Screen time blog creative

Screen Time Wisdom

Screen Time Wisdom

Screen Time Wisdom from Teens Who Know Best…..But Might Just Need a Little Help Implementing.

Screen time.

As the parent of a teen girl, those two words might conjure up thoughts nightmares are made of.

  • Phone.
  • No phone.
  • Social media.
  • No social media.
  • Limitations.
  • Restrictions.
  • Overuse.
  • Addictions.
  • Permanent digital footprint.
  • Cyber bullying.

Just to name a few things you might be considering when it comes to your teen and her screen time. 

I, like many, am navigating this world with my teen right now. A world where it seems like technology is master. I’m also a psychologist who’s been working with teens for over 10 years so I’ve gotten to see the many faces of technology. 

Whether you’re thinking about the impact of her online content consumption or the way others behave towards one another online, there’s no doubt It’s a complex issue- 

Where to draw our line as parents? How do we encourage and teach our children (teens) to use technology in reasonable and safe ways? 

For more information from some leading experts talking about these issues try checking out: 

What I want to share with you today is inspired by the teens I’ve worked with over the past 10+ years. Teens of all ages who have questioned, evaluated, and taken action on their screen time choices. 

Lessons from your daughters:

  • Going on regular “tech detoxes”. The teens I’ve worked with have tried a variety of detoxes including reducing their screen time by a small amount each day, choosing a weekly tech free day, and even deleting social media apps altogether for a month.

detox image

  • The benefits of gaming and being online. In-depth reflection and conversation has led some of the teens to realize that their online presence has helped them in many ways. Helping them break through social anxiety, getting really good at a craft or skill, discovering stuff about themselves, and connecting them to a like-minded community. It’s not all bad.
  • Parental guidance. OK this one, they may not have ever admitted saying, but quite a few of the teen girls “appreciate” the guidance and the little nudges to be off their devices and doing other types of things.
  • Technology for mental health. I love when a teen introduces me to an app or an online community that is focused on their wellness. I have had the privilege of being introduced to platforms teen girls actually use to improve their mental health. Apps, such as Finch, CalmHarm, Breeze, Habitica, Mindshift, and many more.
  • What I would tell my younger self (younger sibling). When I ask this question 9 times out of 10,  teens tell me their advice for their younger person would be to wait as long as they can before they start using social media, to avoid platforms that constantly show them videos and pictures they compare themselves to, and to enjoy things outside of screen time.

Pretty wise right!

That being said, you might appreciate the strong pull towards being on your screen, and how habit forming it can be. So even if your teen may already have some great ideas and insights; she will need your support, encouragement, and guidance to turn those wise ideas into wise actions.

Sometimes the most impactful thing we can do is simply start by questioning, evaluating and taking action with our own screen time choices to start that ripple effect. 

Love, 

Chantal

This Article: “Screen Time Wisdom” was written by: Chantal | Pyramid Psychology

What is EMDR and how will it benefit my daughter?

What is EMDR and how will it benefit my daughter? I had the opportunity to become trained in eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) last summer, and it has been cool to see how effective the approach has been for some of my clients. EMDR uses some type of bilateral stimulation, which is a fancy way of saying both sides of the body are being stimulated.

EMDR article creative

The classic stimulus is moving your eyes back and forth from left to right, but it can also be crossing your arms and tapping your;

  • Shoulders

  • Tapping your knees

  • Holding buzzers that buzz in your hands

  • Auditory tones…

While undergoing bilateral stimulation, I guide my clients through a process of remembering a traumatic memory and reprocessing said memory in a more healthy and positive way. Depending on the client, there may be only one memory to process, whereas others will have 10 or more.

While no one knows for sure how EMDR works (there are several theories out there), the research and client feedback continues to prove that it does work. What does “work” even mean, you may ask? That would be a good question.

At its core, EMDR therapy is based on the theory that previous unprocessed traumatic experiences are showing up as symptoms in the present.

The symptoms may be;

  • High anxiety

  • Panic

  • Triggers

  • Feeling overwhelmed

happiness pill program banner

When the previous traumatic experiences are reprocessed, the nervous system no longer responds in an over-reactive way to stimuli in the present. There are a lot of fascinating studies out there that show a remarkable difference in brain activity between before completing EMDR therapy and after if you’d like to see! 

A common response that I hear from clients is that when they think about the previous traumatic memory after completing EMDR.  They say that they no longer have an emotional reaction to it.

An incident or experience that previously resulted in sensations of anxiety or panic is now remembered in a more factual, calm manner. Clients also share that after several EMDR sessions (the number of sessions varies by client and circumstance), they notice that they are less triggered in the present. EMDR is not hypnosis or changing the facts, it’s just helping your brain process a previous experience that it was not able to at that point in time.

EMDR is not the best fit for everyone, and some of my clients prefer more traditional talk therapy over EMDR sessions. There are many paths to better health and wellness, and I am happy to take the client’s lead. I will say, however, that for clients who may not want to express previous traumas verbally, EMDR can be an incredible tool.

If you would like to learn more about EMDR and if it may be a good fit for you, please book a consult call or first session.

