Written By Lewis Robinson / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
Being a teenager can be difficult. You have school, homework, extracurricular activities, social and family obligations, and you may even have an after-school job. Trying to balance everything can cause you to feel burnt-out, overwhelmed, or stressed.
Self-care is a fancy term for taking care of your physical and mental health by meeting your basic needs. Here are some self-care tips to help you maintain a better balance among your various daily obligations.
1. Get Enough Sleep
If "adequate sleep" isn't listed as one of the 7 habits of highly effective teens, it should be. When you are awake, toxins build up in your brain, and sleep gives it an opportunity to clean out those toxins. A lack of sleep can also make you feel more anxious when you are awake.
It's easy to forgo sleep when you are studying for a big test or hanging out with friends. However, when you are tired, it affects your thinking and judgment. Therefore, if you stay up late studying, you may not be able to perform as well on the test the next day, and if you are hanging out with friends, you may make risky decisions.
Therefore, getting enough sleep, which for teens is between eight and 10 hours, should be a priority.
2. Eat Nutritious Food
Food is the fuel that your body needs to function. If you have ever run out of gas when you were driving, you know the way that your car can run down when it is low on fuel. The same thing can happen to your body.
A lack of nutrition can also affect your mental health. Your brain uses 20% of the energy you get from the food you eat. It also uses nutrients from the food you eat to produce serotonin, which is a chemical that helps to regulate your moods. If you do not get the proper nutrition, it could have a negative effect on your mental health.
3. Get Plenty of Exercise
Exercise helps your body to metabolize food more efficiently so it doesn't have to be stored in the body as fat. It decreases your risk of developing chronic diseases when you are older. Exercise may help academic performance by increasing confidence and concentration.
It can help to improve your mental health by simulating a fight-or-flight response, which sends a message to your brain to calm you down, and by releasing endorphins, a brain chemical that helps you relax.
Most young people do not do enough physical activity. You should do between 30 to 60 minutes of vigorous exercise every day. One way to accomplish this is to join a sports team, but there are plenty of other ways to get exercise by yourself or with a friend.
Riding a bike, walking the dog, dancing, swimming, and at-home aerobics are all examples of activities you can do to get exercise. Choose the one that you think you will enjoy the most or rotate between several to keep it interesting. Schedule a time for exercise on a daily basis and be accountable to someone for doing it.
4. Take Care of Your Teeth
If you don't take care of your teeth now, you may require extensive dental work when you are older, such as crowns and root canals. An infected tooth could form an abscess and spread bacteria to other areas of your body. If there is no other treatment for your tooth decay, there may be no alternative except to extract the tooth.
Extractions and other procedures don't hurt much when they are happening because the dentist gives you anesthesia, but the recovery can be pretty uncomfortable. Keep this from happening to you by brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing between them at least once a day, and getting a checkup every six months or as often as your dentist recommends.
Many of these healthy habits have some bearing on one another. For example, good nutrition also helps to keep your teeth healthier.
Looking for a 100% all-natural liquid tooth oil and mouth rinse? Check out OraMD Original Strength and OraMD Extra Strength. Subscribe to our Trusted Health Club newsletter for more information about natural living tips, natural health, oral care, skincare, body care and foot care. If you are looking for more health resources check out the Trusted Health Resources list.
Lewis Robinson is a freelance writer and expert in health and fitness. When he isn’t writing he can usually be found reading a good book or hitting the gym.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.