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Successful Blogger Offers Mental Health Tips for Teens in a Digital Age
Alexa Curtis is a young adult blogger and influencer. She founded A Life in the Fashion Lane, a lifestyle platform geared towards young adults and parents in 2011, and has since appeared on shows like TODAY, GMA, Fox and more. In 2016, she founded the nonprofit Media Impact and Navigation for Teens, which is a panel discussion in schools on topics like bullying and body image.
Hello everyone! My name is Alexa, and I’m here from A Life in the Fashion Lane. I’m originally from a small town in Eastern, CT, and I began getting bullied when I was 12 years old. I grew up in a small and sheltered town, so I was never incredibly comfortable with my appearance or my utter passion for fashion. Once I began my blog, the bullying became even more severe, and I began to explore other ways to clear my head and stay focused on my passion.
From a young age, I always knew I was different, and was never going to fit into the traditional mold. I’d rather dress up in fun and unique clothing instead of sweatpants to wear to classes, which gave other kids a reason to talk about me. At the time, I didn’t realize how my blog was slowly becoming my career: I was making $50 a week from a LinkedIn profile I made, and getting some side gigs for my blog too. The more I began working, the more I realized how important taking care of mental health is. Celebrities like Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez are open in the media about their struggles with mental health, and they’ve been huge inspirations for me when I decided to start talking about my struggles with depression and body image.
There are many ways that I take care of my mental health every day, whether it’s talking to my therapist once a week or simply exercising every day. I’ve found that exercise has been an incredible outlet for me when it comes to feeling good on the inside and outside. Here are some of my tips for taking care of your mental health:
1: Find your sweet spot
Many of us wake up sometimes, look in the mirror, and feel like we aren’t good enough. Since I struggled with an eating disorder when I was younger, I have more than a few hours every week where I don’t feel 100% satisfied with my body. Since I know that the negative thoughts I have surrounding my body aren’t healthy thoughts, I’ve made it a weekly goal of mine to constantly work on my strengthening my mind and my body. It’s OKAY to not always be okay.
2: Don’t compare yourself to others
In the current day and age of social media, comparing yourself to others is inevitable. I spent way too much time when I was younger focusing on other people I wanted to look like instead of focusing on being the most confident version of myself. My best piece of advice for avoiding all of the negative feelings that social media stems is to keep your vision clear. Fill your feed with strong and inspiring people, like Ashley Graham and Iskra Lawrence. The more positive your feed is, the more inspired you will be ALL of the time!
3: Talk to your parents
When I was younger, I avoided talking to my parents at all costs. What I didn’t realize is that my parents truly want the best for me, as much as I wanted to avoid talking to them in public at all times. If you don’t have one person you feel comfortable talking to when anything (good or bad) happens, then it could be beneficial to find a hotline that you can call or a therapist who accepts your insurance. There are many free 24/7 hotlines that you can call depending on what you’re dealing with. At the end of the day, if you need to sit your mom down and have a nice cry, you’ll probably be surprised at how much better you’ll feel afterward.
4: Never give up on your dreams
I hear the word “no” multiple times every day. Just because I’ve got a substantial career from my blog doesn’t mean that I’ve made the mark that I want. If I had given up on my blog the minute I heard my first “no”, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Your dreams become your destiny, and following them will give you the life you dream of. Even if your parents or your friends don’t support what you want to do, remember that this is your life: proving people wrong is my life motto.
See more of my work at www.alifeinthefashionlane.com and on social media at @alexa_curtis!