Teenagers can have very busy lives.
Teachers and parents often instruct their teens to study hard, do well in school, get good grades, and go to college.
This is all very important, but it’s important that they add in other activities too besides studying and working.
Teens who don’t will compromise on their personal well-being and this can have a big impact on their future.
In this post, I wanted to share a list of self care activities for teens that are easy to do, takes little time, but are extremely effective.
Thank you for being here. We are reader-supported. If have a minute, please try out the Headspace App. It is free to start and is the perfect companion for mindfulness, meditation, and improving the overall quality of your life.
Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Learn more on the disclosure page.
- Why Do Teenagers Need to Practice Self Care?
- How Do You Teach a Teenager About Self-care?
- Why Self-care is So Important for Families
- List of 15 Self Care Activities for Teens/Teenagers
- 1. Disconnecting From Social Media
- 2. Scheduling Regular Time to Be Alone
- 3. Eating Right
- 4. Getting Enough Quality Sleep
- 5. Exercising Regularly
- 6. Go Outside
- 7. Doing Fun Activities That You Love to Do, Even if They Aren’t That “Productive”
- 8. Set Boundaries With Your Parents, Friends and Teachers
- 9. Practice Good Hygiene
- 10. Learn a Musical Instrument
- 11. Mindfulness Coloring
- 12. Volunteer For a Good Cause
- 13. Write Down Some of Your Worries in a Journal to Express Them
- 14. Surround Yourself With Positive People Who Care About You and Lift You Up
- 15. Practice self care together with your teenager
- What do Teens Think About Self Care? Interesting Video
- In Conclusion: Best Self Care Activities for Teens
Why Do Teenagers Need to Practice Self Care?
As teenagers, they are going to encounter a lot of stress.
Whether it’s school, friends, or family, the ability to take care of oneself is an important part of life.
Self care can help a teen cope with stress and better understand how to handle it, and not only that but practicing self care can also make one happier too!
As a teen learns to better improve their personal well-being, they develop skills that will ease them into teenagehood, including important ones such as decision making.
In fact, the ability to make good decisions relies heavily on being able to put yourself first sometimes and practice self-love.
It isn’t always easy for teenagers (or even adults) who are just starting out on their own path in life but learning about what makes them happy will go a long way toward helping them find success as an adult.
If you want more confidence and happiness in your life, why not learn the types of self care as well as how?
How Do You Teach a Teenager About Self-care?
If you’re trying to teach your teen about self-care, begin by having a conversation about what it is.
It can be tempting to dive right into the specifics of how they can practice self-care—but first, make sure that the concept of caring for themselves is clear.
Explain the importance of taking care of their bodies and minds through healthy habits like eating well and exercising regularly.
You may also want to talk about sleep as an important aspect of self-care. Unfortunately, sleep deprivation is a real epidemic.
Many teens find it difficult to get enough sleep since they have so much on their plates at school or in other aspects of their lives.
You’ll definitely want to discuss the benefits that come from learning how to take care of yourself: being able to maintain good health; being less stressed; feeling more confident; feeling better physically and mentally overall!
A teenager who recognizes these benefits will be more motivated than ever when it comes time for them to do something nice for themselves.
Why Self-care is So Important for Families
Self-care can help busy parents restore their physical, mental, and emotional vitality as well as their creative and spiritual reserves.
All of those are diminished when you’re exhausted and under pressure.
But did you realize that taking care of yourself also benefits your family? This applies to all members of the family.
Taking care of yourself can make you a more involved and successful parent.
You’re more likely to be understanding and communicate with your teen in a positive way.
Self-care is one of the best ways to support your family and is far from selfish.
Studies have shown that when parents practice self-care, teens are inspired to do the same and carry this healthy habit into adulthood.
Therefore, practicing self-care teaches your teen how to take better care of themselves.
List of 15 Self Care Activities for Teens/Teenagers
1. Disconnecting From Social Media
Social media can be a good source of entertainment, but it can also be addictive.
If your teenager is someone who is easily distracted and prone to procrastination, it’s important for their mental health that they disconnect from social media at least some of the time.
For example, if they’re trying to work on an essay or finish studying for a test, they should not be using their phone or laptop and check Instagram every five minutes.
Social media makes us feel like we’re keeping up with everyone else by posting as much content as possible: selfies; funny videos; posts about our favorite bands playing concerts nearby (or not so nearby) etc.
This comparison culture can lead us down an unhealthy path where we feel inferior because we aren’t posting as often as other people are, or because there are people who post more interesting content than ours does.
