As a teen, anxiety can mess with you. Like how she feared eating M&Ms wrong could get her pregnant.


OMG, remember the pressures of being a teen? Solome, from this TEDx talk about teen anxiety, certainly does.


Who hasn't played fun little games with their candy, right? But she took it a bit further:

She often felt that she "had to follow through on the compulsions, if I was not to face the consequences, whether they were real or imagined."

And in this case her anxious mind told her that the consequence was pregnancy...from eating M&Ms out of order.

While Solome's story might be a bit quirky (and, as she later reveals, evidence of obsessive compulsive disorder), she wasn't alone in being a teenager dealing with the weight of the world and a whole lot of anxiety.

Being a teen is stressful.

Getting good grades, trying to have relationships, dealing with home situations, body image issues, worrying about the future and whether or not you're the kind of person who even has one. Welcome to the life of the average teenager.

What are adults really doing to help teens with this?

Maybe we tell them to calm down, we offer perspective by telling them to just wait until they're adults and they have "real" problems, or we avoid talking about it because we aren't sure how to help them.

And how is that approach working out?


So, what should we do to help them deal with their anxiety for real?

Pretty much what you'd want a friend or mentor to help you with if you were struggling. Things like:

  • Lend a listening, nonjudgmental, ear.
  • Try to remember what it was like to be a teen, but without projecting your own experiences.
  • Don't tell them how to fix it, but help guide them into devising their own plan for anxiety relief.
  • Help them facilitate and stick to the plan they devise, whether it involves exercise, therapy, meditation, etc.
  • Let them know their worth to you is NOT based on their achievements OR their missteps. Seriously. Sometimes you have to explicitly say those exact kinds of words, even if they sound all "after-school special."

And above all, let them know that what they're feeling is NORMAL, and there are a bunch of other people their age feeling it, too.

Solome finally got the help she needed when she confided in her dad and he would drive her to therapy. Then she went on to found her own organization for teens dealing with anxiety.

There is NO shame in asking for help if the pressures become too much.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
True

Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

Keep Reading Show less
via Kim Kardashian West / Twitter

It's not hard for most people to make fun of the Kardashians. But this week it got even easier after Kim tweeted she took a birthday getaway to Tahiti with her friends and family — during a deadly pandemic.

"After 2 weeks of multiple health screens and asking everyone to quarantine, I surprised my closest inner circle with a trip to a private island where we could pretend things were normal just for a brief moment in time," she tweeted.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
True

Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

Keep Reading Show less

Ah, the awkward joy of school picture day. Most of us had to endure the unnatural positioning, the bright light shining in our face, and the oddly ethereal backgrounds that mark the annual ritual. Some of us even have painfully humorous memories to go along with our photos.

While entertaining school picture day stories are common, one mom's tale of her daughter's not-picture-perfect school photo is winning people's hearts for a funny—but also inspiring—reason.

Jenny Albers of A Beautifully Burdened Life shared a photo of her daughter on her Facebook page, which shows her looking just off camera with a very serious look on her face. No smile. Not even a twinkle in her eye. Her teacher was apologetic and reassured Albers that she could retake the photo, but Albers took one look and said no way.

Keep Reading Show less
via Ted-Ed / YouTube

Trees are one of the most effective ways to fight back against climate change. Like all plants, trees consume atmospheric carbon through photosynthesis then store it in their wood tissue and in the surrounding soil.

They work as an organic vacuum to remove the billions of pounds of carbon dioxide that humans have dumped into the atmosphere over the past century.

So, if trees are going to be part of the war on climate change, what strategies should we use to make the best use of their amazing ability to repair the Earth? How can we be sure that after planting these trees they are protected and don't become another ecological victim of human greed?

Keep Reading Show less