Paola Gancman,  CPC

"Moving forward one step at a time"

P: 818.920.8323

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HEALTH

You are now entering a time of independence and with that comes the responsibility to take are of your self. Learn to take care of your brain and your body. You will need them for the rest of your life. 

YOUR BRAIN

Did you know that the brain growth that you are experiencing now that you are a teenager is the greatest that you will experience in your life? 

Here are some fun facts about your brain:


  • Your brain is like any other muscle in your body and it is made up of 85 - 100 billion neurons that it would take about 3,000 years to count.

  • Being able to do something well depends on the connection between neurons.

  • Just like any other muscle in your body, when you do something over and over again (time and repetition) a new skill, like riding a bike, gets developed

​So you have the power to develop amazing skills and qualitative to get better at the things you want. 

NUTRITION

Are you eating more? What are you eating? If you answer yes, it is completely normal. You are probably craving sweets and salty snacks and even mixing them up in the same meal.

  • Eat healthy, not just chips and soda. I know it's hard but try to have fruits and vegetables with your meals. Eating more often is not bad but make the portions smaller.

  • Drink plenty of water 

  • Exercise: find a sport or a class at the gym and give it at least a month to decide if you like it or not. Exercise will help not only your body but your brain and emotions.  

SLEEP

You probably notice that your sleep cycle (circadian rhythm) has change. Puberty and the changes in your body will make you stay later and sleep longer. There is nothing much that you can do it but being aware of what your body is going through you can:​

  • You need 9-13 hours of sleep per night in order to function better, specially in school 

  • Pay attention to your school and social schedule

  • Put all electronics away when you are ready to go to sleep

PERSONAL HYGENE​

  • Showering

  • Washing your hair

  • Using deodorant

  • Wearing clean clothes

  • Brushing your teeth

  • Preventing and caring for acne


...can seem daunting at times but they re all necessary. Even if you don't feel like it maintaining your personal hygiene is your responsibility and like any other skill or habit it takes time and repetition for it to become an automatic act.


Don't wait until your friends or someone you don't really care for at school says something that will embarrass you. 

PUBERTY

Yes, it's happening. Puberty comes with physical and emotional changes. Keep in mind that:

  • Sex is an adult activity and it's not for kids. You are not there yet. 

  • Adults can choose whether or not to have a baby

  • Masturbation: some kids do it and some don't and it is a private behavior

  • There are different sexual orientations. Respect other and respect yours

  • It's your body and it's private

Talk about it with a trusted adult and ask questions if you have. When you ask the questions they seem more simple than they were in your head. This is the stage where you are growing into an adult, but remember, you are not there yet. 

DRUGS - ALCOHOL - ADDICTIONS

When something happens that's good for you like exercising, spending time with the people you love or going on a roller coaster, the brain releases a chemical called dopamine, that helps you feel good. Dopamine is the "fell good, let's get more chemical" in our brains. 

Addictions  work the same way. Addictive drugs release ten times the amount of dopamine that healthy things like going in a roller coaster or being with a friend do. This mean that the feel-good rush is more intense and quicker.

So what is the problem? Addictive drugs causes so much dopamine to be released that the brain becomes overwhelmed and in order to deal with it one has to take less drugs to release less dopamine. When the effects of the drug wears down, the person goes into withdrawal and the feeling is horrible (anxiety, nausea, depression and anger). 

RISKY BEHAVIORS NOT ONLY AFFECTS YOU BUT THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU, YOUR PARENTS, YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS. 

Think before you act, activate your thinking brain and LIVE to explore your independence, the world around you and your place in it!