Self-care for teenagers is vital to protect their mental health and well-being during stressful conditions, like the COVID-19 pandemic.
Typical reactions could include:
- Feeling stressed or overwhelmed, frustrated or angry, worried or anxious
- Feeling restless, agitated, on ‘high alert’ or unable to calm down
- Being teary, sad, tired, losing interest in usually enjoyable activities or finding it difficult to feel happy
- Worrying about going to public spaces, becoming unwell or contracting germs
- Constantly thinking about the situation, unable to move on or think about much else
- Experiencing physical symptoms such as increased fatigue or other uncomfortable sensations
Everyone reacts differently to stressful conditions, so be observant of your teenager’s general state of mind.
Take time to talk with your teenagers about how they are feeling and what may help them during difficult times. Also, provide them with some simple tips to help them manage symptoms of anxiety and depression. MHFA provides the following mental health tips for you and your teenager:
Tips To Help Your Teen Cope Mentally
- Follow a daily routine with regular sleep, exercise and study times.
- Stay connected with others and find moments of gratitude.
- Talk to people you trust about your feelings or worries, then allow yourself to stop worrying.
- Eat breakfast every morning. Follow a healthy diet with fruits and vegetables, and eat meals at regular times throughout the day.
- Limit coffee and energy drinks; they will increase feelings of anxiety and make it difficult to relax.
- Look out for situations that make you feel particularly worried or anxious. When you are in these situations, try relaxation or distraction techniques or ask a family member or friend to help.
- Do hobbies or activities that you enjoy, calm you down or focus your mind and body. For example, try arts and crafts, exercise, listen to music, read, journal, watch TV or movies, or connect with friends.
- Understand that people around you are probably also experiencing stress and might also be having difficulty controlling their emotions. Try to resolve conflict.
- Be kind to yourself and others. We’ll work through this together.
- Seek help from a mental health professional if you continue to feel overwhelmed, out of control or unable to calm down after a few weeks.