It’s important that we all strive for healthy bodies and healthy minds, and while we can (and often should) reach out and ask experts or loved ones for help with all sorts of issues, it’s actually down to us most of the time. The most effective way to achieve our optimum health is with the things we do for ourselves; this is called self-care.
Here is a brief guide to some of the most important self-care routines for you or the precious teen in your life:
Start the day well, and it’ll likely finish well
Retired Navy Seal, Bill McRaven recommends that we all make sure the first thing we do in the morning is make our bed. It might seem such a simple little thing, but the intention and satisfaction of the very first job of the day can help make the rest of the day a successful one. Start as you mean to go on.
Take a phone break
Addictive though it might be, taking a break from that tiny super-computer in your pocket is critical. So immersed are we in social media (the opinions and lifestyle highlight-reels of others) that we forget to take the time to sit with ourselves. Sometimes it’s OK to be bored, to sit staring out of a window or to spend time doing something productive or creative instead. No creative thought is ever sparked while staring at Snapchat.
Treat yourself to a spa
You don’t have to spend a fortune at a hotel spa (unless you’ve been smashing the paper round recently, of course). Run a hot bath, light a candle, surround yourself with your favorite scents and some relaxing music and grab a book (a Kindle is fine, we’re not entirely anti-tech, you know!). Give yourself a manicure, do a little self-massage and try to get lost in tranquility.
Top Tip: This isn’t just for the girls, boys can benefit from a home spa too!
Write it down and get it out
Writing is a wonderful catharsis, and there is strong scientific evidence that the process of writing can significantly reduce stress and help sleep. This is not a recommendation to start a diary but to spend a little time writing down what’s on your mind.
Here’s a little exercise: Grab a pen and a piece of paper and jot down all the chatter you have to manage when you’re trying to go to sleep. It can be hard to rest when you’ve got things on your mind. Writing them down gets them out of your head and onto the paper. It’s not for anyone else to read or for you to look back on, burn it if you like; it’s just a useful way to empty your thoughts onto paper, so they don’t trouble you when you’re trying to sleep. Try it tonight.
Top Tip: If you or a teenage loved one is struggling with worrying emotions, behaviors or addictions, it’s important to ask for help. Go to a friend, a family member or speak to a professional (such as the team at igniteteentreatment.com).
Get a good night’s sleep
Teenagers’ body clocks actually run differently to the rest of the world. There’s good reason for teens famously staying up late and sleeping in for so long (so give them a break, mum and dad). However, you should really take care of your sleep hygiene because it’s not when you sleep that matters but how well you sleep. It’s more crucial than exercise and diet to both your physical and mental health, so quit the phone early, keep screens out of your rooms, have a spa bath before bed and journal away your worries. With a good night’s sleep under your belt, you can deal with almost anything.