Easy Self-Care Tips And Activities For Teens

Teenagers need to prioritize self care just like adults do.  Learn about the different tips and activities they can do to help them take care of their minds and bodies so they stress less and enjoy life.

teen self care list


Importance of Self-Care For Teens

There are so many things going on in the world today that can cause stress for all ages.  Young people these days tend to have an enormous amount of pressure surrounding their daily lives.

Not only do they constantly feel the need to be perfect and look perfect, now everyone puts everything on line out there for all to see, increasing the risk of stress and depression.

The world these days glorifies someone who is “busy”.  If you are busy it somehow translates to successful. The more you have going on, the more important you seem.  Sports, youth activities with church, family get togethers, jobs, homework etc; the list goes on and on.  

What can we do to encourage our teens to slow down and practice some self care?  

We must talk with them and go over several things they can do to practice self care and take care of their physical health and mental health. We need to be a positive impact in the way they develop self care in their teenage years.

Self-care tips and activities for teens

The Best Way To Practice Self-Care

Good mental health requires a lot of different aspects.  A lot of time young adults do not know how to support their own well being.  Here’s a list of several important steps they can add to their daily routine to support their own healthy life.


I know that seems to simple but the fact of the matter is just that taking big, deep breathes can actually lessen stress and anxiety by lowering blood pressure and cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone that is released when your body feels stressed.  It can cause a number of problems including weight gain and problems sleeping.  

Taking in deep breaths can also overall boost your mood because it brings more oxygen to your brain.  High school students often feel stress about a busy schedule, getting good grades, extracurricular activities and much more.  

Learning how to stop and breathe when first starting to feel that stress can be life changing in replacing stress and anxiety with positive effects on the body and brain while reducing stress levels.

Picture of a woman taking in a deep breathe.  She is practicing self-care.


We hear all of the time that we need 8-10 hours of sleep a night to help our bodies function but little do people realize how debilitating it can be for our bodies to live off of lower sleep levels.

Getting enough sleep might not seem like a form of self-care but it is one of the most helpful ways we can maintain overall health for our everyday life. Our Energy levels will be higher, our brain function will be sharper and our emotional state will be more in control.  

Sleep deprivation can be catastrophic to our well being. I remember watching an episode of the show Myth Busters where they did a test to see who were more dangerous drivers; intoxicated people or sleep deprived individuals.  

I was shocked to see that sleep deprived individuals did just as bad as the drunk drivers.  In one case the sleep deprived person pulled over and said they could not complete the test.  

One thing that is really important to remember when talking about sleep is that we need to be off all screens at least 30 minutes prior to sleep.  The blue light that is emitted from our devices when we have our screen time really makes it very hard for our eyes and brain to shut off, making it take longer for our bodies to relax and get to sleep. 

picture of a woman sleeping with an eye mask on in a bed with all white bedding. She is practicing self-care


Exercising is not only good for our physical health but our mental health as well.  When our bodies get exercise, it does a number of things for our mental health.  It helps relieve stress, helps circulate blood to our brain, heart and all throughout our bodies and it helps reduce anxiety.

Physical activity is a great way to combat stressful situations and it helps our bodies be able to sleep better at night which we just talked about how important that can be for our self-care. As little as 15 minutes a day can make a HUGE difference in our lives. 

Picture of three teenage girls walking for exercise.  They are smiling big and practicing self-care


I remember when I was in high school I ate a bag of flaming hot cheetos and drank a Dr. Pepper for lunch almost everyday. Yikes! I can not stress enough how much having proper nutrition can positively effect your body.

You hear a lot about probiotics these days.  

The reason for this is because research has shown that your gut health can have a HUGE impact on your physical, mental and emotional state.  The bacteria in your gut can be the reason your body functions properly or be the reason your body is breaking down.

Our gut is actually referred to as our “second brain”. Did you know that 90% of serotonin ( which is important for our moods ) comes from our digestive track? This is one reason when we are stressed out it can cause problems with our bowel movements. Therefore eating a lot of processed foods can cause inflammation which can cause depression.  

Everything connects.  If you do not know if you are eating the right kinds of foods, I recommend a probiotic and a daily vitamin to help your gut health stay healthy and therefore helping your body function properly. 

