Self-Care for Tweens and Teens

As we head into Spring Break, young people can experience stress and anxiety without their usual school structure and everyday interactions. Help your teen create daily routines that will keep them active and engaged.

Here are some ideas for healthy bodies and minds:

  • Move your body! Whether you try a new online strength-training or dance class or just get outside for a walk, make sure your teen is staying active daily!
  • Keep a regular sleep schedule-It’s especially crucial for adolescent brains to get enough sleep; it can affect physical and emotional well-being.
  • Maintain a routine-Sleeping, walking, eating, moving, and social time are parts of a structured day. Too much unstructured time can create anxiety or negative feelings. Schedules also free up mental bandwidth and reduce “decision fatigue” that comes from too many options.
  • Get creative-Whether it’s keeping a journal, doodling, or photography; art is a great way to explore feelings and emotions. Check out the EW art blog for more ideas.
  • Spend time with an animal friend-If you’re lucky enough to have a pet, get some cuddles, or take them for a walk. If not, check out one of the many live animal cams for some warm fuzzies…I recommend the otter cam!
  • Stay in touch-Virtual meetups and communication with friends can help you process what you’re going through. Experiment with an online breakout room, long-distance shared art project, or game. Even a TikTok collaboration could be fun!
  • Appreciate nature-A little Vitamin D and fresh air from a short break outdoors are a much-needed reset for mind and body.
  • Turn off smartphones and devices for meals, a portion of the day, and before sleep.
  • Help someone else-This is why community responsibility is a core value of Explorer West. It feels good to do something for someone else! It can be as simple as sending a positive note to a neighbor, friend, or family member…or consider volunteering in a larger community project!
  • Make a self-care toolbox-Have your teen create a literal container for their favorite pick-me-ups: favorite PJs, photos of friends, a cherished book/comic, nail polish in a bright color, stress-relieving slime, gum (for tense jaws), stress ball, fidget toy, or a card game.
Brainstorm some ideas with your child and keep them where you/they can see them! Set alarms for breaks or scheduled activities. It can be tough to come up with ideas when the “I’M BORED” sets in. Our Family Network has collected some “boredom busters” while school is out. Leave us a comment with your tips!
For more information about applying to Explorer West, please visit our Admissions Page.