Many people say that being a teenager now is more terrifying than ever. For one, there are plenty of adolescent girls who slap makeup products on their faces, to the extent that they look older than a 25-year-old woman. It seems cool that more and more kids can reveal their sexuality without getting ridiculed because of it, but you will also find more of them caring too much about meeting the beauty standards imposed by some adults in the society. Worse, when rebellion or bullying coupled with the failure to get whatever they want, these kids tend to require a consultation with psychologists to help them get through their issues. “When students believed their emotional safety had been violated by remarks they considered to be insufficiently sensitive, they often called for severe punishment of the offending party,” explains Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 4.5 million kids between the ages of 3 and 17 have behavioral problems. Another set of children (more or less 1.5 million of them, to be specific) has been diagnosed with depression. Then, there are also approximately 4.9 million kids within the same age range who deal with anxiety disorders. Some of the conditions have aggravated due to the poor financial situation of their families, while others have been victims of various forms of abuse.
It is undoubtedly heartbreaking for an individual of any age to learn that millions of children go through such ordeals mainly because of the people around them. Even the teenagers whose heads are where they should be can feel for their same-aged peers who are not as lucky as they may be, family-, academic- or money-wise. Nevertheless, in case you are already 18, and you want your mental health to improve and influence others to do the same, here are a couple of selfless things that you can do this summer.
Join A Philanthropic Mission
It is always during the school break that non-profit organizations hold charity work to help the less fortunate people across the city or state. That gives teenagers such as yourself the opportunity to join a philanthropic mission and avoid entertaining negative thoughts in general. According to Jennice Vilhauer Ph.D., “Engaging in some type of regular volunteer activity on at least a monthly basis, or just spending more time doing loving, kind things for the people in your life, helps get you out of your own head, creates well-being for others, and makes you feel good about yourself.”
In 2016, to be precise, Carlos Miller and Chris Bentley of Palm Beach County, Florida created a not-for-profit project “Live Fresh Palm Beach County” through the grants given by Impact for Palm Beaches and Quantum Foundation, which amounted to US$107,500 in total. This funding allowed the two men to renovate a trailer into a 29.5-ft. shower and personal care space for the homeless folks in the county. The mobile amenity had enough room for six bathrooms, which were complete with walls and doors to allow the individuals to wash up in privacy. They roamed around the Palm Beach zone three times a week at the time and gave the homeless people shower and personal hygiene package, as well as health checkups once every month.
Even now, the Live Fresh project continues to help the less fortunate individuals in their cleansing way. If you can join organizations that do that and more, you’ll be set for life.
Donate Your Blood
From what we learned from our friends at the American Red Cross, any healthy individual above 17 years old can donate blood. The only requirements they ask for are your parents’ consent form and IDs that will prove your age. Physically, you need to ensure that you weigh more than 110 lbs., have no recent tattoos inked on your skin, and have not gone through the blood donation process within the last two months.
Now, if your concern is that you might feel dizzy after donating blood, there are juices that can refresh your blood supply. For starters, you need to shred beetroot (1 kilogram), carrots (1 kilogram), and apples (1 kilogram), squeeze the juice out of four pieces of lemons, stir them well in a big bowl, and then let it sit for 24 hours. Afterward, strain the concoction using a clean cloth or gauze so that you can get all the liquid out and into a new container. Then, mix 250 grams of honey. You can get around 2 liters of beverage from this recipe. By keeping it inside the refrigerator, you will be able to expand its shelf life or share the beverage with your other blood-donating friends.
“Big kids have what are sometimes monumental challenges and problems in a very large and exceedingly complex universe,” says Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D. Reaching the age of 18 serves as your rite of passage to do anything you want without your parents being able to stop you. Instead of using this newfound freedom to take part in meaningless activities this summer, though, you should consider doing things that are similar to the two mentioned above to increase your self-esteem and help a lot of people. If you do so, you may not ever need to contact a psychologist in the future.