How Teens Can Take Care of Their Mental Health
By Lena Reed
How Teens Can Take Care of Their Mental Health As teenagers, life can be both confusing and overwhelming at times. Sometimes, it's easier to shut the world out than try to reach out and communicate your feelings — where do you even start? The truth is, it's okay to ask for help, even if you don't think people can help you. Best case scenario, someone does help you, and worst case scenario, you learn you're not alone. An estimated one in seven adolescents experience mental disorders. That's around 166 million adolescents globally. On top of asking for help from others, it's completely harmless to take better care of yourself too. Not only will it lead to healthier lifestyle choices for you, but you might also end up feeling better about your problems too. Today, let's go through some of the ways you can practice self-care:
Be in control of your screen time
This piece of advice may be unique to your generation, as your parents and theirs didn't grow up with the growing threat of spending too much time on the Internet and on social media. We've previously covered the dangers of falling into a loop of mindless scrolling and comparing your life to those you see in your social media feeds. While social media poses its own set of benefits, like helping you socialize with friends and loved ones, especially during the pandemic, it can also be damaging to your self-esteem and daily moods if you spend too much time on it. We emphasize the importance of being in control of your digital time — not totally cutting it out. Know when you've spent too long scrolling through feeds, set a timer, make use of screentime insights from your smartphone, or try planning out your daily activities, so you have other things to do aside from checking your phone.
No, this isn't just about eating your greenies. Instead, shift the focus towards eating smarter. After all, unhealthy food choices can lead to crummy feelings and, worse, poorer mental health. Given that you likely have access to a lot of resources online, why not look up safe tips on how to eat for self-care? In terms of healthy eating, modern weight loss programs and their accompanying apps provide meal planners, thousands of healthy recipes, and restaurant databases. They can help support you in managing your nutrition, so you can cultivate healthy eating habits which make you feel great. These dieting plans are also less about obsessing over calories and the numbers but about encouraging healthy behavior like proper sleep and adequate exercise so that you can stay fit and energized while shedding unnecessary weight.
Go outside more
Studies have found that nature has positive effects on one's well-being. Research on the relationship between happiness in adolescents and nature found that a majority of adolescents associated positive characteristics with nature and the outdoors. It's been two years since the Covid-19 pandemic, and going outside these days is much easier to plan than it was during the heights of the global outbreak. Thanks to developments in digital technology, we can easily bring our lightweight smartphones and gadgets on our days out, while still being connected to the Internet, so there really shouldn't be any excuses. Plan a nice day out with friends or family, take pictures while out on walks or on a jog, and then you can head to your social media platforms to flex about it. If your friends are busy, walk the family dog and spend quality time with your furry pal. It doesn't have to be about exercising or staying fit. Instead, focus on getting some sunlight and being one with nature, even if only for a while. Treat your time outside as a way to unplug from your digital responsibilities and reflect on the things you're thankful for, and you might find yourself feeling better.