While the phrase self-care is everywhere these days, that was definitely not the case a few decades ago. People would often think taking time for themselves was selfish and even a waste of time because they connected their worth with how busy their schedule was. So, how to help a teen cope better and stress less?
Reducing Stress With Self-Care
Feeling stressed, burnt out, or overwhelmed is something that most people feel, but it is especially prevalent in young people and even more so among teens. It leads to neglecting self-care because self-care is often seen as a last resort when the final crash is imminent, and a change has to occur. Most people have to understand that practicing self-care regularly will keep them energized and help them deal with pressures much better. In other words, self-care is not some emergency fix to use to get back on track when things are going wrong, but it is a useful tool for everyday life.
Modeling the necessity of self-care to teens is crucial, especially when they seem to be feeling more stress and pressure than ever before. A modern teen has to deal with everything, from trying to fit in to navigating their future and managing friendships. It’s a lot to get all at once, and mental health is often at risk. So, one of the best ways for teens to handle difficult situations is regular self-care.
Working Out Releases Endorphins
When a teen starts exploring self-care, it becomes important to remember that the practice doesn’t have to cost money or be elaborate. It can easily be DIY and requires nothing but some time and intention. Self-care is not a one size fits all deal. What works for one teen may not apply to all, and different activities may have a better effect depending on the person in question. The important thing is to discover something a teen enjoys and focus on that.
There are many self-care techniques that can help with a teen’s stress and exhaustion. Moving around, dancing, and working out are often useful practices because they encourage the person to do something they love and do it regularly. Movement gets people physically fit and is a natural way to decrease stress. It also tells the body to release endorphins, which are happy hormones that make people feel more positive.
Sleeping Reduces Stress
Getting some sleep is essential for good brain function and maintaining mental health. While it may be challenging for teens to get good-quality sleep, focusing on eight to nine hours of restful sleep can help them battle stress and function better. While fitting this into a schedule dominated by social, academic, and recreational activities may be hard, it definitely has a big payoff.
Another good practice to combat stress includes focusing on creative expression with painting, drawing, dancing, playing music, coloring, and other such activities. Simply being creative can ward off many negative thoughts and feelings. So does meeting up with friends who make a big difference in a teen’s life and exposure to nature, like visiting parks and hiking through the wilderness.
While most people, and not just teenagers, need a way to maintain their ability to cope, teens can have a harder time learning self-care techniques, so helping them out during hard times is also a good idea.