Self-care is the foundation of feeling good emotionally and building the resilience necessary to manage life's ups and downs.
Often times teens feel out of control of their emotions. and like there's nothing they can do to change that.
What's important to note is that the way we take of ourselves physically 100% impacts how we feel emotionally.
Think about it...
When you don't eat, you get cranky.
When you get poor sleep, you're more easily irritated.
The DBT Skill PLEASE is an acronym that teaches teens how to control the physical aspects of their depression and anxiety so that they feel like they are contributing to all around wellness, rather than a victim of their circumstance.
Use the following 5 strategies to take care of yourself physically and ensure that your emotions stay in balance.
#1 Physical Health
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF WHEN YOU'RE SICK
Go to the doctor when you're sick. Get rest and don't push yourself too hard. Take your medications as prescribed. Drink enough fluids.
#2 EAT HEALTHY MEALS
Eat balanced meals and ensure that you're getting enough to eat!
Don't restrict yourself from certain food groups and focus more on adding in the healthy than taking away the unhealthy. This will help you build a positive mindset around food.
#3 AVOID DRUGS AND ALCOHOL
While we understand that experimenting with alcohol, marijuana and cigarettes are a part of normal teen development, we don't condone these behaviors and encourage teens to be mindful of how these substances impact their overall mental health.
#4 SLEEP WELL
Aim to get between 7 and 10 hours of sleep per night and keep names to a minimum of one hour or less per day.
#5 EXERCISE REGULARLY
Plan to get 20 to 60 minutes of exercise daily. Balanced exercise help with almost any symptom of your emotional health. Join a sport. Take a walk with a friend, walk the dog. Find ways of fitting in extra activity into your day like parking further away from a store or taking the stairs.
It always starts with mindfulness!
Helping your teen become more aware of their current self-care habits and attitudes (without being critical or nagging) is the best starting point. Ask your teen to assess their current habits, then together you can work on ways to improve upon their current routines so that they can move forward healthier and happier with self-care strategies that stick.