with the goal of helping your college-bound achieve college and career dreams. Together, complete a calendar with deadlines, due dates and tasks. Include breaks because this is the first to be omitted unless scheduled.
2. Breaks come in different time sizes. Help your teen brainstorm a list of fun things to do based on various time slots. Some activities can be with family or friends and others can simply be quality alone time.
3. Make “mixing business with pleasure” a mantra. Fun is a great stress reliever so add some before, during or after a must-do on the to-do list.
4. Find a balance between work/study and extracurriculars. This is a skill that will be used throughout life. The activities can include a hobby, sport or club that brings joy and another dimension to routine work loads.
5. Make rest and exercise family priorities. They both help energize and invigorate. A good night’s sleep and being in good physical shape help form a positive mental attitude.
6. Celebrate accomplishments. Don’t let them pass without recognition of the hard work it took to pull off. Appropriate praise rewarding downtime can boost self-esteem.
Read Suzanne’s post: Enjoying a Break When There is No Break
Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Suzanne Shaffer and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!
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