We start comparing ourselves with others when we post things online—and this self-comparison doesn’t help anyone!
2. Scheduling Regular Time to Be Alone
Being alone is a powerful tool.
It’s important to schedule regular times to be alone, whether that’s in your room or out on the porch.
A teen who doesn’t regularly spend time with themselves will start feeling anxious and overwhelmed by the world around them, and they’ll start losing their sense of self.
The key to making alone time productive is finding activities that help your teen relax and unwind from stressors in their life.
For example, taking deep breaths can help calm nerves when they’re stressed out about schoolwork or social situations—and it’s something anyone can do anywhere.
To make sure this habit sticks long-term, try creating an elaborate ritual around it: set a timer for five minutes every night before bedtime to practice breathing exercises with your child until they feel confident doing them on their own without any assistance from you at all.
If there are other things that make your child feel good—like coloring books or listening to music—then incorporate those too.
They’ll appreciate having something calming available whenever needed most so they don’t end up getting too worked up during stressful situations where these tools would come in handy later down the road.
3. Eating Right
This is such a simple way to improve a person’s health and it can really help you feel better day to day.
It’s important to eat breakfast every morning, even if it’s just a small bowl of cereal or some toast with jam.
Make sure that your teenager is having a balanced diet, with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Avoid junk food as much as possible—it may seem tempting, but it will only give them an energy boost for a short time before leaving them feeling sluggish again afterward.
Remind them to drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep themselves hydrated; this is especially important if they exercise regularly.
4. Getting Enough Quality Sleep
Getting enough sleep is one of the best things anyone can do for their mental health.
When you’re well-rested, you’re more likely to be happier and healthier overall.
Your schoolwork will be easier to focus on, and it’s unlikely that any obnoxious behavior will be directed at teachers or other students during class time—you’ll just feel too good to bother!
The recommended amount of sleep for teens is nine hours per night, which may seem like a lot if you’re used to getting by on six or seven hours per night.
But believe me: it’s worth working toward this goal.
If you need help getting there, try some of these strategies:
- Set up a bedtime routine (e.g., brushing teeth, reading a book) so that when 10 pm rolls around each night, your body knows it’s time for bed instead of just another “hour” spent hanging out with friends on social media until 1 am
- Get up at the same time every day. No matter what, even if you have to force yourself out of bed, get up at the same time every day. By making this your routine, your body will learn what time it needs to wake up, which will make it easier for you to fall asleep.
- Try not to study too late in the evening; instead, do some revision or homework earlier in the day so that when night rolls around, your brain knows it’s time for restful activities like reading or watching TV
5. Exercising Regularly
Exercising regularly is one of the best self-care activities for teens.
Regular exercise can help you feel better about yourself by making you stronger and more confident.
It also has a positive effect on mood because it releases endorphins into the brain which make us feel happier and less stressed out.
In addition to that, exercise helps relieve stress by releasing endorphins into our brains which makes us feel happier and less stressed out than we did before starting our workout routine.
Encourage your teen to get out and exercise more, or better yet, become their sporting partner so you can have more time to bond too!
6. Go Outside
Going outside can help you reconnect with nature and your surroundings.
When we are inside all day, we get disconnected from everything around us—the wind doesn’t blow on our faces when we’re inside, trees don’t sway in the breeze, we don’t hear birds singing or see the sun rising and setting each day.
All of these things are part of what makes up our natural world, and by going outside, you can experience them in a way that feels more personal than simply looking out the window or watching a video online.
7. Doing Fun Activities That You Love to Do, Even if They Aren’t That “Productive”
Fun doesn’t have to be a dirty word.
If you are a parent, it seems like having fun is the last time on your ever-shortening calendar, but it is so important.
Not all self-care activities need to be productive.
In fact, some of the best ways to take care of yourself are ones that don’t help you achieve any kind of goal or gain anything in terms of progress or growth.
They just make you feel good and happy!
And if they give you an opportunity to spend time with friends or family too? Even better!
The key here is not feeling guilty about having fun because it’s not doing anything for your future (and isn’t seen as being productive enough).
It’s about taking care of ourselves mentally and emotionally so we can enjoy our lives right now.
It’s okay to prioritize things like hanging out with friends over studying for an upcoming test; after all, taking a break from preparing for exams will probably help improve your performance once test day arrives anyway.
8. Set Boundaries With Your Parents, Friends and Teachers
This is important for a variety of reasons.
It helps you to assert your independence and maturity as a teen, develop self-respect and avoid unhealthy relationships with people who may not treat you well.