Picture of a smiling teenage girl drinking a smoothie out of a glass mason jar cup with a straw.

Drink Water  

Staying hydrated is another easy way for us to feed our bodies and help keep us healthy.  The healthier we keep our bodies, the more support we give our hearts, mind and body.  When trying to eat right, exercise and get good sleep, staying hydrated will only help support us to in our solid self-care routine.

Make sure your teens have a water bottle to carry with them through out their day. It’s crazy how easy it is to get into a good water drinking habit when you’ve got water at your finger tips.

Teenage girl drinking water

Doing Something You Love 

While it is super important that we make sure our physical bodies stay healthy and strong, but we also need to focus on mental health.

Our teens need to make time for doing the things they love.  

I come from a musical family.  Listening to certainly kinds of music can change my whole attitude for the day.  It can help you focus when trying to get something done or help reduce stress when listening to something calm and relaxing.

Maybe you enjoy crocheting, playing video games or painting.  Make sure that you make the time to do the things you love.  

It might even be helpful to schedule it.  Making sure teens take time to do the things they love is great but making sure they don’t spend too much time doing those things is important too. As a parent that’s usually your job.

A teenage boy is painting something.

Being Grateful  

You might be wondering how being grateful can actually change anything but having a positive attitude and being grateful for the various things in our lives will greatly help your mental health.  Telling yourself something you are grateful for is a wonderful thing to add to our daily self-care routine. 

Teens might not be accustomed to thinking positively so they need to practice. Here are a couple of ideas to help teens focus on the positive:

  • Be a good example and tell them what you’re gratiful for on a regular basis.
  • Have your teen write 3 things thankful for that happened that day.
  • Get your teenager a gratitude journal.
  • Volunteer as a family when you can.
  • Have a gratitude art print on display where teens can see it on a regular basis.
a picture of some yellow flowers surrounding a white paper that says "Choose to be grateful" on it.

Talk To Your Parents/Teens

Adults are teenagers who are grown up.  We have gone through practically all of the same things teenagers are going through now.  Talking to your parents/teens about what is going on in your lives that may be causing stress and anxiety can help alleviate some of it.  

Also, did you know that we inherit a lot of our mental and physical conditions from our parents?  Your parents might have great ideas for you to help your emotional health and your mental health.

They may know some of the best self-care activities you can do to help you current situation. Sometimes it is the small things that can make a huge impact for good health.

A father and son having a conversation

Stop. Breath. Assess.

Teens, if you’re reading this, each and every day you should pick a time in your day wether it be morning, afternoon or night, to stop, breath and assess your needs.  I want you to ask yourself WHERE do you feel most comfortable, happy and/or relaxed.

Ask yourself WHAT is causing you to feel stress so you can figure out a plan to combat it.

And lastly, talk to your parents, another trusted adult or a best friend. Sharing your thoughts and feelings can be an important step in growing and feeling better.  

Depression is so high in our youth today that it is alarming.  Making time to talk to someone you trust can really help you not feel alone and hopefully realize that you are not alone. 

Self Care Ideas For Teens

Here’s a list of some deliberate activities and regular self-care activities to do in your free time to help with your own needs.

  • Coloring or drawing- Coloring Books
  • Go on a long walk
  • Playing with a pet
  • Cuddling under a blanket
  • Taking a relaxing bath or bubble bath
  • Listening to your favorite music
  • Drink some herbal tea or hot chocolate
  • Meet up with friends and turn your phones off
  • Go on a hike or nature walk
  • Doing something for someone else
  • Write in a journa
  • Start a gratitude journal
  • Read some positive affirmations 
  • Practice positive self talk
  • Develop a new skill or a new hobby you have always wanted to learn
  • Read a good book
  • Go on a bike ride 
  • Make a to-do list
  • Have some alone time
Teen self-care tips, ideas, and activities

Learning Tips and Activities For Self-Care For Teens

The world can be a stressful place and it isn’t any less stressful for teenagers. The stress is different but not any less.

It is so important for teens to become aware of self-care and learn some these tips and activities for accomplishing this. As a parent, make sure you are supporting your teen in self care activities. And don’t forget, being an example is one of the best ways to showcase important concepts so make sure you’re doing your own self-care.

Does your teen practice self-care? What do they tend to do to practice it? Let us know in the comments.

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