To get a more detailed understanding about what's going on, teens should take the online chronotype questionnaire (see Resources for Follow-up). The personalized feedback will help them find out how much of a lark or owl they are compared with other people. When does their internal clock think they should be going to sleep? Is that when they are actually getting to sleep? If you suspect your teen is showing signs of depression, there is the confidential online self-assessment of depression severity. This will help them to face the next steps and, if indicated by the questionnaire's personalized feedback, to seek help. Antidepressant drugs may not be the answer. In a recent drug-company study of more than three hundred children and adolescents with depression, Prozac seemed to help the kids, but not the adolescents! Our interpretation is that adolescent depression is closely associated with the inner-clock shift later that comes with puberty, and Prozac is not a chronobiologically relevant drug. What's needed is to shift the clock earlier, in sync with sleep--in other words, chronotherapy. I want you to know that you are just like the mom in my counseling room. You matter so much. Feeling disgust in motherhood is not limited to experiences with our children. Self-loathing is a shadow emotion with a combination of feelings, most often anger, sadness, guilt, regret, shame, and unresolved trauma and pain. The shadow emotion of self-loathing and self-hatred is one of the most delicate to read, write, and talk about. But make no mistake, this shadow emotion is being experienced by many mothers--you are not alone. In the therapy hour, so many mothers share with me how they feel mild forms of disgust toward themselves, to moderate feelings of self-hatred, to intense feelings of self-loathing. The reasons are varied but tend to be in reaction to changes in body shape, size, and appearance; In milder forms, the shadow emotion of self-hatred and self-loathing shows up when we feel ugly or unattractive or when we overfocus and highlight our flaws and insecurities. Being human means that at some point we'll have moments of self-criticism or judgment, moments when we do not feel good about ourselves.But when there is a persistent pattern of self-loathing, when we feel bad about ourselves more than good, we are in an unhealthy place.
Encourage your partner to avoid talking about or thinking about stressful matters, including work, family, health, or money issues, during your massage session. Use this time to practice healthy coping skills: for example, meditation, prayer, or visualization. Essential oils: For additional anxiety relief, add your own blend of anxiety-relieving essential oils to your massage lotion or use a diffuser to scent the room. Try bergamot, lavender, geranium, sandalwood, cedarwood, cypress, ylang ylang, vetiver, frankincense, or marjoram. Basic Massage Do rocking and shaking for the whole body (back, arms, and legs). Do the Head, Neck, and Chest sequence . Do the Back and Shoulders sequence . Do the Arms and Hands sequence . Do the Hips sequence . Now that you and your teen see how many problems these sleeping patterns are creating, what next? First, it is crucial to understand that having these difficulties does not mean your son or daughter is lazy or crazy. And the fact that they (and you) are finding these problems hard to deal with does not mean they lack willpower! This is what being an adolescent is all about--changes. The physical, hormonal, and neurological changes that began with puberty push their internal clock in the direction of a later daily rhythm. It happened to you when you were their age, it happened to your friends and classmates, it happened to teens on the other side of the world, then and now. And today's 24/7/365 culture has dramatically worsened the problem. It is a universal fact of adolescence, just as much as getting taller or moving toward sexual maturity, and it has to be dealt with by you and by your child. However, it is equally important to recognize that biology is not destiny. Adolescents do not have to put up with sleep or mood or energy problems just because these problems have physiological causes.
Nothing changes a mother's body more dramatically than pregnancy. It's miraculous how a mother's body rapidly transforms to carry life, intuitively knowing what to do to grow a baby over the span of nine months. The changes continue postpartum and long after, especially when a mother nurses her baby. From stretch marks on her breasts, abdomen, and legs to the changing size and shape of her breasts (not to mention the scars and incisions from birth), a mother's body is like a map revealing on the outside that she's been forever changed. And if a mother's body didn't change due to pregnancy and birth, then it's only a matter of time before, in the course of caring for her child, she loses sleep and becomes so exhausted she hardly recognizes her reflection in the mirror. A mother may get more regular sleep as her child gets older. But self-care is too often far down on her priority list, because there's always so much to do--exercising, showering, styling her hair, and even changing her clothes seem impossible. So to cope with her stress and exhaustion, she creates habits to comfort her, like scrolling on her phone, staying up too late mindlessly watching TV shows, or using the quiet time at night to indulge in snacks, treats, and sweets. She's filling a void, ignoring what's really going on: She's missing the part of herself that has been crowded out by motherhood. You Are Not Alone: Brigitte's Story Do the Legs and Feet sequence . If your partner's anxiety is the result of chronic pain, try the other basic and advanced techniques for that area as well. Basic Massage: Feathering (light pressure, 1) Using both hands, stroke from the base of the head to the base of the spine with rhythmic movements (see here ). As one hand reaches the bottom of the spine, the other hand starts at the neck, so there is always one hand moving down the spine. Use this stroke for at least three minutes to reset and sedate the nervous system. Basic Massage: Acupressure (light pressure, 1 to 2) Hold GB20, the point that is just below the base of the head on either side of the neck, about two finger-widths away from the spine. This point reduces stress, calms the mind, improves breathing, and helps with headaches and neck and jaw pain. It also helps with insomnia, fatigue, and general irritability.
