What is self-care?
I know what you’re thinking. I’ve thought it too.
Isn’t self-care like burning a beachy candle or meditating or cheesy stuff like that?
Or, how about,
Isn’t self-care just another thing I’m told I need to do to be happy? Isn’t self-care just another thing to check off my to-do list that I never actually get done and then feel bad about not doing?
It can seem that way, but let’s think of self-care in a new and different way, that’s actually really helpful and fun!
What Self Care Is…and What It Isn’t
Self-care doesn’t have to be about spending money you don’t have or taking action when you feel tired already.
Self-care also isn’t spending hours on screens or sleeping a ton.
Sure, screen time and taking an epic nap can be part of self-care. Avoid calling buffering or numbing out with screens and sleep (screen time or sleeping to avoid discomfort), self-care.
If you need more self-care research and data, here’s an article from Psychology Today with information on why self-care in teens and young adults is so needed at this time in our world.
There are also some really helpful bonus self-care tools included in this article.
IME Community has our own definition of self-care and Top 10 Self-Care Tips for Teens!
IME Community’s Definition of Self-Care:
Any action a human takes to improve mental or physical health and well-being!
That’s really it and sounds awesome, doesn’t it? What are you waiting for? Let’s get going!
And Now, the Self-Care Tips…
Here’s a GTK (good to know), the IME Community Top 10 Self-Care Tips for Teens aren’t exactly in any order of importance.
It’s up to you to decide where to start and how many to try and practice regularly.
With any action you take, just start, know you can’t go wrong and you get to try the next thing, add to the list, and create your own Top 10 Self-Care Tips for (fill in your name here). The key is to keep going and start showing up for yourself!
Self-Care Tip #1: Laugh as much as possible.
- at Funny movie lines
- with the class clown
- at a Funny YouTube video
Self-Care Tip #2: Tap into your creative side.
- Draw something; make something; write something; sing something!
- Create a WordCloud collage of your favorite things- cut them out from a newspaper or magazine.
- There are no limits to your big magic creativity!
Self-Care Tip #3: Let Music transform your brain.
- Create a playlist that pumps you up.
- Create a playlist that chills you out.
Self-Care Tip #4: Take a social media cleanse.
- Connect with friends!
- Get outside and make a connection with nature!
- Try cooking a new food or lots of new foods!
Self-Care Tip #5: Hang with your pets.
- Visit an animal shelter.
- Be of service in your community.
- Think outside of yourself.
Self-Care Tip #6: Practice daily Gratitude.
- Write down 3 things you are grateful for every day.
- Ask yourself an Empowering Question of the day (How can I show up as my best self today?).
- Write your own self-love superpower mantra (positive belief) on a post-it note.
Self-Care Tip #7: Declutter the junk
- Write your to do list from what you’ve done today and then cross it off to show yourself how much action you take!
- Set a timer for 15 minutes and declutter one space (your room, desk, backpack, laundry basket).
- Practice personal hygiene by taking good care of your skin, taking a shower, wearing your favorite clothes.
Self-Care Tip #8: Be your future self now
- Who are you at the end of 2022? How will you feel at the end of 2022?
- Create that same feeling now! Fake it ‘til you make it.
- Wear clothes you love and you feel comfortable in now.
Self-Care Tip #9: Take time for self-discovery.
Pretend you’re a famous guest on your favorite podcast and grab that hairbrush or spatula from the kitchen as a mic, check yourself out in front of the bathroom mirror and answer these questions:
- What do you want?
- What are you proud of?
- What do you do to be creative?
- What do you do for fun?
Self-Care Tip #10: Calm down and move your body.
- Practice meditation for a few minutes a day by using an app like Headspace.
- Try the 4-7-8 breathing technique by breathing in for 4 seconds, holding the breath for 7 seconds, and exhaling for 8 seconds.
- Get your body moving with minimum baseline movement (a few stretches will do it- heck, twerk for all I care. You can get out of bed and do it, while you’re brushing your teeth (please tell me you are brushing your teeth) or before you go to bed or when you get home from school during breaks with studying. Your body was made to move. Remember, all movement counts. Doesn’t have to be a big deal.)