BOOK APPOINTMENT

This article: “What is EMDR and how will it benefit my daughter?” Written by:  Jessa Tiemstra 

 

talk about depression

Tips to Talk to Your Teen About Depression

Tips to Talk to Your Teen About Depression

Learning how to talk about depression with your teen is not an easy task; as a parent of a teen girl, and therapist working with teens too – I KNOW this can be a challenge! But when we recognize that are teens are struggling and something doesn’t feel right, as parents we need to step in. We want to step in because we want to help! Also, lot of us did not grow up with all this new mental health knowledge, our teens probably have a pretty good vocabulary and awareness on more than we give them credit for. As parents we know our teens best, we can often recognize when they are not themselves. So what do we do and how can we approach our kids when we begin to see them struggle. 

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The Happiness Pill: Teen Coaching to Build Resiliency Against Anxiety & Social Awkwardness  CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS <<<

6 Weeks of group coaching to help teen girls navigate big emotions like anxiety and overwhelm, feel confident from the inside out (including with her body image), and handle social anxiety like a BOSS.

The Happiness Pill

———

talk to your teen about depression

Photo by Yuris Alhumaydy on Unsplash

If your teen seems to be struggling with some intense feelings or their mood has visibly changed, maybe they have habits that seem different. It could all warrant a conversation. I would recommend approaching your teen when things are calmer in your house, i.e not right after school when chaos could be prevalent. You want to make sure that you are also in a good headspace, take a minute to make sure that you are coming from a place of love and concern. Once you have a calm atmosphere and you are calm yourself, I would try asking them if anything has happened lately. Mention that you have noticed that they are not spending time with their friends as much or doing the activities they love. Coming from a place of love tell them that you are concerned and want to know if there is anything that perhaps that could have occurred at school or an incident with friends. If your teen cannot pinpoint anything directly, it is a good time to open the discussion about mental health. You could ask them if they want to go for a walk or a coffee or play a game. By engaging in an activity, you kind of take the pressure off of your teen, and it can also help relax your teen making them more likely to engage in conversation. 

 

Depression and anxiety are very common, and everyone experiences feelings of sadness and anxiety at some point. Teens often don’t realize that this is normal and can get really worried about it. Telling your teen that this is normal and that it is ok to feel anxiety and depression, and just because they feel sad or anxious, does not mean you are depressed or have anxiety. Discussing these feelings in a safe place and space will help your teen feel more comfortable. Let them know that it is ok and that you are always there to help and to talk. Talking about it

talk to your teen about depression

Photo by Eric Ward on Unsplash

can help so much on its own! If your teen struggles with being open with you, that’s ok, try not to take it too personally. It may be a good time to look up a counsellor for your teen, as having someone trusted and confidential can really help. Let them know that seeing a counsellor is really just part of keeping your health in check. At Pyramid Psychology we are here to help, listen and provide tools for your teen when they are experiencing times of distress. Good luck, and please reach out for a free consultation HERE if you would like further support.

 

Love,

Tara Aldie

Graduate Student in Counselling offering affordable counselling for teen girls (11-18 years old) online, and in person in Airdrie, Alberta

*1:1 services available for teen girls living in Alberta, Canada – $40 per session. Free consultation here.

———

The Happiness Pill: Teen Coaching to Build Resiliency Against Anxiety & Social Awkwardness  CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS <<<

6 Weeks of group coaching to help teen girls navigate big emotions like anxiety and overwhelm, feel confident from the inside out (including with her body image), and handle social anxiety like a BOSS.

The Happiness Pill

———

 


About Tara

Hello, my name is Tara, and I am a graduate student in counselling, I will be doing my practicum at Pyramid Psychology and I am very excited to practice all the skills I have learned as well as develop new relationships.

I have experience working with youth and teens and I also navigate parenting to four of my own kids. I tend to work with a solution focused, client centred and cognitive behavioural approach. I know that being a teen is tough, and sometimes are problems exasperated by social media and technology.

I struggled with fitting in as a teen, and I really felt that I didn’t belong. After years of soul searching and many personal ups and downs, I realized that my uniqueness was a strength. My goal is to help navigate through these difficult times while promoting self-discovery and personal strengths.

I understand that parents can often feel confused and left out of their teen’s life. I look to bridge the gap between these differences through positive communication. Teens need all the support they can get; the world and relationships can often seem crazy and unrelatable. I work to help bring closeness within existing supports and help develop and foster relationships.

With art, music, writing, play and movement we can work together to help promote self-discovery. I look forward to creating a positive and healing journey with you!

Book a free consultation with me here.

Serving teens in Alberta age 11-18, online or in person (Airdrie, Alberta).

5 Holiday Mindfulness Tips for Teens

5 Holiday Mindfulness Tips for Teens

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

 … Except that it is also a time that comes with a long list of things to do: presents to buy, recipes to perfect, family relationships and social commitments to navigate, creating a welcoming and festive home, and covid considerations as well. Even writing this list I am reminding myself of all the things I have yet to do before Christmas arrives!

I don’t know about you, but for myself, these high expectations and competing demands can cause stress. This stress comes from originally setting good intentions for the holiday season to be full of warmth, meaningful connections, and elevated spirits. However, things can get warped when you lose sight of what you find truly important.

Ironically, becoming stressed is completely counterproductive to these original intentions of presence and connection.

 

>>> FREE DOWNLOAD: Mental Health Handbook for Teen Girls <<<

An eBook with 10 mental health exercises every teen girl needs to know to:

  • Improve focus
  • Boost happy hormones naturally
  • Cope with trick feelings
  • Develop self-compassion

I Want the Handbook!

