Are You Tired of Your Troubled Teen?

Self-care is important for any parent

Depressed teenage girl
Francesco Carta fotografo/Moment/Getty Images

Raising a teenager, even under the best of circumstances, is exhausting. Whether your teen is moping around the house or in your face explaining your shortcomings, it's easy to understand why parents get tired of dealing with a troubled teen. It's important for parents to remember they're not alone, and that they shouldn't feel guilty about wanting a break once in a while.

How to Cope With Teen Fatigue

Parents of troubled teens have to learn ways to juggle the needs of their teen with their own needs.

Exhausted parents have to find ways to replenish themselves, which often falls by the wayside when trying to cope with a teenager.

Here are a few tips on how to make sure you keep at least part of your focus as a parent on self-care.

Admit Without Guilt

Admit that you're exhausted from dealing with your teen's troubles. Don't feel guilty, and don't beat yourself up. It's normal, you're human, and dealing with any difficult human is a challenge. When that difficult human lives in your house and depends on you, it's even more draining.

Admit it to someone else. Whether it's a friend, family member or therapist, venting can not only feel great but help your state of mind and your anxiety level. It's always good to get outside perspective, because it may help you see something you're missing since you're so close to the problem.

Make Sure You're On Your Own "To-Do" List

Make sure your to-do list includes taking care of your needs such as health appointments and time with friends.

It's easy to let those sorts of things go, or to postpone them, so putting them on your daily list (and chances are that as a parent of a teen you have a daily to-do list) makes you much less likely to blow them off. It's crucial that your routine include some "me" time.

Find Some Support

Try to find other parents in similar situations to talk to.

Consider attending a support group in person or online. Support groups have a long history of providing reassurance and a sense of community to people dealing with similar issues. Parent support groups are designed to exchange information, reduce stress and help find ways to cope. It's like being coached, supported, educated and cared about by other parents in the same boat.

Get Physical

Perhaps this is the last thing you think of when exhausted but moving the body is energizing and helps keep you healthy and able to think clearly. If you get run down and your health suffers, that's just one more thing you'll have to deal with. Another key thing to consider is getting enough sleep. Having a troubled teenager is certainly a factor in many a parent's sleepless night, and exercising during the day can help make sure you are tired enough to get some quality shut-eye.

Get Some "You" Time

Carve out time in your life for at least one activity that has nothing to do with your teen. Perhaps reading a novel, walking on the beach, watching an action movie, anything to give yourself a break. Whenever possible, try to make this a regular part of your routine, not just something you do when you reach your breaking point.

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