written by Casey Maloney-Pinto
Ever feel a little dead inside? To the Insta world, you look in control, vibrant, energetic, glam make-up, a killer smile – you appear drop-dead gorgeous. However, that is simply not your truth. Well, take note…you definitely aren’t alone.
Mental well-being is one of the top three issues facing teens today and nearly one quarter of our age group meet the criteria for ‘probable serious mental illness.’ Twice as many girls as guys fall victim with issues bridging academic achievement, stress, anxiety, family conflict, body image and who’d have guessed ……that gigantic mine-field of angst ….relationships!
Alarmingly, teens in crisis are on the rise and we need to continue to our raise awareness and be vigilant in seeking out those in distress. Look for the tell-tale signs which usually involve a change in behaviour - the party animal who wants to stay at home, the chatterbox who now seems quiet, the friend who looks a mess more often than before.
What Can You Do For Others?
Most importantly, once and for all: GIRLS, let’s stop tearing each other down and stand together. Stop judging anyone who isn’t like you. Embrace someone different, show tolerance, try being inclusive and you might just learn something life-changing or even meet your best friend for life. We are all here for an adventure, right?
What About Me?
That roller-coaster of good days and bad days hits us all but when feelings overwhelm you and start to impact your everyday living then it is time to stop being sad alone and start talking to a trusted friend. There really is someone in your inner circle who knows how to navigate these muddy waters and who will hold your hand till you find the right support. The first step is to want more and to have faith that you simply need to stand up and speak up.
original illustration by melissa fomina @melissa_fomina / @feebleart
Be kind to yourself and don’t expect miracles overnight. Research shows that gratitude is critical to mental well-being. So don’t focus on what sucks in your life because that will just lead to depression city. Focus on what lifts you up and let that expand in your mind. Look for glimpses of light in your life – winter is approaching, the great outdoor time is here, you have one great mate at school, you have a unique talent or interest. Yes, you are very different and that makes you so very special.
Your entire life can change in a year or even less but you have to learn to love yourself enough, believe in your power to change, be bold enough to know you deserve a happier life and display the self-control to work hard for everything you desire.