That would be like saying, because some kids are physiologically nearsighted, they should resign themselves to never being able to see the blackboard. Of course not! Instead, they are given an eye exam and get glasses or contacts to correct the problem. Of course, as a caring parent, you will do what you can to help, but in the end teens need to take responsibility for dealing with their sleep issues themselves. The more they understand the sources and consequences of their sleep problems, the more they are likely to want to change and believe that change is something they can really accomplish. If they feel the necessary changes are being imposed, however, you are more likely to find resistance instead of cooperation. Discuss what you have learned. Suggest that they read this article, especially the section below, Our Advice to Teens. Then propose arriving at an agreement that lays out the steps they intend to take to deal with their sleep issues. Adolescents are often hypersensitive about being told what to do, but they can also appreciate the concern and support implied by reasonable rules. Brigitte was preoccupied most days with constant negative self-talk, hating so many parts of herself--her face, body, and almost everything about her appearance. No one knew this inner turmoil; Brigitte spent a lot of time in the morning putting herself together in order to look perfect, which was a ritual she developed in college--flawless hair, expertly applied makeup, coordinated outfit--in order to suppress what she believed, and had been told: that she was ugly and worthless. Brigitte grew up with parents who had untreated mental health issues, who verbally abused and berated her throughout her childhood and into her young adulthood. Bright, motivated, and focused, she knew there had to be another way. She worked to put herself through college, securing her independence. Brigitte came to see me after a cosmetic surgeon recommended counseling; Brigitte was planning to have significant plastic surgery to fix all of her perceived flaws. Our work focused on addressing the pain and suffering she had suppressed since childhood. We focused on highlighting her strengths, reframing negative and abusive self-talk, and postponing any cosmetic treatments for a period of time, so she could heal her suffering and make a clear decision without seeing her body through the lens of pain.
Hold UB15, the point that is one finger-width from the spine at the midpoint between the top and bottom points of the shoulder blade. This point is effective for relieving chest pain, heart palpitations, chest congestion, difficulty breathing, forgetfulness, and symptoms of anxiety and insomnia. Hold PC6, the point that is three finger-widths down from the crease of the wrist on the inner forearm, in the center between the two thickest tendons. This point relieves pain and fullness in the chest, anxiety, depression, insomnia, nausea, motion sickness, and wrist pain. Hold HT7, the point that is on the pinky side of the inner wrist crease, just inside the nearest tendon to the edge. This point is helpful for chest pain, irregular heart rate, insomnia, and forgetfulness. It is known as the main point for emotional issues, especially anxiety and worry. INSOMNIA AND FATIGUE Insomnia means difficulty sleeping, whether falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up in the morning. It has many causes, including emotional and mental health issues, excessive eating or exercising, alcohol or drug use, chronic illness, and pain. Three aspects of your teen's daily life call particularly for your input: Bedtime. Always staying up late when you know you have to be up early the next morning is not a badge of adulthood--it's a sign of a problem that needs to be dealt with. Discuss with your teen what a reasonable bedtime would be, and then help him or her lay out the necessary steps to reach that goal and make it a habit. Electronic media. The latest research makes it very clear that looking at a TV or computer screen in the evening pushes the body's systems toward a later bedtime. Encourage teens to set their own time limits on exposure. Remind them how much better they have felt after a good night's sleep. Setting time limits on exposure might help tremendously--although it may not meet with much cooperation from older teens. Employment.