06 Jul Summer Self-Care for Teens
Teens have had a challenging year! Whether it was happy and productive or hard and grueling, it has surely pushed them in new ways. Summer is the time for them to catch up with the fun and stress to find time to wind down and recenter. Remind them that it is okay to simply rest for a while. Being a little unproductive for a short time can help boost productivity for the school year ahead.
When we take some time to relax, amazing things begin to happen: stress, depression and anxiety are reduced, our energy levels are boosted, and our ability to cope with many of our daily pressures is renewed. When you think about how much stress and pressure is put on teens throughout the school year — it’s easy to see how much of a break they need, and how healthy it’ll be for their overall health and well-being.
Encourage your teen to incorporate restful and relaxing activities into their daily routines for summer self care. Maybe they want to read a book for a few hours a day in a hammock, on a festival blanket, or at their favorite park. Maybe they would benefit from practicing daily meditation and mindfulness. Whatever helps your teen recharge, do your best to offer to provide resources they might need to make it possible.
Summertime is the season for spending time outdoors! The sunshine, fresh air, and time in nature can be essential for improving physical and mental health. So if your teen is typically sitting on the couch watching TV during summer daylight hours, or huddled up near their computer playing video games, encourage them to spend time outside each day.
Help them find ways that they can take their favorite activities outdoors and hopefully get some exercise too! They can take walks, hikes, or bike rides while listening to music or podcasts. Maybe instead they would prefer to spend time with friends working out in a group in the sun! Either way, just make sure they have plenty of sunscreen on hand to give them the tool they need to be more excited about stepping outdoors.
With the downtime from a hectic school schedule, teens can prioritize summer self care by trying something new. Maybe they are interested in learning a new language, instrument, or another skill like painting, sewing, baking, or candle making. Encourage them to challenge themselves physically and intellectually in ways that excite them!
Maybe they want to take up a new physical activity like yoga outdoors or golden hour runs. The change of pace and a chance to practice an activity of their choosing can spark creativity, boost self confidence, and even help them build their identity. Offer to help them choose how to structure their time to make the most out of their curiosities.
Summertime means staying hydrated and nourished. One way to help your teen practice summer self care is to provide them with the ingredients for healthy snacks. Encourage them to swap out some of their favorite junk foods for healthier alternatives like coconut ice cream or homemade chips & salsa. Make the switch as a family from sodas to sparkling waters or healthy fresh squeezed juice beverages. For hot summer days teens can enjoy the practice of making healthy popsicles to enjoy in the heat of the sun.
If your teen enjoys cooking, they can take this time as an opportunity to broaden their skillset, try new recipes (or invent their own), all while making conscious choices about how to best prioritize their health and wellness. Help your teen sort through the conflicting information available on social media and the internet about health, dieting, and nutrition to give them the tools they need to make nutritious, balanced choices.
You know the Sunday scaries? Well, your teen might just have the end of summertime scaries too. Ask your teen how they are feeling about the new school year up ahead. If you notice that they are feeling anxious, do your best to help them mentally prepare and, hopefully, get excited. One great way to start is by planning out goals and setting intentions. Do they want to learn something new at school? Join a club, volunteer, play a sport, or apply to colleges?
Whatever it may be, help them start planning with conscious effort and a positive mindset. They can use common techniques for self care for teens such as making a vision board or journaling. Encourage them to remember the things they are grateful for, write them down, and look towards the year ahead with goals and intentions in mind.
At Tilly’s Life Center, we believe self care for teens is essential to mental health and well being. Our mission is to provide mental health resources for teens that help them create a life that is happy, healthy, and fulfilling. Our social emotional learning curriculum can be integrated into the academic studies teens are engaging in during the school year to help them process emotions and face life’s many challenges in positive and productive ways. To learn more, visit us at www.tillyslifecenter.com