BY CHANTALLE ANNE GUDDARAN
The changes and the experiences we face in our adolescent years may become overwhelming. As a result, it may become difficult to maintain our mental health and social life. So, here are some tips to survive our teenage years with a good mental health and social life.
Making Friends with Dyspraxia
Girls with dyspraxia may sometimes find themselves having a hard time relating or getting along with their peers. It is necessary to show others that people are more than labels, so how do you make friends?
If you have verbal or oral dyspraxia,
Take your time when you are speaking with someone. If you feel insecure about making mistakes when talking, don’t be afraid to take your time to make sure all your thoughts are organized.
Try not to shy away from people. Having awkward moments is a universal thing. You may feel awkward talking to people but, continuing to socialize with others not only decreases your feeling of social isolation, but gives you an opportunity to practice socializing.
Communicate with your friends and let them know how you feel. Some people with verbal and oral dyspraxia can sound monotone and are often mistaken as “bored”. You should tell your friends or the person you are communicating with that you are, in fact, not. Communication is important in all kinds of relationships and telling your friends how much you enjoy their company can never hurt.
If you have motor dyspraxia,
Ask for help. Some girls may find it difficult to do certain things and may feel like they are falling behind. When having difficulties, you can ask other people for help. This can give you the chance to work with someone closely and develop a new bond.
Talk to someone. If you are unable to overcome an obstacle, it can be frustrating. You can try venting to your friends or a loved one and let them know what is bothering you. This way, your friends can get to know you better and relieve some of the stress that has been weighing you down.
Dyspraxia is not as known as other neurodistinct conditions. So, there are chances of being
misunderstood. If you’re comfortable with it, you can let your trusted friends know about your dyspraxia so your friends can understand you on a deeper level and avoid being misunderstood by your friends.
Maintaining Mental Health
A lot of change happens during childhood and adolescent years. In addition, upon entering
In secondary school, there is an immense pressure to fit in. Due to this, girls with dyspraxia might have a hard time keeping up with everyone and everything around them, resulting in stress and frustration, even depression and anxiety. To prevent feeling like this, here are some activities for you or someone you know with dyspraxia:
Exercise can definitely help with staying motivated and healthy, though that’s not its only purpose. Because of the hormones and neurotransmitters that your brain releases during exercise, your mood can greatly improve, as well as your self-esteem.
If you are having trouble with balancing, some exercises I recommend doing is balance exercises because it strengthens the muscles that keep your body upright. If you’re a beginner, start by exercising for three days a week for 10 minutes. As you progress, you can add more days and more minutes to your workout routine.
To start, a good workout routine you can follow is:
How Many Times
Heel and Toes Raises
Lift your body up on your toes and bring your back down then repeat.
5 sets of 10 raises
Stand up straight and swing your arms forwards and backwards.
Swing for 15 seconds 5 times
Stand up and Turn
Sit on the edge of a chair, stand up, and turn around without using your hands, then sit back down.
3 sets of 5 turns
There are different kinds of exercises that you can use for your workout routine but, make sure to choose the ones that you enjoy.
Meditation has been shown to reduce negative emotions and relieve stress. So, the
next time you’re feeling stressed, try meditating to calm yourself down. If you are new to
meditating, here are some tips to help you have a successful meditation session.
1. Pick a peaceful and quiet spot to meditate in.
2. Think about what you are grateful for or what makes you happy.
3. When you lose your focus, let your attention come back to your breathing.
4. Say words of affirmations like, “I am enough” or “I am beautiful”
Keep in mind that it takes time and practice to be able to control your thoughts and really focus in the moment. So, if you lose focus during your meditation session, do not be discouraged and try to keep focus again.
How Can You Show Support?
There are many ways to support a child with dyspraxia. First and foremost, be patient., realize everyone has a different processing time. For teens, it is best not to be critical or judgemental. Instead, let them know that you believe in their skills and intellect, which is helpful due to possible feelings of insecurity. Secondly, listen. Being clumsy or not performing on the same level as everyone else may be frustrating. So, listening to teens and children can improve their self-esteem, teach them how to process their emotions, and cope in a healthy way. Some girls stay optimistic about their dyspraxia. They accept it as part of themselves and are proud of their condition because it is part of them and what makes them who they are. However, there are others that have difficulty accepting themselves. It is important to note that dyspraxia is not an illness, and the characteristics that girls manifest are not problems. So, they should not be seen as someone who needs help. Rather, they should be treated with the same respect and empathy as neurotypical people.