In today’s world, bad news can feel incessant. The COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing, mass shootings seem to occur in every corner of the country, and the political divide is deeper than ever. For teens, growing up in this environment of bad news can be stressful — especially when articles are shared on social media all the time. However, self-care for teens can be a helpful and healthy way to cope with adverse events.
Whether your teen is struggling with negative media or they’re dealing with something a little more personal, helping them find the right coping mechanisms could be the key to a healthier frame of mind. Explore this guide with a few of the best self-care ideas for teens from the team at Ascend.
Why Teens Need Self-Care
Self-care for teens is not a new idea, but it has taken on new life in recent years. While the term can conjure up images of bubble baths and face masks, self-care at its core can involve any practices that promote mental and physical wellness. Going to therapy, eating healthy, and visiting the doctor for regular check-ups can all be forms of self-care. And during a period where life feels more stressful than ever, ensuring self-care for your teen helps them build good habits for the long-term.
Teens face stress at school, in their social lives, and in their extracurricular activities. At the same time, they can take on the same stress adults feel about the state of the world. For teens who are navigating life with minimal experience, the bad news they see can seem even more insidious.
One of the purposes of self-care is to give teens a healthy outlet for stress. Some individuals, when faced with stressful situations, turn to outlets like drugs or alcohol to cope. Having a healthy routine and a consistent self-care practice can help teens make healthy decisions.
Five Self-Care Ideas for Teens
Self-care activities should be something your teen enjoys. Encourage them to try out different things as an outlet until they find something that fits. Some basic self-care ideas for teens include:
- Spending time in nature – Sunshine and fresh air can help teens reset after a day spent on schoolwork.
- Exercise – Help your teen find a way to stay active that they enjoy, such as playing a sport, hiking, or practicing yoga.
- Sleep – Busy teens can struggle to get enough sleep. Help your teen prioritize getting enough rest, so they feel their best.
- Creative outlets – Writing, painting, dancing, or playing music can all help teens work through negative thoughts.
- Giving back – Volunteering in any capacity can help your teen step outside of their experience and find meaning in helping others.
- Going to therapy — Therapists can help teens process what they’re feeling and teach them even more coping mechanisms.
Help for Teens at Ascend Healthcare
Self-care for teens can make a big difference to their mental and emotional health, but your teen might need something more. If you think you see symptoms of a crisis, your teen may benefit from the structured treatment program Ascend provides away from their regular stressful environment. You might be seeing signs of anxiety, depression, or self-harm practices that point to deeper issues than basic stress.
The purpose of our residential treatment program is to help teens who struggle with their mental health, addiction, or other behavioral issues build healthy coping skills. Our admissions team can tell you more about our center and help your family access the care and support you need. Contact us at 310.388.3713 today or reach out online to learn more.