How Taking Care of Yourself Actually Helps Your Teen Feel Better Too

Are you putting aside time each day to take care of YOU too? 

Some of the skills that are recommended for your teen can also be used to help you stay centered throughout this difficult process. Modeling self-care for your teen is a great way to show him or her the value in taking time to care for yourself. Review the lists below to decide which skills may work for you.

Distract Skills 

DISTRACT SKILLS are designed to temporarily take your mind off a difficult situation. See some examples of distract skills here...

Do something to temporarily get your mind off of difficult thoughts or feelings. Clean the house, rearrange your bedroom or go out and window shop at the mall.

+ Help others. Contributing to others can help you feel more centered. Help another child with homework. Bake cupcakes for someone. Write a letter of gratitude to a freind. Volunteer.

Make helpful comparisons. Think about how your teen is doing now as compared to a time when he was struggling more. Compare your situation to those less fortunate to increase your feelings of gratitude.

Increase other emotions. Watch a funny TV show. Listen to happy music.

Temporarily push away your feelings. Write in a journal. Sit outside and enjoy nature. Take a walk.

Get lost in your thoughts. Count how many objects are red in the room where you are sitting. Imagine yourself on a dream vacation.

Increase your awareness of sensations. Take a hot shower. Eat spicy or sour foods. Listen to loud music.

Self-Soothe Skills 

SELF-SOOTHE SKILLS are a way to use your five senses in order to nurture and care for yourself. Give some of the following examples a try and see what works for you...

Vision - look at old pictures. Go outside and enjoy nature. Cloud watch. Gaze at the stars. Go to an art museum.

Hearing - Listen to music. Call a friend. Soak in the sounds of nature.

Smell - Light a candle. Use some scented lotion. Peruse the health food store for essential oils. Bake cookies.

Taste - Savor some chocolate. Eat a piece of fruit. Chew gum or a mint. Sit with a cup of coffee or tea.

Touch - Take a bath. Wear a soft sweatshirt. Get a massage. Use lotion.

Improve the Moment Skills 

IMPROVE THE MOMENT SKILLS provide you with a way to empower yourself to accept what is happening (even when it's hard) and find ways to improve it. Try the below examples to improve a sticky situation temporarily when you need to take a break...+

Imagery - Imagine yourself on the beach. Remember a happy time. Listen to guided imagery on YouTube.

Meaning - Find the silver lining in a difficutl situation. Recognize the strength you have gained from adversity.

Prayer - Say a prayer. Sing a song in your head. Take a walk and connect with nature. Meditate.

Relaxation - Take a bath or shower. Take a walk. Drink tea. Take some deep breaths. Try yoga and stretching. Read a book or watch a movie.

Do one thing at a time - Make a list and check off each item as you complete it. Use sticky notes and write one thought on each paper.

Vacation - Spend a day at the mall. Go to a movie. Go to the spa. Take a walk in nature. Go to the pool or park. Take a vacation to your favorite place in your mind. Take a nap.

Encouragement - Make a list of your positive qualities. Give yourself credit for what is going well. Write a letter of encouragement to your teen.

When YOU can model self-care and stick to a routine that enables you to nurture yourself on a regular basis, it sets the example for your teen to value themselves too.