Self Care For Teens: Importance And 15 Effective Tips

 Self Care For Teens: Importance And 15 Effective Tips
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Life is demanding and particularly so for teens who are undergoing a significant transformation in their lives. From answering their best friend’s call at 2 AM to hearing about their breakup, stressing about a Math test the next morning, to fighting acne and hair loss–several things can cause them stress

While there’s strong awareness about the physical and mental health of teens, very little is spoken about self-care–what it is and how important it is for teens.

Read this post as it highlights the importance of self-care for teens and provides some useful self-care tips.

What Is Self-Care?

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘self-care? Does it conjure up pictures of a day at the salon or spa or a bubble bath at home? Self-care entails more than these. It encompasses activities, practices, and habits that reduce the stress and strain on the mind and body and make you feel happy and at peace with yourself.

Self-care is often confused with self-indulgence and can mean different things for different people. For some, it may mean taking an uninterrupted nap in the afternoon, while for others, it might mean taking a long shower, reading their favourite book all day long, or just enjoying a meal by themselves.

Although the essence of self-care is doing something that makes you feel refreshed, it doesn’t always involve doing things that are in your comfort zone.

The things you do as part of self-care may not always be relaxing but may be aimed at reducing a stressful situation in the near future. For example, it can include doctor visits or completing your chores to avoid stressful situations later. This is particularly true for today’s teens, who fall under one of the most stressed, anxious, and depressed segments of society.

Why Is Self-Care Important? 

While awareness about mental health issues among teens is gaining momentum, little is known about the importance of self-care in this age group. Teenagers today have their own set of struggles–academics; increased competition; pressure to perform well; participation in school, community, family, and religious events; worries about their future, appearance, and social standing; relationship issues, etc. These issues can affect their mental health and trigger behavioral problems and even suicidal tendencies among teens.

One of the best ways for teens to cope with difficult situations is by practicing regular self-care. Self-care can help prevent burnout, safeguard their mental health, reduce self-doubt and frustrations, and increase their happiness. And what’s more, engaging in self-care is proven to reduce stroke, cancer, and heart disease.

15 Self-Care Tips For Teens 

Here are some practical and effective self-care tips for teens that they can use to foster their physical, mental, and emotional health.

1. Build self-assurance

People may expect lots from your teen, but your child may not always have realistic expectations from themselves. At the end of the day, they must always believe they have done enough and the best they could. This self-assurance is a healthy self-care habit to inculcate.

2. Try to see the reality

Teens can easily be swayed by all they see on TV, the Internet, and social media. Teach them not to believe everything they see and hear but find the underlying truth. Seeing the reality of life is a clever way of promoting self-care during the teenage years.

3. Try not to be too hard on yourself

It is common for teens to beat themselves up when they don’t achieve what they want, their relationship ends, or when they have a bad day. Remind them not to be too hard on themselves. This includes

  • Not comparing themselves to others.
  • Not striving for perfection.
  • Realizing that everyone has their bad days.

4. Have a few but true friendships

Adolescence is one of the most memorable times in the life of an individual. Teens usually have lots of friends. However, it is essential for them to have true friends who form a strong support and provide a safety net for them to fall back upon. Encourage them to find friends who are their strongest critics and yet stand up for them in their darkest times.

5. Practice positive self-talk

Positive self-talk can be motivating and help you improve your shortcomings and become a better version of yourself. Teach your child never to put themselves down or engage in negative self-talk, and help them recognize the good things about themselves and feel confident in their abilities.

6. Find happiness in small things

Teenagers are in a constant state of flux. It is typical for them to equate happiness with great achievements, events, or wealth. However, they must understand that happiness lies in the small things in life, such as listening to music, cracking a joke with a friend, or enjoying the first snowfall of the year.

7. Practice gratitude

Taking time to appreciate the little things in life and being thankful for them is crucial for teens to recognize how blessed they are. When you acknowledge the things you have, you are welcoming joy into your life. This is a good self-care habit for teens to develop.

8. Live in the moment

It is normal for teens to feel frustrated about things around them or missed opportunities and spend a great deal of their time brooding over them. However, as part of self-care, they must learn how to savor the present moments in life rather than focus excessively on past failures or future uncertainties.

9. Limit social media use

Social media has immense power, and for a generation born after the Internet boom, it is but natural to find them spending a great deal of their time on various portals. However, social media has its evils too. Teens begin comparing their lives with those of their friends and other people as portrayed on social media platforms. Sometimes, the information on these platforms can be worrying, stressful, and cause anxiety too. Teach your teen to limit their social media use to just an hour or a couple a day.

10. Have a hobby or two

Hobbies have a calming, relaxing effect on one’s mind and body. A great way of practicing self-care is pursuing a hobby. It could be anything that de-stresses them, such as reading books, playing an instrument, participating in a sport, creating art or craft, coding, or dancing.

11. Be kind to yourself

It is normal for teens to feel that they can take on the world. However, teach them not to take on too much. Let them limit their activities and commitments to important ones that are beneficial to them and give their 100%. This way, they can be kind to themselves and give their mind and body the rest they need.

12. Follow a daily exercise routine

Exercising, playing a sport, or just going for a jog helps you to de-stress. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins or ‘happy hormones that help you feel positive. A daily exercise routine is, therefore, an essential component of self-care for teens.

13. Accept yourself

An essential aspect of self-care is understanding and accepting yourself for who you are. Help your teen to understand their strengths, weaknesses, and fears.

14. Have a daily routine

Teenagers can feel overwhelmed with the uncertainty in their lives, further adding to their existing stress. Maintaining a daily routine with fixed times for meals, sleep, and activity can reduce the stress created due to uncertainty, thereby acting as a powerful self-care tool. It also allows them to complete all their tasks in time; thus, reducing the stress caused due to incomplete assignments and submissions.

15. Get enough sleep

It can be challenging for teens to get good-quality sleep. But, getting good sleep every day is essential for the proper functioning of their brain and, more importantly, their mental health. Poor-quality sleep or lack of sleep at night can lead to poor concentration and lack of energy and motivation among teens.

A child’s teenage years are filled with many ups and downs, and often, life appears to be complicated. From navigating the physical and emotional changes to meeting the demands from the school and parents, things can be challenging for them. Thus, spending a dedicated amount of their time on self-care is vital.

References:

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Dr. Meenakshi Maruwada

Dr. Meenakshi is a dentist and a passionate writer with over eight years of experience in dentistry and four years in writing. She started her career as a dentist with a dental chain in Mumbai and soon rose to lead the clinic as a Head Dentist. She then switched to working for two start-ups in healthcare, before beginning her own... more