 

Photo by Canva

With this in mind, here are five points of reflection for you and your family this holiday season:

1. Mindfulness Over the Holidays: Determine Your Priorities

What is important to you this holiday season? Recognizing the key points of the holiday can shift your focus away from things on your to-do list that aren’t a priority.

Here are some priorities that come to my mind or have been shared from clients:

  • Spending time with family and loved ones is more important than the setting.
  • Gift giving is a form of love during the holidays.
  • Hosting a family dinner and perfecting a new recipe is a source of holiday joy.
  • Slowing down for self-care is important over the holidays.
  • The holidays are a time to try new things and go on an adventure!

Whatever your priority is this season, know what it is for yourself and focus on that the most.

Photo by Canva

2. Mindfulness Over the Holidays: Set Boundaries

Setting self-care boundaries is essential, especially during a busy season like Christmas where there are numerous events, opportunities, and expectations.

Take a moment to check in with yourself to make informed decisions about what is best for you and your loved ones. If you are “running on empty” and finding yourself stressed, tired, or easily frustrated, maybe the best choice is to sit one of the social engagements out and spend some time “filling up your tank”.

Think of a few strategies that work best for you when you are feeling stressed, whether that be time with others, time alone, a specific activity, exercise, etc. Whatever destressing looks like for you, go for it!

It can also be helpful to have a discussion around holiday expectations and preventing stress with your family.

 

Photo by istock

3. Mindfulness Over the Holidays: Watch Your Thoughts

Thoughts can be tricky and can easily affect your feelings and behaviours if you are not mindful of them.

Some thoughts I’ve heard come up over the holidays that won’t necessarily serve you include: thinking that the house needs to be spotless, food needs to be extravagant, every social event must be attended, or that every loved one should get an individualized, thoughtful gift so they know how much they are love, etc. These are thoughts that can cause stress for the whole family over the holidays!

Notice the word choice in these statements – needs, must, should, every, everyone – words like these lead to black-and-white thinking and can place a lot of pressure on a person. 

While none of these are bad things to want, you can change your thought process by altering your statements around these words. Some examples: “it would be nice if…” or, “I will try my best, but what I really value here is connection over cleanliness”.

This small shift can do wonders in reducing the stress experienced from high expectations.

Your teen daughter can learn how to shift her thoughts in presence, too. Our team has written a blog article on it for your pleasure here.

Photo by Canva

4. Mindfulness Over the Holidays: Be Open to Different Ways of Doing Things

Just because something has always been a certain way does not mean it needs to continue to be that way.

If there are aspects of the holiday season that are causing you stress, consider other ways of doing things. Maybe that looks like a gift exchange or going to an event instead of buying gifts for each family member. Perhaps it looks like a potluck or ordering in instead of one or two people feeling pressure to host a big meal.

The sky is the limit!!

Better yet – what ideas do your kids or partner have for changing the routine? What a great family discussion!

 

Photo by Canva

5. Mindfulness Over the Holidays: Be Present

Once you know your priorities, have healthy boundaries, and are intentional with the time you do have, it becomes easier to be present in whatever relationship or activity you are engaged in.

Worrying about whether or not everything will be perfect on Christmas day or meet everyone’s expectations will not have a significant impact on the outcome and will only drain your energy.

Let tomorrow worry about itself and try to find those silver linings in the moment.

 If you have a teen that struggles with anxiety over the holidays (perhaps perfectionism) and/or depression, you can download our free Anxiety Toolkit for Parents Raising Teens. It comes with 10 tools you can immediately begin implementing for your family this holiday season, as well as a series of mini webinars.

Our gift to you!

 

Photo by Canva

And don’t forget that it is OK to need some extra support, at any time of the year. I offer therapy for teens and young adults, creating lifelong strategies to get through anxious times. You can find my availability and booking link here:

 

Book an Appointment

From all of us here at Pyramid Psychology, we wish you a happy holiday season!

Email us with any questions, any time: info@pyramidpsychology.com

Love,

Jessa

 


Jessa

Jessa is a provisional psychologist living and servicing teens and young adults in Calgary, Alberta.

Jessa is passionate about helping people become the best version of themselves and is continually learning how to best support her clients. She has experience with acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), but most importantly she emphasizes the therapeutic relationship.

A safe, authentic relationship is key for therapy to work. Jessa prioritizes compassion and nonjudgmental curiosity. Together, she can find out what matters most to you and how to get there.

If you think Jessa may be a good match for you, please feel free to reach out and set up a free consult or book a session. She is looking forward to hearing from you!

Once a month, she writes a blog article in response to issues she hears from the parents, teens and young adults she connects with. If you have something you’d like to read more on – email ideas and questions to info@pyramidpsychology.com or DM us via Instagram or Facebook.

10 Ways to Help Your Anxious Teen Enjoy Winter Break

10 Ways to Help Your Anxious Teen Enjoy Winter Break

I’m writing this blog because the other day I really had to take time to step into my client’s shoes. Christmas break is something I’ve always looked forward to… But that isn’t always the case for the teens I work with. Breaks from school can be stressful without having their friends around; they are alone a lot of the time. They loathe the idea of being stuck for hours on end with nothing to do. Hearing teens say these things gave me a glimpse into the reality that Christmas break is not all presents and joy.

 

(If this sounds like your daughter – here is an article I wrote just for her last year: 5 Practical Ways to Take Control of Your Happiness).

