At our therapeutic college preparatory boarding school, students are surrounded by mentors and peers who’re dedicated to helping them heal their depression and anxiety symptoms. Teen depression and/or anxiety can be a result of having lost “meaning” to their lives. We’ve found that certain activities can infuse meaning into the lives of the girls who attend Greenbrier, especially those dealing with mental health issues like teen depression and anxiety. These tips can work at home for your teen as well, but are extra impactful when done in a community of supportive peers.

Here are a few things she can use that we use at our therapeutic college preparatory boarding school.

Physical Activities:

Exercise

Exercise comes in many forms, but no matter what, it can help your teen. Exercise increases the levels of endorphins in the brain, which tell us to be happier. This induces a positive mood during and after the exercise.

Walking

Walking is a form of exercise, so endorphins levels increase as you daughter does it. However, it’s also a slow activity, which means that other activities can be incorporated into it. During the walk, teens can take pictures, listen to an audio book (or online lecture, podcast,) participate in a scavenger hunt or take pictures.

Sports

Troubled teens often have a lot of energy that, if not directed in the right way, can result in some negative behavior. Sports are one easy way to keep your teenage girl active and motivated, while also giving her an outlet to use that energy toward something positive. If she participates in a team sport, there’s a chance that she’ll create close friendships that could help ease her anxiety and depression.

Art Therapy for Depression:

Consider enrolling your daughter in an art program. While she may not enjoy painting or drawing, other avenues exist that may peak her interest, such as digital art, animation, clay, pottery and sculpture. Art provides her with a way to express how she is feeling without having to find the right words for it. She can paint her emotions or create them out of clay instead. This may help her better understand her feelings and eventually be able to express them to you or to a therapist.

Musical Activities to Reduce Anxiety

Troubled teens with mental health issues may find it easier to express their feelings through music. There are many different types of musical activities she can participate in, such as choir, band or even learning a new instrument. At our therapeutic college preparatory boarding school, all of the girls participate in African drumming. In recent studies, the drumming has been shown to be both beneficial to the body and to the mind. One study found that drumming helps increase cells capable of killing cancer.

Other studies show drumming can:

  • – Reduce anxiety and stress
  • – Assist in controlling chronic pain
  • – Improve the immune system
  • – Help get rid of negative feels and blockages
  • – Help individuals deal with emotional trauma

Helping your daughter with her mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety, may not be easy, but there are some self-help activities she can participate in to help relieve the emotions associated and increase positive feelings.

If you’re unsuccessful at directing your daughter through these types of activities, consider our boarding school for teenage girls as the next step for both her therapeutic needs and education.