Why Self-Care Is Imperative for Teens (and Ways to Approach It)
Now more than ever, the importance of self-care is touted for adults of all kinds, including parents, teachers, essential workers, and anyone at risk of burnout. Yet it’s particularly crucial for pre-teens and teenagers, who are navigating unique challenges that can impact their lives for years to come. Learning the value of self-care can not only help teens get through the vagaries of adolescence, but foster resilience throughout their entire adulthood. Here’s why every teen should make a self-care New Year’s resolution this year.
Why Is Self-Care Important for Teens?
The pre-teen and teenage years are a period of significant growth and change, physically, cognitively, and emotionally. Hormonal shifts, academic and domestic responsibilities, and intense social pressures (including those endlessly pushed on social media) can create a cocktail of stress and anxiety. Self-care can serve as a surprisingly effective buffer against these stressors, helping teens manage their emotions and make better decisions.
Basic Ways to Approach Self-Care for Teens
For teens as for members of other age groups, developing simple healthy habits can make a dramatic difference in mental health and life outcomes. Start with basic health-related efforts like getting adequate exercise, eating a balanced diet, and getting enough sleep, as these are the foundation for more customized forms of self-care. Then look for ways to reduce stress and set yourself up for success. Here are some ideas:
- Strive for perspective on your stressors. For adults, getting sucked into distressing news cycles can impact mental health in unproductive ways. For teens, it’s often unattainable ideals portrayed on TV and social media, or toxic relationships. Strive for self-compassion and perspective; avoid spending precious time and mental energy on unnecessary stressors.
- Explore your interests. Engage in hobbies, sports, and other activities that you already enjoy or that you think you might enjoy. These can be excellent for your brain, body, and mental health, and many pastimes can help you develop skills that are helpful in other areas of your life.
- Seek out mental health resources. Look for reputable websites that offer mental health stories, suggestions, and related perspectives from other teens and their parents. This can be incredibly helpful in helping you feel less alone and in finding the healthcare resources and strategies that will work best for you.
Discover Key Self-Care Practices With ReGroup Foundation
ReGroup Foundation is a non-profit that helps neurodiverse and neurotypical pre-teens, teens, and their families anonymously share and benefit from mental health success stories. Too often, the best resources and practices in teen mental health care remain under the radar. We want all families to benefit from the triumphs of those who have been there, done that. We make this possible by collecting family reviews of local mental health caregivers and facilities as well as personal strategies for helping teens practice self-care and recover from wellness challenges.
In only 15 minutes, you can begin making a world of difference in the lives of other teens and their families — just by anonymously sharing your successes. Register today and start sharing your reviews and mental health insights!