Boosting Your Teen’s Self Care: Why It’s Important
Self Care and Your Teen’s Mental Health
Are sweats and comfy clothes your teen’s new wardrobe? With COVID and quarantining still in full effect, getting dressed for the day is often not a priority. The stress and overwhelm of today’s new [homebound] reality can take a toll on everyone’s mental health and personal self-care routine. While lazy days may seem harmless, tabling self-care can cause more harm than good.
Self-care is the fundamental baseline to relieving stress and improving quality of life. Plus, if you’re not taking care of yourself, your mental health can suffer. It can be as simple as getting quality sleep every night, taking regular showers, brushing your teeth daily, filling your diet with nutritious, quality foods, getting regular haircuts, changing out of your pajamas, socializing with peers or family members, practicing stress relief activities and exercising most days of the week. Not only that, self-care is anything your teen can do that makes them feel happy and maintains their overall health and wellbeing.
Self Care and Your Teen’s Mental Health
Teens are more stressed, anxious and depressed than ever – and for good reason. Times are tough right now and we’re all feeling it. That’s why it’s important for parents to talk to their teens about how they’re feeling. Considering the situation, it’s important for teens to take care of themselves and find ways to cope with the stressors they’re feeling. And since many teens may not be aware of the benefits of self-care, we as parents can lead by example and make self-care a family priority.
Start by taking time each day or weekly to check in with your teens and walk them through their emotions and feelings. Ask them to describe how they’re feeling and make it a point to let them know you hear them. Validate their feelings by telling them you understand and that you can see how that would be hard, etc. Finally, help them work through their feelings and encourage them to focus on things that help them feel better. Practicing self-care as a family will help encourage teens to get involved, and teaches them positive habits to take with them throughout their life.
Ways to Help Your Teen’s Mental Health
Mental wellbeing doesn’t have to cost a lot of money – encourage your teen to start by creating a routine and setting goals. Here is a list of activities your teen can do to help their stress levels:
1. Practice daily hygiene – It’s easy to let our daily rituals fall to the wayside when there’s nowhere you have to be. Remind your teens and tweens to wash their face and brush their teeth twice per day, and keep up with other regular weekly hygiene maintenance like trimming nails or shaving their legs. Even a simple shower (or bath) can work wonders on stress, anxiety and mood.
2. Try meditation – Even just 10 minutes per day of mindful meditation can work wonders on anxiety, depression, mood, and stress. Encourage your teen to search YouTube or apps on their devices for free resources that can walk them through the process.
3. Get adequate sleep – Teens and tweens need 8-9 hours of sleep each night. So if yours is staying up late and waking up early, they may be missing out. Help your teenager refine their sleep habits by creating an optimal sleep environment with blackout curtains, comfy sheets, cool temperature, and a sound machine.
4. Spend time in nature – Getting outside has a way of waking up the senses and easing tensions. Take it a step further and head out as a family – try riding bikes, a walk around the neighborhood, sledding and playing in the snow, or even a hike.
5. Have a virtual hangout – whether with family or friends, socializing with peers and loved ones is essential for a healthy mind. Carve out time each week and plan a virtual hangout with your teen’s favorite people ASAP.
6. Exercise – Exercise is not only good for the heart, it also boosts endorphins triggering a positive feeling in your body and mind. Encourage your teen to find physical activity they enjoy doing so they’re more likely to engage regularly.
7. Pamper yourself – soak in the tub, get a mani/pedi, or give yourself a skin care face mask – these are all great ideas for pampering yourself!
8. Listen to music – listening to your favorite tunes for at least 30 minutes per day can have a profound effect on reducing stress and making you feel more relaxed.
9. Start journaling – for many, writing or journaling can help relieve anxiety and stress by getting whatever’s on the mind out and onto paper instead.
10. Read a good book – escaping with a good book is a great way to unwind and escape from the stresses of everyday life.
Help your teen pamper themselves with TBH Kids’ Mood Booster Kit! Everything you need to start a healthy self-care routine is in this kit to help your teen stress less and smile more.