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Ways Teens Can Support Their Mental Health

Life can bring about many challenges. Some challenges are out of our control and others can vary depending on how we react to a situation. For teenagers, the challenges faced can revolve around school, relationships, bullying, peer pressure, sports, extracurricular activities, and so on. When we experience a challenging event it’s important to know most of the challenges we face are temporary, and there are ways to overcome them.

It’s important we know the basics of taking care of our brains and our mental health. As a teenager you are constantly experiencing changes and growing as you become more independent. Making healthy decisions to help take care of ourselves is an important part of learning to become independent. Getting enough rest, giving yourself a social media break, moving your body, and creating a routine for yourself are all important things you can implement to help your mental health. Throughout the school year you most likely have a consistent routine, as summer approaches it’s important to get in the habit of staying in a routine/schedule. This is a great way to help you keep your mind balanced and focused.

The power of a positive mindset can also be a great way to manage, maintain, and even improve your mental health. This is an ongoing practice. Positive routines and relationships can help teens who may be experiencing anxiety, depression, and even substance abuse. Some ways to incorporate a positive mindset into your daily routine include listening to music, writing down what you are grateful for, or setting a positive intention for the day each morning or evening.

Finding your strengths is also an important trait in supporting your mental health. It can help you understand yourself better and help you build self-esteem and a sense of accomplishment that can help you feel confident in different situations in your life.

It’s important to note if you are feeling down or anxious there are ways to manage your mental health. Identifying what coping skills work best for you can be key in navigating your mental health journey. Some coping skills could include taking a walk in nature, playing with a dog, cleaning your room, hanging out with friends, taking a break from social media, listening to music, etc.

Fitting in can be extremely difficult. It’s important to know what healthy relationships look like. Having supportive and positive people in your life can help you maintain your mental health. If your relationships do not lift you up it’s important to take a step back and reevaluate you are surrounding yourself with positive people in your life who support and help lift you up and not bring you down.

If you are struggling with your mental health, it’s important to know help is available and you do not have to go through this alone. Asking for help is not something to be ashamed of. It is one of the first steps in making a positive change to help improve your life.

Jill Haupts, Outreach Coordinator for The Kim Foundation

Jill Haupts is the Outreach Coordinator at The Kim Foundation. She received her bachelor’s degree in Child, Adult, and Family Services from Iowa State University in 2016. Jill joined the Kim Foundation in January of 2020, coming from Des Moines, Iowa. Her previous experience includes volunteer recruitment and fundraising, as well as experience coordinating services and providing resources to adults who have a mental health diagnosis. Jill’s role in the foundation is coordinating event logistics, presenting and attending community fairs, as well as volunteer coordination and recruitment. She enjoys working in the nonprofit field and has a passion for advocacy and helping others.