 

How to Raise Unbreakable Teen Girls: A guide for parents wanting to raise confident, resilient young women in today’s world. CLICK HERE FOR FREE DOWNLOAD <<<

9 tools you can immediately use to improve your teen’s mental health, strengthen her relationships, and boost her confidence.

Guide to Raise Unbreakable Teen Girls

 

If you have a teen daughter who:

  • Really thrives on routine
  • Seems nervous or on edge right now and it has nothing to do with how her school grades were
  • Struggles to initiate and put together plans with friends outside of school

She might be dreading Christmas break.

10 Ways to Help Your Anxious Teen Enjoy Christmas Break

#1 – Find Free Fun

Finding free fun. If you’re in a town or city, there’s usually a lot going on to celebrate the holidays. Checking ahead of time with your local library, city events sites, or even platforms like Eventbrite and Facebook will offer you loads of different and low-cost/free options (e.g. festivals, concerts, free library programming, etc.)

 

#2 -Try Something New Each Week

Try something new over the break! Novelty breathes excitement into life and teenage brains are designed to seek it more than at any age. Don’t know where to start on figuring out new things to try? Check out this article.

 

two women exchanging numbers

Photo from Canva Pro

#3 – Get Friends’ Contact Info

Get friend contact information (and parents if appropriate) ahead of time. Depending on your daughter’s age and skill level on planning and organizing, a little support from a loving parent may be a game changer. Little reminders and encouragement to make sure they can be in touch with friends through the summer can be helpful. Or even helping them to organize their first couple outings with friends outside of school.

 

#4 – Winter Camps

Summer camps. I know. Your teen may straight out balk at this idea. Other teens love them. Part of the secret to summer camp success is the fit. Try matching based on interest or attending with a friend to make this option a real success. 

 

#5 – Stick to A Routine

Staying up late and sleeping in is almost a quintessential part of Christmas break. But throwing routine completely out the window for 2 months is a recipe for exhaustion and bad moods. Encourage a summertime routine that continues to include rest, movement, and health hygiene.

 

Group of teens volunteering over summer break.

Photo by Canva Pro

#6 – Find Volunteer or Paid Opportunities

Line up some volunteer or paid opportunities. Even if it’s just a few hours a week, doing something that grows a skill, helps others, or puts money in her pockets is sure to be uplifting. If you’re in Calgary, Alberta you can check out Volunteer Connector HERE. You can also reach out to your YMCA, local churches, pools, libraries, neighbours and drum up some opportunities.

 

 

#7 – Make a Winter Bucket List

Make a Winter Bucket List. This is a fun family activity. Everyone puts down things they would like to do throughout the break and a list is created. You can decide if it’s “pick one random each day” or “each family member gets a weekend where they choose the activity of their choice and all the other members participate”. You can get really creative with these and they are sure to make cool memories.

 

#8 – Travel

Travel. I know this can get expensive really quickly. If travelling abroad or taking a plane is just not an option for you right now, travel can be a 45-minute drive out to the mountains, or a fun little day trip to a unique place of interest near your town or city. Did you know there’s a gopher museum? Check it out! 

 

#9 – Learn A New Skill

Learn a new skill. Mastering or getting better at something is so rewarding. Whether it’s winter break or another season. There are so many options: Learning to play an instrument, ride a horse, make jewelry, dance, make a piece of clothing, cook, build a toolbox, martial arts, grow a garden, crotchet, start a business, just to name a few.

 

#10 – Exercise and Movement

teen girl skateboarding on summer break

Photo by lisboa ind. on Unsplash

Exercise and movement. Staying active is a great way to release happy making natural chemicals into your body and brain, as well as lower

stress. It can also be a nice way to connect with others. Getting a Y membership for the summer or signing up for a class might be the way to go. Or maybe it’s more walking, hiking, biking, swimming that also ensures Vitamin D doses.

 

BONUS TIP:

Many teens won’t talk to you, their parent, about their anxieties over summer break. Offering your daughter a neutral person to talk to, and set summer goals with, can be extremely helpful to her mental health. I have gathered a powerful team of therapists in the Pyramid Psychology family who have room for more teen clients this summer. You can meet my team – Jessa, Chipo & Tara – as well as book a free consultation here:

I want summer break help for my teen!

 

Here’s to making your anxious teen daughter’s winter break something she’ll be excited to tell her friends about in the summer.

Love,

Chantal

Psychologist, Teen Life Coach, and Founder of Pyramid Psychology

 

How to Raise Unbreakable Teen Girls: A guide for parents wanting to raise confident, resilient young women in today’s world. CLICK HERE FOR FREE DOWNLOAD <<<

9 tools you can immediately use to improve your teen’s mental health, strengthen her relationships, and boost her confidence.

Guide to Raise Unbreakable Teen Girls

 


Chantal Côté (she/her) is a psychologist and teen life coach living in Calgary, Alberta. After over a decade in non-profit and community mental health, Chantal started Pyramid Psychology, a practice dedicated to supporting teens – a population she is constantly amazed by. Chantal is on a mission to help 100,000 teen girls (and their parents) build bulletproof mindsets so they can weather the ups and downs of life. As part of this goal, Chantal has had the privilege of speaking at various events – virtual and live – to support teens and parents.

Outside of this passion, Chantal is often in nature, writing poetry, playing ball hockey and hanging out with her loved ones.

