Mental Health and Self-Care for Teens

This is a challenging time, whether it is being physically distanced from our friends and peers, lack of routine, not getting to do our regular activities, or being home with others that don’t understand us. This can be a challenge to our mental health and well being. We have gathered some resources aimed at teens for coping and that help foster mental health.

If you need to talk to someone, the Oregon Youth Line is in service, and is staffed by teens. You can call (877-968-8491), text “teen2teen” to 839863, or use their chat option. This is a great service if you just need to talk to someone outside your home, and/or if you are in crisis.

Available through the library, Teen Health and Wellness is inviting teens to share their stories to help connect with other teens about similar fears and concerns. Also on the site are resources for mind, mood and emotions and more.

Be sure to be taking breaks for self-care. Here are some suggestions:

If you have 2 minutes:

  • Take a few deep breaths or stretch
  • Doodle, daydream, or look at a photo of a loved one
  • Let someone know that you may need some time to talk later
  • Enjoy a peppermint stick of gum
  • Think of three things that you are grateful for
  • Acknowledge an accomplishment
  • Massage your forehead or hands

If  you have 5 minutes:

  • Listen to music and sing out loud
  • Jot down your dreams or goals
  • Run in place, do some jumping jacks, or walk up and down the stairs
  • Have a cleansing cry
  • Note a strength or quality you value in someone else and tell them
  • Send an email or text that had been nagging you
  • Play with your pet
  • Clean a portion of your bedroom
  • Enjoy a snack and/or cozy beverage

If you have 10 minutes:

  • Write in your journal
  • Call a friend you haven’t had a chance to talk to or see in a while
  • Take some quiet time to reflect on what you need from others in your life and how you can ask for help
  • Surf the web for inspiring quotes
  • Take a brisk walk or dance to music you enjoy
  • Find some things to add to your room or desk that will make you smile - photos, inspiring or funny quotes, or a souvenir from a meaningful event
  • Find a quiet place to meditate

If you have 30 minutes:

  • Find a writing prompt online, or pick a book at random, write the first line, and write your own story from there
  • Play a game with someone online or in your house
  • Cook, bake, or craft
  • Exercise or do yoga
  • Take a hot bath
  • Finish a project you started, but never got back to

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