Among youth in the United States (6 – 17 years old), one in six will face a mental health disorder in any given year. (Source: American Academy of Family Physicians) Learning how to utilize important self-care tools can help children, teens, and young adults better manage their mental health and wellness.
While self-care can look different for everyone, here are 4 simple and effective tools that can help teens focus on their mental health – from Shadi Taheran, a Community Health Worker at Mental Health Partners.
1. Deep breathing
Deep breathing allows more oxygen to get to your brain, activating the parasympathetic nervous system. This allows your body and brain to feel more relaxed and decreases feelings of stress and anxiety.
Deep breathing can include:
Studies have found that exercise reduces feelings of depression and anxiety. This is because exercise increases blood flow to your brain, and activates parts of your brain related to mood and motivation.
Journaling is a great tool for processing your feelings when you are having overwhelming emotions. It can help you manage anxiety and cope with depression.
Some of the benefits of journaling include:
- Helping prioritize problems, fears, and concerns
- Tracking symptoms day-to-day so that you can identify sources of trauma and learn ways to better control them
- Providing an opportunity for positive self-talk and identifying negative thoughts and behaviors
Research shows that taking moments to find things you are grateful for can reduce stress and increase overall physical and mental health. Learn more about the benefits of gratitude.
About Shadi Taheran (she/her/hers)
Shadi is an Outreach Worker on the Community Health Worker team at Mental Health Partners. She primarily provides support for youth and young adults. She is dedicated to breaking down the barriers to accessing mental health care and educating young adults on available resources. In her free time, Shadi enjoys staying active by paddle boarding and exploring new restaurants.
To contact Shadi, call or text her at (303) 247-8721 and/or email: Staheran@mhpcolorado.org