Keeping a consistent self-care routine is key
Self-care is important! Ideally, you and your teen should be doing something that evokes a sense of wellbeing on a daily basis. However, between handling the uncertainty and changes associated with the ongoing pandemic, planning for the holidays, and dealing with everyday ups and downs that come along with the teen years, it can be hard to consistently practice self-care. Plus, when a stressful situation occurs or a bad day happens, it can be hard to even think of ways to change the situation or improve how you feel.
That’s where a self-care toolbox becomes useful. When you record self-soothing activities and positive routines, they become your go-to place when you or your teen feel overwhelmed or don’t know what to do. This is one of the most helpful tools for teens, as it is common for them to slip into tunnel vision when experiencing high levels of stress. Providing your teen with a pre-written toolbox of ideas will give her access to strategies that she may not be able to think of in the moment.
First, open the conversation
To get started, talk with your teen about what self-care means. Share the activities or routines that have helped in the past. Next, consider self-care activities that can be done on a daily basis, to keep your cups full, and those activities that are more appropriate for addressing intense moments of stress. Since one self-care tool may not be helpful for all situations, it is important to create a list with a variety of ideas.
Examples of Daily Self-Care Tools:
- Exercise daily.
- Practice gratitude.
- Stay hydrated.
- Make sleep a priority.
- Journal. Download free journal prompt pages when you sign up for the Dreams & Goals workshop.
- Do something you truly enjoy.
- Take a five-minute time out during the day to breathe consciously and deeply.
Examples of Special Self Care Tools:
- Use the Let It Go letter template from my book Power Up Your Parenting.
- Talk with a parent, friend, or coach.
- Change your environment. If possible, get outside and move your body.
- Express your feelings creatively.
- Listen to meditation. There are plenty of tailored guided meditations on YouTube.
- Practice Bear Breath.
- Turn up the music and DANCE! Movement can literally change the energy in your body.
If it’s difficult to engage your teen in this type of conversation, don’t give up. Create your own self-care toolbox and keep it somewhere visible. Remember, when you model self-care, you teach your teen do to the same.