Teenagers, you have a lot going on. We’re not just talking about at school or in your social lives. There are all kinds of things happening from physical changes, mental developments, as well as managing expectations of you as you finish high school or start work.
Amongst all of that you’re also probably dealing with relationship changes. With your parents, sibling, friends, work mates, teachers, and partners.
Chuck in some exam stress, subject selection, extra-curricular pressure, or the pressure that comes from comparing yourself to the perfect people and lives you see on social media; it’s no wonder that from time-to-time you need to take a step back and practise a bit of self-care.
So here are 9 Wellbeing Tips which could help you to feel happier and healthier:
Know what your normal is
Everyone is different, some of us are outgoing, some of us love our own company. Some people get out of bed buzzing with energy at the crack of dawn, while others come alive at night.
It’s important to recognise your routines and know what your base levels for tiredness, mood swings, happiness, energy, etc., are normally. Why? So that you can measure if something changes and either make some changes or get some help to make them and get back to your usual self.
Journaling is a great way to keep track of your moods or any changes. Another bonus is that for some people it can help them to improve their mental wellbeing.
Me-time is important
Carving out some time in your busy life to do things that make you feel good is a great way to practise self-care. So, whether it’s blasting out some music and dancing around your room, relaxing in a hot bath, or hitting the road and going for a run just do it.
If you’re really struggling to find 10 minutes or half an hour each day, you might need to look at your schedule and juggle some things around.
We all need a bit of Vitamin D, plus being out in nature is proven to boost your mood. Just sitting outside in a garden could very well give you a bit of a lift.
Want to supercharge that feeling? Try adding in some exercise. Even if you hate the thought of exercise and avoid it all costs, a gentle stroll around the block or a swim could help you to feel more …well “you” again.
For those of you who love the buzz you get from a workout, remember that next time you’re feeling down and get active.
You are what you eat (and drink)
What you put into your body can affect you physically and mentally. And who doesn’t feel hangry if they don’t eat regularly?
Making sure that you eat healthy food throughout the day, could give you the energy you need to get through even the toughest day and even help to stabilise your moods.
Experts recommend that you:
- Don’t skip breakfast
- Stay hydrated – yes, the best option is water, but it’s absolutely ok to have different drinks as well
- Avoid sugary and processed options. That’s a tough one for sure, but grabbing a piece of fruit, sandwich or a protein-based snack will help you feel fuller and energised for longer.
Turn off your phone and disconnect from the Wi-Fi. These two really simple things could help you to focus better on studies (get it over with quicker too), stop you from procrastinating and check off your to do list, or just give you some time to chill out.
Once you’ve accomplished what you wanted, you can hop back online again. Although regular time out might even make you rethink if you need to…
Catch some zzz’s
Sleep isn’t a magic cure all, but you definitely think more clearly, have fewer mood swings and generally feel better if you’re getting enough sleep.
If you can’t sleep, then perhaps it’s time to look for some solutions or get a bit of help.
Find stress busters that work for you
Stress is a natural part of life. At times it can be even be your body’s way of helping you to do things better, say when you’re competing in sports, or studying for an exam, or trying to get finished up at work so that you can leave on time.
If you’re feeling stressed for long periods, or that feeling never goes away though, it’s definitely not healthy. It can impact on your physical and mental health, so you need to look for some help.
Learning techniques that work for you early on is a great life hack. If you’re not sure what works, try out a few different options. You’ve got nothing to lose. You could try:
- Deep breathing exercises
- Relaxation apps
Doing things for other people can help you to feel better. Don’t believe it? Give it a try.
It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. It could be as simple as helping your family out by making dinner or doing the laundry. You could buy your friend an icy pole or grab some supplies for a homeless person. Or you could volunteer some of your time to help out at school, community centres, soup kitchens, or aged care homes.
Sometimes you just can’t manage to change the way you’re feeling by yourself, and that’s ok.
There are plenty of people around who can and will help you out. The only step you need to take at that point, is to realise that you need a helping hand and know where to look.
You can start by confiding in a parent, family member or friend. If there’s a teacher or mentor that you feel comfortable talking to, reach out to them.
Lots of schools also have access to counsellors who are there to help the students through tricky patches. You can also make an appointment with a GP who will be able to check you over and help you to decide what to do next.
Otherwise you can speak with one of the many organisations who are set up to help you through, here’s a few:
If you think the situation is an emergency, or that your life or someone else’s life is in danger, you should always call Triple Zero (000) and ask for an ambulance.