Teens often have a lot of stressors in their lives. Between school, extracurricular activities, social obligations, and busy schedules it can be difficult to develop a solid self-care routine.
The need for self-care is not just an adult responsibility. The importance of self-care for young people is not to be underestimated. Practicing self-care can help teens manage their stress, anxiety, and depression.
High school students are often under intense pressure, and they too should take care of themselves. Utilizing deliberate activities via self-care can help young people stay on top of their game and find balance in their lives.
It’s essential that teens have self-care activities in their lives to help them through these sometimes confusing life changes.
During the teenage years, self-care activities can be different for everyone, but there are some general things that can help most people.
Here are 21 examples of self-care activities for teens that promote wellness.
21 self-care ideas that can make a positive impact
Eating healthier foods
Depending on your dietary needs, this could mean cutting out processed foods, eating more vegetables and fruits, or reducing sugar intake. Whatever the case may be, eating healthier foods can help improve your emotional health and give you more energy.
Getting enough sleep
As part of your own self-care plan, ensuring that you get a restful night’s sleep is crucial. Sleep deprivation is the last thing you want to be dealing with when under intense pressure.
This may mean going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, reducing screen time an hour before bed to avoid aimlessly scrolling on social media. Sleep is a great way to reduce stress and promote wellness.
Drinking more water
Increasing water intake is one of those healthy behaviors that is often overlooked but is so important for our bodies. Drinking more water on a regular basis can help improve your skin, energy levels, and digestion.
Exercise releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects. Physical health is an important part of self-care. A healthy body leads to a healthy mind, so find an activity that you enjoy and make it part of your daily routine.
Spending time outside
During stressful situations, it can be helpful to spend time outside in nature. Being in nature has been shown to have calming effects on the mind and body. So, take a break from studying and do a simple activity like going for a walk outside.
Doing your hair
A form of creative expression that never gets old is doing your hair. Whether you’re trying out a new style or just taking the time to do something nice for yourself, doing your hair can be a great self-care activity.
Creating a makeup look
Like doing your hair, playing with makeup can be a fun form of self-care. Experimenting with different colors and looks can help you express your personality and creativity. Plus, it’s a great activity to relax after a long day.
Listening to music
Music has a way of transporting us to another place and can be very therapeutic. If you’re feeling stressed, try listening to calming music or your favorite tunes. The first thing I recommend doing is creating a music playlist of all your favorite music for stress management.
Organize your space
Being in a cluttered and disorganized space can add to stress levels. Do you have a ton of schoolwork piling up on your desk? Is your closet crammed full of clothes you never wear? Dedicate some time to decluttering and organizing your room, desk, or any other space that you frequently occupy.
Develop a solid skincare routine
Investing in a good skincare routine can do wonders for your self-esteem. Cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing your skin regularly can help you feel more confident when facing the world each day. Plus, it’s a great way to relax from school-related tasks.
Brain dump your thoughts
A creative outlet that can help relieve stress is journaling. Brain-dumping all of your thoughts onto paper (or into a Word document) can help clear your mind and allow you to focus on the task at hand. If you don’t know where to start, try writing stream-of-consciousness style or shadow work prompts.
Trying out a new hobby
When it comes to self-care as a teenager, many times you can attach the activities you do to being told that you’ll make good grades or get into college.
However, self-care should be about things that make *you* happy. So, if there’s something you’ve been wanting to try but haven’t had the time for, make self-care the excuse you need to go for it. The most important thing is that you enjoy the process.
Purchase a gratitude journal
A great way to reduce stress and focus on the positive is by practicing gratitude. Each day, write down a few things you’re grateful for in your self-love journal.
One of the best self-care activities for teenagers is to pamper themselves. This can be something as simple as taking a relaxing bath or giving yourself a mani/Pedi. If you want to go all out, you can even treat yourself to an at-home spa day with your friends.
Set aside time for self-reflection
Self-reflection is an important part of self-care. It allows you to check in with yourself and see how you’re really feeling. From school assignments to maintaining healthy relationships, getting restful hours of sleep, and more — it can be easy to forget what’s really important to you.
State positive affirmations to yourself
A new way to think about self-care is to state positive affirmations to yourself. This can be done in the mirror each day, or even just in your head.
Some great articles to start with are found below:
Self-care affirmations for the Sunday scaries
Tuesday affirmations for when you need the encouragement
Wednesday affirmations for mid-week motivation
Make time for friends and family
The best way to approach stress reduction is by having a strong support system. Spending time with friends and family can help you feel connected and loved. At the end of the day, having a strong community makes a big difference.
Devote time to meditate
Taking deep breaths through meditation can help combat some of the negative emotions you may be feeling. Being intentional with breathwork is a good mental wellness practice.
Take breaks throughout the day
Just think, you are under a tremendous amount of pressure to perform well in school. The good news is that having good mental health isn’t as stigmatized as it once was. So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, make sure to take a break and come back to the task at hand refreshed.
Create a space for you to stretch
An excellent resource to use is YouTube if you’re ever feeling stressed and in need of a good stretch. There are an endless number of videos that can help you feel more relaxed. All you need is a little bit of space and some comfortable clothing.
Set goals for yourself
Instead of thinking so long term, create a mini vision board that captures goals you want to accomplish in the short term. This self-care activity is a great way to get yourself motivated and excited about the near future.
Strengthening self-care habits through enjoyable activities
A lot of time is spent worrying about the future, but self-care can be enjoyed through recreational activities and taking care of your immediate needs. Self-care should be about things that light you up inside, so try out different activities until you find what works best for you.
Hopefully, incorporating one or more of these activities will become part of a regular self-care routine. Remember, self-care is necessary to living a happy and fulfilling life.
What are some of your favorite self-care activities? If you found this article helpful, be sure to share it with your friends!