Each week, Chantal writes a blog article in response to issues she hears from the parents and teens she connects with.

If you have something you’d like to read more on – email ideas and questions to info@pyramidpsychology.com or DM us via Instagram or Facebook.

winter break

Making the Most of Winter Break for Teen Girls

Making the Most of Winter Break for Teen Girls

Yeayyyh!! You made it through tests and exams! I can only imagine what taking a break from school, waking up early, doing homework, having to be in bed at 9pm and repeat the cycle would look like for you… Winter break might be what you need right now. At the same time having a long break with nothing to do or look forward to can be frustrating and overwhelming. Some teens also experience some winter blues whereby you don’t have access to your school friends, and can’t engage in extracurricular activity as before as everything in relation to school might be closed. Here are some tips to make the most of winter break, and enjoy it!

 

>>> FREE DOWNLOAD: Mental Health Handbook for Teen Girls <<<

An eBook with 10 mental health exercises every teen girl needs to know to:

  • Improve focus
  • Boost happy hormones naturally
  • Cope with trick feelings
  • Develop self-compassion

I Want the Handbook!

 

winter break for teen girls

Photo by Yuri Levin on Unsplash

5 Ways to Make The Most of Winter Break

 

Tip #1 – Develop a Winter Break routine– Just as you have routine for your school week, you could do the same for your  winter break… make it fun and interesting such that you look forward to it every morning and at the end of your day. You can even title it Winter Morning Routine and Winter Night time Routine….

Tip #2 – Plan a family day/ friends day or camping trip- What would a great winter break look like with your loved ones… whatever that looks like for you… Do It. This is the time and moment to be creative and enjoy the outdoors.

Tip #3 – Get a Job for the winter break- Want to get some engaging responsibilities and develop some skills? Then getting a winter job could help with just that. Some creative ways to earn a few bucks could be…. Baby-sitting, dog walking, or retail, getting to maybe get paid by taking on some responsibilities at home, etc.

Tip #4 – Volunteer or be part of a group- Looking for ways to give back and be involved in community? Volunteering your time and effort will always go a long way. Some organizations you can volunteer at could include but not limited to: Youth Central is a good one, Diamond Willow if you are Indigenous), Calgary Sport, also City of Calgary has opportunities for youth

winter break for teen girls

Photo by Natasha Hall

Tip #5 – Start a club- As an individual who takes pride in reading for pleasure and can be fully immersed in a good read… having a book club does wonders for me. Not only does it keep me committed but also allows me to gain different perspectives on the book, the storyline and share in the beauty and humor in between chapters with others. You can do the same… start a book club, cooking club, start a knitting club etc.

Love,

Chipo

Register Social Worker offering counseling for female identifying teens (11-21 years old)

>>> FREE DOWNLOAD: Mental Health Handbook for Teen Girls <<<

An eBook with 10 mental health exercises every teen girl needs to know to:

  • Improve focus
  • Boost happy hormones naturally
  • Cope with trick feelings
  • Develop self-compassion

I Want the Handbook!

 


I am a registered social worker with a Bachelor of Social Work with a major in psychology from the university of the Western Cape, and a Master’s in Clinical Social Work specialization with individuals, families, and groups from the University of Calgary.

In my practice, I note the different intersectionalites that come into play, and I have adapted myself to understanding the effects thereof. I pride myself in working from a holistic and integrative approach using trauma-informed, anti-oppressive, and intersectional lenses in rendering services.

I am grounded by embracing my full humanness-being imperfectly perfect. My faith, family and friendships carry me through life and its happenings. I find being in nature very healing and so is savouring moments. When not working, I love to engage in some fitness, going on walks, journaling, catching up on Korean series, city adventures and reading for pleasure. I also believe in allowing my inner child come out sometimes through art, dancing, building sand castles you name it.

exam stress

4 Waysto Have Fun Even With Exam Stress (for teen girls)

4 Ways to Have Fun With Exam Stress (for teen girls)

Exam stress is real….and this blog shares some practical ways that could help normalize this experience and make it fun!

 

>>> FREE DOWNLOAD: Mental Health Handbook for Teen Girls <<<

An eBook with 10 mental health exercises every teen girl needs to know to:

  • Improve focus
  • Boost happy hormones naturally
  • Cope with trick feelings
  • Develop self-compassion

I Want the Handbook!

 

exam stress

Photo by Naveen Kingsly on Unsplash

4 Ways for Teen Girls to Have Fun During Exam Stress

#1 – Normalize exam stress- Its important to note that exam season in itself is stressful, can promote worry, tension in relation to being in a test taking situation. It is normal to feel stress related to upcoming texts or exams which could also serve as a motivation to do your best, by being prepared. Could be tailored into “good stress”. Nonetheless, exam stress might as well trigger depression and anxiety, affect your eating and sleeping habits. If exam pressure and the taking of the exam in itself starts to take over your life, it would best to let others know, so you can be best supported as needed.

#2 – Do what makes you happy. Everyone has a way of managing stress or have tools that help them cope in stressful situations. These could include but not limited to, taking breaks in between study sessions, listening to music, going for a walk, having a change of scenery, watching a YouTube video, watching your favourite show, comedy, going through a bunch of memes, exercising, giving into your cravings, doodling and meditating. Engaging in suitable self-care could help, such as ensuring you are eating regularly, and you are keeping up with your sleep hygiene patterns.

