By Janice Russell
Self-Care Tips Both You and Your Teen Will Benefit From
Self-care is an important part of reducing stress and finding motivation, even for young people. Kids of all ages need time to relax, recharge, and participate in activities that bring them joy outside of school, and parents can utilize a few self-care techniques for themselves as well in order to model the behavior. Talk to your teen or pre-teen to find out where their biggest stressors lie and create a plan together that will help them feel better. You can also look for easy ways to practice your own self-care routines and share them with your kids.
Change up your work routine
Let’s face it: a bad day at work means a bad mood at home, and then everyone in the household is affected. Consider changing up your routines at work to make the day less stressful for yourself, such as taking the time to eat a healthy lunch and drink water, standing up from your desk and walking around now and then, and letting go of perfectionist habits. Sometimes it’s the little things that make a big impact, and when you’re uncomfortable, bored, hungry, or stressed, your mental health is definitely affected. You can make small changes throughout the day in order to build yourself up so that by the time you get home, you’ll be the best parent you can be and will have the energy to focus on your family.
Encourage new hobbies
While family time is important, it’s also a good idea to help your teen look for activities that are just for them. Finding a hobby they enjoy–such as making art, playing an instrument, or getting involved in a team sport–can help them build confidence or practice mindfulness after a long day at school. It can take time to find the right activity, so encourage your child to keep trying new things if they don’t get a good fit at first. Not only are hobbies beneficial for an individual’s mental health, they can also help build skills that are useful in other areas; for instance, kids who play an instrument often get better grades in math classes.
Encourage your child to follow their interests, and help support them whenever and wherever you can. For example, if your child has developed a love of working in clay or watercolors, sign them up for a workshop at The Giggling Pig. This way, they can receive some one-on-one guidance that can help them develop and grow their artistic skills.
Have them unplug
Many kids already have a hobby: playing video games or scrolling through social media. While there are several games on the market that can be beneficial for boosting certain skills, it’s a good idea to set some limits on screen time even for older kids. Encourage your child to unplug and get away from their phone, television, and computer for a little while each day and do something quiet and mindful, such as meditate or read. You might even implement family quiet time during the weekend, in which everyone chooses an activity that doesn’t require a device. Keeping your home organized and decluttered can help keep your family focused, relaxed, and positive.
Give them the tools for better sleep
Setting limits on screen time is a great start, but it’s also important to learn more about your child’s sleep habits in order to improve them. Many teens don’t get the rest they need, but this can be easily avoided by having your child put away their phone an hour before bedtime, turning off other devices and lights, and making sure the bedroom is cool and comfortable. You can also discourage naps after school, which can lead to an inability to get to sleep at night and encourage healthy eating habits by modeling a well-balanced diet.
Teaching your teen about self-care can be beneficial for the entire family, so think about how everyone can change up their routines a bit in the name of reducing stress and feeling better, and keep communication open as you move forward to make those changes easier.
The Giggling Pig Art & Party Studio is committed to teaching kindness and compassion through art. Call (203) 919-1153 to enroll your child in a class or our summer camp!
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