Setting boundaries involves telling people what is and isn’t okay in your relationships with them.
You can set up boundaries by:
- Discussing your needs with the other person (e.g., “I need my space”)
- Telling others what they can or cannot do (e.g., “You’re not allowed to touch me”)
- Stating what consequences will occur if the rules are broken (e.g., “If you keep calling me names I won’t speak to you anymore”)
9. Practice Good Hygiene
Good hygiene is essential for your health for sure, but more importantly, it helps to develop a habit that will be beneficial forever.
It can help you stay healthy when you’re sick, prevent the spread of germs, and feel more confident in social situations.
Honestly, no one really enjoys being around someone who is scruffy and unkempt.
There are a few ways to practice good hygiene:
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water (or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer). Make sure to scrub under the nails where germs hide out
- Use deodorant every day if needed; this will keep any body odor at bay so that you can feel confident about wearing nice clothes or going swimming even when it’s hot outside
- Wear clean clothes every day; this may seem obvious but there are lots of people who don’t do this because their clothes don’t “seem” dirty yet. By wearing clean clothes each day, we show respect toward ourselves as well as others around us
10. Learn a Musical Instrument
Learning to play an instrument is both fun and rewarding, and it can help you in so many ways:
- You’ll learn discipline and patience, which will help you succeed at whatever else you put your mind to.
- You’ll be able to express yourself through music—so if you have things on your mind that are hard to say out loud, this might be the perfect outlet for them.
- Playing music in front of other people will give you confidence in public speaking and performing skills that will come in handy later in life (especially if you want to pursue a career in entertainment).
But most importantly, learning an instrument helps develop your brain!
Music is great for mental health because it’s an amazing way to stimulate creativity and ingenuity.
11. Mindfulness Coloring
The core idea behind mindfulness coloring is that the act of coloring pre-created drawings (such as mandala designs) gives us a chance to put our inner dialogue on hold and take part in an activity where we put negative thoughts aside.
The goal of mindful coloring is to give people a chance to spend some time being present and focused while engaging in a creative activity, in a way that is similar to meditation.
Here’s one that you can use. Download the high-quality one here.
12. Volunteer For a Good Cause
Volunteering also helps teens understand their place in the world—and how they can make a positive difference.
This can be especially important for teens who live in communities that aren’t necessarily conducive to good mental health or positive self-image (like communities where there are lots of drugs or violence).
As they get involved in helping the community, they start to develop empathy as well as learn about gratitude, all important values to acquire during their growing up years.
13. Write Down Some of Your Worries in a Journal to Express Them
Writing down your worries is a great way to get them out of your head and onto paper.
Once you’ve written them down, it’s easier for you to identify what the problem might be and figure out how it can be solved.
It’s also a good way to feel better about yourself—when you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, taking time out of your day to sit down and write in a journal can help remind yourself that negative emotions don’t last forever!
14. Surround Yourself With Positive People Who Care About You and Lift You Up
Positive people will support you in all aspects of your life.
They will encourage you to eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, take time for yourself and sleep well.
They’ll also make sure that if something’s getting in the way of those activities (like a bad day or a stressful situation), they’ll work hard to get rid of it for you so that they can help put things back on track.
Positive people are crucial because they lift your spirits when things aren’t going well or when there are obstacles blocking your path forward–and they’re also good sources of support in times when everything seems fine but could be better.
So take a good look at people around you and remove yourself from the company of toxic friends and start building your own social fortress.
15. Practice self care together with your teenager
When you’re both practicing self care, it means that you’re taking time for yourself and each other.
You’re spending quality time together, but you’re also giving yourselves space to do things that make each of you happy.
And when you’re both doing things that make you happy, it makes the relationship stronger.
So how can you practice self care with your teenager?
Here are a few simple ideas:
- Take turns picking out a movie together every week. Then watch it together! You can even make popcorn or snacks together beforehand if you want—it’ll be fun!
- Go on a hike or walk in nature together every week. It doesn’t have to be far away—you can walk around the neighborhood or even walk down the street! The important thing is that you spend time outside together and enjoy nature while doing so.
- Go bowling once a month (or more often if possible). A little healthy competition to see who has the highest points total or strike streak will add a new flavor to this activity!
What do Teens Think About Self Care? Interesting Video
In Conclusion: Best Self Care Activities for Teens
It can be hard to practice self-care when you’re a teen, but it is important not to overlook it.
You should know that the world won’t end if you take a day off from school or don’t get your homework done on time.
You should also remember that everyone is struggling with something, so don’t feel bad about needing some extra help sometimes!