#3 – Talk about exam stress with your peers, classmates, and friends. You might find that others might be experiencing or going through similar range of emotions as you are, when it comes to exams. They say, “a problem shared is a problem half solved”. This might not make you feel better but helps you understand that you are not alone. You have a tribe of other individuals experiencing similar things that you can actually relate too. Also, you might learn one or two things that could be of help in assisting you cope.

exam stress

Photo by Alexis Brown on Unsplash

#4 – You could join or create a study group- Working with and being a part of a study group could help boost your confidence in nailing your exams, by being able to practise exam questions together, get and share different perspectives on possible exam questions, laugh, cry together and hence build momentum to keep you going.

Also understand that this is a learning experience, doing your best whatever that looks is good enough.

Love,

Chipo

Register Social Worker offering counseling for female identifying teens (11-21 years old)

>>> FREE DOWNLOAD: Mental Health Handbook for Teen Girls <<<

An eBook with 10 mental health exercises every teen girl needs to know to:

  • Improve focus
  • Boost happy hormones naturally
  • Cope with trick feelings
  • Develop self-compassion

I Want the Handbook!

 


I am a registered social worker with a Bachelor of Social Work with a major in psychology from the university of the Western Cape, and a Master’s in Clinical Social Work specialization with individuals, families, and groups from the University of Calgary.

In my practice, I note the different intersectionalites that come into play, and I have adapted myself to understanding the effects thereof. I pride myself in working from a holistic and integrative approach using trauma-informed, anti-oppressive, and intersectional lenses in rendering services.

I am grounded by embracing my full humanness-being imperfectly perfect. My faith, family and friendships carry me through life and its happenings. I find being in nature very healing and so is savouring moments. When not working, I love to engage in some fitness, going on walks, journaling, catching up on Korean series, city adventures and reading for pleasure. I also believe in allowing my inner child come out sometimes through art, dancing, building sand castles you name it.

How to Help Teen Girls with Test Anxiety

How to Help Teen Girls with Test Anxiety

Well, it looks like it is that time of year again – time to help teens with test anxiety!

The unfortunate reality of tests is the dreaded test anxiety that can sometimes go with it.

But its ok, we got you!

 

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How to Raise Unbreakable Teen Girls: A guide for parents wanting to raise confident, resilient young women in today’s world. CLICK HERE FOR FREE DOWNLOAD <<<

9 tools you can immediately use to improve your teen’s mental health, strengthen her relationships, and boost her confidence.

Guide to Raise Unbreakable Teen Girls

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Most often test anxiety is produced by the apprehension and pressure to do well on an evaluation. Test anxiety can show up in both physical (fight or flight) and mental (worry, about information recall). However, some anxiety is normal and can help one in a test while for others it can be debilitating. So, what can we do as parents to help support that test anxiety?

8 Ways to Help Teen Girls with Test Anxiety

talk to teen girls about test anxiety

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Tip #1: Talk About It

Well, step one talk about the test with your teen, what is causing worry? Perhaps it’s the material, maybe it’s the setting? Has your teen studied the material; do they understand it?

Talk about the worry. Talking about it can help it become much smaller.

 

Tip #2: Visualize

Visualize the test day… What does your teen need to have to be prepared? Have them imagine walking into the test feeling positive and prepared to write it. Talk about the test with them and go through how they want the test to be, and how they want the outcome result to be.

 

Tip #3: Expectations

Talk about rational expectations. If your teen has not been present in class or is missing key components, they might not be able to get the grades they wish for. And that is ok, try to work through any catastrophizing thoughts they may have, and discuss the reality of the situation.

 

Tip #4: Mindfulness

Mindfulness, talk about being in the present moment with your teen, especially when they begin to feel overly anxious. Focus on one task at a time. Stay in the moment and with each thought that appears don’t judge it, just recognize that it is just a thought and let it go.

talk to teen girls about test anxiety

Photo by Canva Pro on Unsplash

 

Tip #5: Negative Self-Talk

Encourage your teen to practice replacing negative self-talk with more rational thoughts. Remind them to take a moment to acknowledge how far they have come and give themselves praise.

 

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How to Raise Unbreakable Teen Girls: A guide for parents wanting to raise confident, resilient young women in today’s world. CLICK HERE FOR FREE DOWNLOAD <<<

9 tools you can immediately use to improve your teen’s mental health, strengthen her relationships, and boost her confidence.

Guide to Raise Unbreakable Teen Girls

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Tip #6: Name Anxiety

Talk to your teen about naming their test anxiety. Naming it creates the idea that it exists outside of your teen, putting distance between them and their uncomfortable thoughts.

 

talk to teen girls about test anxiety

Photo by Canva Pro on Unsplash

Tip #7: Self-Care

As parents we really want to focus on the basics here as well – good sleep hygiene, a healthy diet, and the inclusion of some moderate to light exercise to keep healthy. Look at other stressors in your teens life and look to reduce anything for a bit to help take some of the pressure off.

 

Tip #8: Celebrate

Celebrate small achievements your teen makes along the way. Congratulate them on trying. Celebrate that they did something that was hard and uncomfortable. Cheer when they study.

Check out 5 Ways to Make High School Exams Fun (blog written by a colleague in the Pyramid Psychology Family) to learn more ways to celebrate along the way.

Plan something for your teen to look forward to after their exams.

