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This is how to cope with the changes that puberty brings

Tuesday August 25 2015

Teenage girl sitting on floor, leaning against lockers. Puberty is a stage of life that is characterised by so many changes as boys and girls develop sexually. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Teenage girl sitting on floor, leaning against lockers. Puberty is characterised by a rise in hormones, a factor that triggers emotional and physical changes in the body. In some cases, these emotions can be overwhelming, and cause unexplained feelings of anger and depression. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

REBECCA MUTHONI
By REBECCA MUTHONI
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Puberty is characterised by a rise in hormones, a factor that triggers emotional and physical changes in the body. In some cases, these emotions can be overwhelming, and cause unexplained feelings of anger and depression.

If you are going through this stage, these facts will be helpful.

 Understand that puberty is normal and that everyone goes through it: Most of your friends are going through the same changes or experiences, so you are not alone. It will help if you discuss what you’re going through with one of your close friends.

 Understand that going through puberty might feel strange: If you are hesitant about sharing your experiences with peers, parents or other adults you’re close to, then look for books that address the issues you are going through. The internet also offers a variety of helpful information on this subject, so get on with the research.

 It is not the end of the world if you break your voice or develop breasts before your peers: It might be embarrassing, but it is quite normal. Eventually, it will happen to your peers too.

BE PREPARED FOR CHANGES

Instead of trying to become invisible, be proud that you are the leader of the pack.

 Be prepared for changes: Puberty comes with many other changes. You will probably sweat more than before and grow hair in various parts of your body including the armpits and the pubic area.

These changes are normal, and show that your body is maturing.

 Maintain proper hygiene: It is important to take a bath or shower regularly, to get rid of the sweat and excessive oil in areas such as the face. There is nothing as relaxing as a bath. This is also the time to start shaving your armpits and pubic area.

 Your skin might go through some changes that will not be appealing: Your skin will become oilier than before, and you might even develop acne. If need be, seek a dermatologist’s advice on the skincare products that could help improve the condition.

 Invest in well-fitting bras: As your chest fills out, you need good support. A well-supporting bra will help you maintain good posture, and also prevent your breasts from drooping.

 Periods are on the way, so do not be surprised: Most teenage girls receive their first period with trepidation. However, this is not something to be ashamed of or embarrassed about.

Talk to someone close, for instance an elder sister, mum or an aunt you are close to if you need more information or assurance.

 Mood swings are normal: If you notice that you are not getting along with your parents or teachers as well as you did, do not be too hard on yourself or them.

There are many changes your body is going through during this phase, and you are bound to react to this. It might be helpful to discuss at length what is happening with someone who understands why you are behaving in an ‘abnormal’ manner.

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