10 Mental Health and Self-care Tips for Teens

Self-care is a fundamental practice that prioritizes one’s well-being and fosters a healthy, balanced lifestyle. In a fast-paced world filled with responsibilities and demands, taking the time to care for ourselves is essential for maintaining physical, mental, and emotional health. From tending to our physical needs to nurturing our emotional and mental well-being, self-care is a powerful tool that allows us to recharge, find inner peace, and better navigate our challenges. At Asheville Academy, we know that incorporating self-care into our routines can enhance our overall quality of life and create a solid foundation for personal growth and happiness.

What is self-care?

Self-care refers to intentional actions and practices that promote physical, mental, and emotional well-being. The main concept behind self-care involves prioritizing taking care of oneself physically and mentally to maintain positive overall health and prevent burnout. Individuals engaged in self-care daily with food choices, exercise, sleep, and hygiene.

Why is self-care important?

Engaging in self-care activities helps manage stress, promotes emotional resilience, and enhances overall well-being. Practicing self-care fosters positive mental health by reducing stress, increasing self-awareness, and promoting healthy coping mechanisms. Engaging in self-care activities that nurture self-acceptance, self-expression, and self-compassion contributes to a positive self-image and improved self-confidence.

Why is self-care important for teenagers?

Self-care is important at any age, but self-care is particularly important during adolescence or the teenage years due to the numerous physical, emotional, and social changes that individuals in this age group experience. When it comes to their emotional well-being, teenagers often face increased stress, pressure, and emotional challenges as they navigate a combination of academic demands, social relationships, and personal development.

Additionally, mental health issues tend to arise during these crucial years of development, as the teenage years can be a vulnerable period for issues such as anxiety and depression. This is why developing strong self-esteem and self-confidence is essential during adolescence.

Ten Tips for Self-care

Self-care is essential for teenagers to maintain their well-being and manage the stress of everyday life. Here are some self-care tips specifically tailored for teenagers:

  1. Sleep is very important! Not only does it benefit our mental health, it directly correlates to our physical health as well. Prioritize sleep by establishing a regular sleep schedule: Aim for 8-9 hours each night to ensure the body and mind get enough rest.
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  3. Practice good nutrition: Eat a balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Eating nutritional foods you’re excited about is easier–no one says eating a balanced diet means you can’t get creative with your food options. If you struggle to choose things to eat, ask a friend or family member to cook a meal with you, making it a shared activity! Staying hydrated is also important by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
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  5. Engage in physical activity: Regular exercise keeps you physically fit, helps manage stress, and boosts your mood. Find activities you enjoy, such as dancing, sports, or hiking, and incorporate them into your routine. Physical activities come in many forms, so feel free to try some options until one sparks your interest.
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  7. Take breaks from screens: Limit your screen time and take regular breaks from devices such as iPhones, tablets, laptops, and TV. Substitute screen time for engaging in activities like reading, drawing, or spending time outdoors to give your eyes and mind a rest.
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  9. Prioritize relaxation: Find relaxation techniques that work for you, such as deep breathing exercises, mindful stretching, meditation, or taking a warm, relaxing bath. Incorporate these practices into your daily routine to help reduce stress and promote calmness.
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  11. Connect with others: Spend time with friends and family members who uplift and support you. Share your thoughts and feelings with trusted individuals who can provide guidance and understanding. Never underestimate the power of human connection. It plays a fundamental role in our lives and provides a deep sense of belonging, understanding, and empathy when we connect with others emotionally, intellectually, or socially.
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  13. Practice time management: Develop good organizational skills and create a schedule that balances schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and personal time. Prioritize tasks and break them down into smaller, manageable steps. When we set goals and work towards achieving them, we experience a sense of progress, competence, and self-efficacy. This feeling of accomplishment can positively impact our overall well-being and motivation.
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  15. Engage in hobbies and creative outlets: Discover activities that bring you joy and allow you to express yourself, such as writing, painting, playing an instrument, or photography. These hobbies can serve as a creative outlet for self-expression and relaxation.
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  17. Get outside: Spending time in nature can be calming and improve your well-being. Take walks, go hiking, or simply sit in a park to enjoy the benefits of being in nature and breathing fresh air. If you don’t have parks nearby, consider starting a small garden or container garden at your house or on your patio to bring nature to your doorstep.
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  19. Seek support when needed: If you’re feeling overwhelmed or struggling with your mental health, don’t hesitate to contact a trusted adult, counselor, or mental health professional. Seeking support is a sign of strength. Seeking guidance from a mental health professional does not always have to come from a place of crisis. Rather, therapy can be a helpful way to maintain or check in on your mental health or well-being regularly.

To talk to a professional about helping your teen with anxiety or depression, call us today at 800-264-8709 or contact us online at https://ashevilleacademy.com//aag-contact/.

Brooke Pastene

She attended Edinboro University and majored in Psychology.  While going to school, Brooke started her internship at a RTC  for female juvenile delinquents and continued working there for three years before moving to New York.  Once in New York, Brooke furthered her career by supervising three foster homes for children with Autism & Asperger’s.  This lead her to accepting a position as the Program Coordinator for two Group Homes for adults with MR/DD/MH diagnosis, where she worked for three years before moving to North Carolina. Brooke continued working with adults and children with MR/DD/MH as the Lead Qualified Professional monitoring CAP services.  Due to having to move for her husband’s work, Brooke then transitioned to working for three years as the Clinical Supervisor for two ICF-MR Group Homes for adults.  Due to a job opportunity for her husband and a love for the area, Brooke and her husband moved to the Asheville area in 2014 where she began working at Asheville Academy as a Team Manger and Residential Co- Director.

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Brooke Pastene

She attended Edinboro University and majored in Psychology.  While going to school, Brooke started her internship at a RTC  for female juvenile delinquents and continued working there for three years before moving to New York.  Once in New York, Brooke furthered her career by supervising three foster homes for children with Autism & Asperger’s.  This lead her to accepting a position as the Program Coordinator for two Group Homes for adults with MR/DD/MH diagnosis, where she worked for three years before moving to North Carolina. Brooke continued working with adults and children with MR/DD/MH as the Lead Qualified Professional monitoring CAP services.  Due to having to move for her husband’s work, Brooke then transitioned to working for three years as the Clinical Supervisor for two ICF-MR Group Homes for adults.  Due to a job opportunity for her husband and a love for the area, Brooke and her husband moved to the Asheville area in 2014 where she began working at Asheville Academy as a Team Manger and Residential Co- Director.