 

Take one of these tips at a time and implement them into life with your teen. You will be amazed at how much of a difference your support can make! (And you will feel less like you’re hopelessly watching on the outside, too).

Before I go, here is a BONUS TIP for your teen with exam anxiety! Offer for them to try a guided meditation the next time you’re driving them somewhere or there’s a quiet moment at home. Click here to listen to one I like.

Love,

Tara Aldie

Graduate Student in Counselling offering affordable counselling for teen girls (11-18 years old) online, and in person in Airdrie, Alberta

*1:1 services available for teen girls living in Alberta, Canada – $40 per session. Free consultation here.

 

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How to Raise Unbreakable Teen Girls: A guide for parents wanting to raise confident, resilient young women in today’s world. CLICK HERE FOR FREE DOWNLOAD <<<

9 tools you can immediately use to improve your teen’s mental health, strengthen her relationships, and boost her confidence.

Guide to Raise Unbreakable Teen Girls

—————————————

 


About Tara

Hello, my name is Tara, and I am a graduate student in counselling, I will be doing my practicum at Pyramid Psychology and I am very excited to practice all the skills I have learned as well as develop new relationships.

I have experience working with youth and teens and I also navigate parenting to four of my own kids. I tend to work with a solution focused, client centred and cognitive behavioural approach. I know that being a teen is tough, and sometimes are problems exasperated by social media and technology.

I struggled with fitting in as a teen, and I really felt that I didn’t belong. After years of soul searching and many personal ups and downs, I realized that my uniqueness was a strength. My goal is to help navigate through these difficult times while promoting self-discovery and personal strengths.

I understand that parents can often feel confused and left out of their teen’s life. I look to bridge the gap between these differences through positive communication. Teens need all the support they can get; the world and relationships can often seem crazy and unrelatable. I work to help bring closeness within existing supports and help develop and foster relationships.

With art, music, writing, play and movement we can work together to help promote self-discovery. I look forward to creating a positive and healing journey with you!

Book a free consultation with me here.

Serving teens in Alberta age 11-18, online or in person (Airdrie, Alberta).

How to Talk About Anxiety and Depression with Your Teen

How to Talk About Anxiety and Depression with Your Teen

Learning how to talk about anxiety and depression with your teen is not an easy task; as a parent of a teen girl, and therapist working with teens too – I KNOW this can be a challenge! But when we recognize that are teens are struggling and something doesn’t feel right, as parents we need to step in. We want to step in because we want to help! Also, lot of us did not grow up with all this new mental health knowledge, our teens probably have a pretty good vocabulary and awareness on more than we give them credit for. As parents we know our teens best, we can often recognize when they are not themselves. So what do we do and how can we approach our kids when we begin to see them struggle. 

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The Happiness Pill: Teen Coaching to Build Resiliency Against Anxiety & Social Awkwardness  CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS <<<

6 Weeks of group coaching to help teen girls navigate big emotions like anxiety and overwhelm, feel confident from the inside out (including with her body image), and handle social anxiety like a BOSS.

The Happiness Pill

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Photo from Canva Pro

If your teen seems to be struggling with some intense feelings or their mood has visibly changed, maybe they have habits that seem different. It could all warrant a conversation. I would recommend approaching your teen when things are calmer in your house, i.e not right after school when chaos could be prevalent. You want to make sure that you are also in a good headspace, take a minute to make sure that you are coming from a place of love and concern. Once you have a calm atmosphere and you are calm yourself, I would try asking them if anything has happened lately. Mention that you have noticed that they are not spending time with their friends as much or doing the activities they love. Coming from a place of love tell them that you are concerned and want to know if there is anything that perhaps that could have occurred at school or an incident with friends. If your teen cannot pinpoint anything directly, it is a good time to open the discussion about mental health. You could ask them if they want to go for a walk or a coffee or play a game. By engaging in an activity, you kind of take the pressure off of your teen, and it can also help relax your teen making them more likely to engage in conversation. 

 

Photo from Canva Pro

Depression and anxiety are very common, and everyone experiences feelings of sadness and anxiety at some point. Teens often don’t realize that this is normal and can get really worried about it. Telling your teen that this is normal and that it is ok to feel anxiety and depression, and just because they feel sad or anxious, does not mean you are depressed or have anxiety. Discussing these feelings in a safe place and space will help your teen feel more comfortable. Let them know that it is ok and that you are always there to help and to talk. Talking about it can help so much on its own! If your teen struggles with being open with you, that’s ok, try not to take it too personally. It may be a good time to look up a counsellor for your teen, as having someone trusted and confidential can really help. Let them know that seeing a counsellor is really just part of keeping your health in check. At Pyramid Psychology we are here to help, listen and provide tools for your teen when they are experiencing times of distress. Good luck, and please reach out for a free consultation HERE if you would like further support.

 

Love,

Tara Aldie

Graduate Student in Counselling offering affordable counselling for teen girls (11-18 years old) online, and in person in Airdrie, Alberta

*1:1 services available for teen girls living in Alberta, Canada – $40 per session. Free consultation here.

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The Happiness Pill: Teen Coaching to Build Resiliency Against Anxiety & Social Awkwardness  CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS <<<

6 Weeks of group coaching to help teen girls navigate big emotions like anxiety and overwhelm, feel confident from the inside out (including with her body image), and handle social anxiety like a BOSS.

