You are overwhelmed at school, have extracurricular activity commitments filling up your calendar and family obligations that are fighting for your time and on top of it all, many of your responsibilities are overdue. To make space for all the things you need to do you skip lunch, give up sleep, stop exercising and give up on your social life entirely. When we are stressed self-care is usually the first to go and that only makes things worse.
Unfortunately, we live in a world where phrases like “the greater the sacrifice, the bigger the reward” holds more weight than taking a few moments for self-care. Sometimes sacrificing too much can be counterproductive. Imagine staying up all night to study for a test but then are too tired to concentrate during test time and get a bad grade. When we give up self-care, we lose focus and we lose a little bit of ourselves.
So, what is self-care? Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. It is also the key to improved mood, reduced anxiety, and enhanced relationships. Thanks to Teen Line Volunteers, here are 17 examples of how to self-care.
- “Making lists of all the things I need to accomplish helps me pick apart my emotions and put them on a piece of paper. This makes me a lot less overwhelmed.” – Lexi, age 15
- “Whenever I feel stressed or overwhelmed, I put my earphones in and listen to music. It instantly lifts my mood and makes me happy.” – Anna, age 17
- “When I feel really overwhelmed with life, I like to just try to relax, lie down and listen to music. Being able to just sort of escape is so nice and gives me a way to almost reset, without restarting the day. “– Eve, age 16
- “I take naps and listen to music. (20-minute naps do work, people!) “– Paris, age 17
- “I Play my guitar and imagine myself hosting a concert. It helps me escape and have fun for even 20 minutes.” – Chloe, age 16
- “For self-care, I like to take long showers because it gives me the space to think, workout because it releases endorphins, and watch Netflix before I sleep because why not!?” – Taylor, age 18
- “I like creative writing. I have a notebook filled with ideas and when I have time/energy, I like to write them all out and sometimes I write short stories.” – Liz, age 17
- “For self-care, I get Iced coffee at Starbucks (since I’m not riding the border of caffeine intoxication as it is) because coffee keeps me sane and Starbucks always has good songs on Spotify.” – Chelsea, age 15
- “I write in my diary, listen to music, go for walks, spend time in nature, hangout with my boyfriend and just do whatever I feel like doing.” – Eleanor, age 16
- “I exercise for my self-care. I like to exercise to help clear my mind and stay in shape.” Olivia, age 16
- “I play piano because it lowers my stress level and distracts me.” – Isaac, age 16
- “Try to go to bed by 10:30 every night – no matter what!” – Izzy, age 17
- “Put on loud music, take a bath, read a favorite book, take nap and take care of the stressful things in my life.” – Annie, age 16
- “For self-care, I do a skin care routine. For that one hour I am able to relax and take care of myself.” -Clifford, age 16
- “For self-care, I make sure to meditate and do deep breathing exercises for about 20 minutes at least every other day. It helps me de-stress and feel more in tune with myself.” -Bianca, age 16
- “Petting my cats and talking to my mom are very helpful ways of alleviating stress. These activities are calming and allow me to reflect on my feelings.” – Andrew, age 17
- “For self-care, I love to go hiking because I feel like connecting with nature helps ground me.” Caroline, age 16
When life is too much to handle by yourself, call Teen Line. One of our trained Teen Listeners will be there to listen, without judgement. Call 800-852-8336 from 6pm – 10pm PST or text “TEEN” to 839863 from 6pm – 9pm PST.