The Happiness Pill

———

 


About Tara

Hello, my name is Tara, and I am a graduate student in counselling, I will be doing my practicum at Pyramid Psychology and I am very excited to practice all the skills I have learned as well as develop new relationships.

I have experience working with youth and teens and I also navigate parenting to four of my own kids. I tend to work with a solution focused, client centred and cognitive behavioural approach. I know that being a teen is tough, and sometimes are problems exasperated by social media and technology.

I struggled with fitting in as a teen, and I really felt that I didn’t belong. After years of soul searching and many personal ups and downs, I realized that my uniqueness was a strength. My goal is to help navigate through these difficult times while promoting self-discovery and personal strengths.

I understand that parents can often feel confused and left out of their teen’s life. I look to bridge the gap between these differences through positive communication. Teens need all the support they can get; the world and relationships can often seem crazy and unrelatable. I work to help bring closeness within existing supports and help develop and foster relationships.

With art, music, writing, play and movement we can work together to help promote self-discovery. I look forward to creating a positive and healing journey with you!

Book a free consultation with me here.

Serving teens in Alberta age 11-18, online or in person (Airdrie, Alberta).

EDS Framework: 3 Simple Steps to Handle Big Emotions (for teens)

EDS Framework: 3 Simple Steps to Handle Big Emotions (for teens)

As a psychologist, one idea that I introduce to teens who are struggling with big emotions is to use the EDS framework: express, distract, and soothe to handle big teen emotions. No one tool will work all the time, so having a variety to choose from and which are personalized to you is a great way to be prepared when those big emotions roll around.

Many of the teens I work with keep a list or visual graphic handy to use when they are feeling overwhelmed. When emotions are running high, the logical part of our brain tends to not work quite as well, and having an external visual reminder can help bridge that gap.

 

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The Happiness Pill: Teen Coaching to Build Resiliency Against Anxiety & Social Awkwardness  CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS <<<

6 Weeks of group coaching to help teen girls navigate big emotions like anxiety and overwhelm, feel confident from the inside out (including with her body image), and handle social anxiety like a BOSS.

The Happiness Pill

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Here is the EDS framework to handle big emotions:

Express

There are a variety of ways to express your emotions. One of the first ways to express emotions that is mentioned is talking to a family member or friend. This could be face-to-face, but due to the rise in technology, teens are likely to use video chat or texting.

Expressing emotions to someone else is not the only form of expression, and some people even prefer to express emotions individually.

Photo from Canva Pro

Journaling, drawing, creative writing, or using other artistic mediums can all be helpful ways to process big emotions. Some teens that I have worked with also use movements – such as dance or kickboxing – as a way to physically express emotions.

Distract

Distraction tends to be a favourite coping strategy among the teens (and adults!) that I work with. Using technology, such as looking at social media, watching a favourite show, or playing a videogame, are go-to strategies for many teens. Other teens gravitate toward spending time with friends or family, playing a sport, reading, or immersing themselves in a favourite hobby as a form of distraction.

Distraction can be a highly effective tool in managing big emotions, but if it is the only tool used and used frequently, distraction can easily turn into avoidance. As many of the teens I have worked with will tell you, avoiding emotions tends to only make them bigger.

Soothe

Soothing strategies include anything that will help calm down and relax your body. Here are a few ideas that teens have found helpful:

Photo from Canva Pro

  •         Taking a shower or bath
  •         Using a calm box
  •         Snuggling pets
  •         Getting cozy in a blanket and lighting some candles
  •         Drinking a favourite beverage
  •         Eating your favourite comfort food
  •         Spending time on skincare or nail care
  •         Yoga or stretching
  •         Listening to music

    Photo from Canva Pro

  •         Looking at favourite photos
  •         Doing something creative with your hands
  •         Meditations or mindfulness
  •         Journalling
  •         Podcasts or audiobooks
  •         Doing an act of kindness

 

———-

The Happiness Pill: Teen Coaching to Build Resiliency Against Anxiety & Social Awkwardness  CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS <<<

6 Weeks of group coaching to help teen girls navigate big emotions like anxiety and overwhelm, feel confident from the inside out (including with her body image), and handle social anxiety like a BOSS.

The Happiness Pill

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There can be overlap between the three EDS pillars, as some ideas will apply to more than one category. The key is to understand what you are doing and why.

For continued reading on handling big teen emotions, depression specifically, read my blog article ‘4 Depression Tips for Teen Girls‘.

If you’re not sure how to implement the EDS framework into your self-care routine, I offer private 1:1 therapy for teens and young adults in Alberta. Book a free consultation with me here.

AND, if your emotions are big enough that you’re feeling depress

You can email our team with next steps at info@pyramidpsychology.com

Love, Jessa

 


Jessa is a registered psychologist living and servicing teens and young adults in Calgary, Alberta.

Jessa is passionate about helping people become the best version of themselves and is continually learning how to best support her clients. She has experience with acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), but most importantly she emphasizes the therapeutic relationship.

A safe, authentic relationship is key for therapy to work. Jessa prioritizes compassion and nonjudgmental curiosity. Together, she can find out what matters most to you and how to get there.

If you think Jessa may be a good match for you, please feel free to reach out and set up a free consult or book a session. She is looking forward to hearing from you!

Once a month, she writes a blog article in response to issues she hears from the parents, teens and young adults she connects with. If you have something you’d like to read more on – email ideas and questions to info@pyramidpsychology.com or DM us via Instagram or Facebook.