80+ Self-Care Activities for Teens

Self-Care Activities

Self-care refers to the deliberate activities we do in order to meet our physical, emotional, and mental health needs. When we hear about self-care, it’s usually in reference to adults. However, let’s face it, adolescents are under a tremendous amount of pressure. They can also benefit from practicing regular self-care!

Many adolescents are drowning in school assignments and extracurricular activities. They are preoccupied with getting good grades and joining enough clubs and teams to stand out when it comes time to submit college applications.

Adolescents are also trying to figure out who they are. They are trying to sort out who their friends are and where they fall on the social hierarchy.  Many are also struggling to separate from their parents in order to gain more independence.

On top of that, adolescents are experiencing a significant amount of physical changes.  Puberty is kicking in and their hormones have them all over the place. Their limbic system, the part of the brain responsible for emotions is rapidly developing causing them to experience a wide range of emotions and frequent mood swings. They haven’t experience many of these emotions before, so it can be difficult for them to cope with overwhelming feelings of sadness, loneliness, anxiety, etc.

When adolescents practice regular self-care, they are less likely to experience stress overload from the daily stressors they face. Additionally, research indicates that many diseases that lead to early mortality develop in adolescence. Therefore, it’s imperative that we teach adolescents preventative measures such as practicing regular self-care.

Below are examples of self-care activities appropriate for adolescents. It’s important to note that some activities require parental permission. I would love to hear other suggestions for self-care activities in the comments.

Each child is different and what works for some kids won’t work for others. The good news is that there are many options when it comes to self-care activities for adolescents!

80+ Self-Care Activities for Teens

  1. Listen to music
  2. Take a shower
  3. Talk to a friend
  4. Watch a movie
  5. Read a book
  6. Go for a walk
  7. Ride your bike
  8. Exercise
  9. Play with your pet
  10. Stretch your muscles
  11. Do yoga
  12. Meditate or pray
  13. Talk to a friend on the phone
  14. Go the park with a friend*
  15. Go to the mall*
  16. Get a hair cut*
  17. Take a nap
  18. Plan an outing with friends*
  19. Go for a jog
  20. Write in a journal
  21. Invite a friend to your house*
  22. Go for a swim*
  23. Go for a hike*
  24. Try a new activity
  25. Play board games
  26. Play card games
  27. Play a video game
  28. Cook with your parent
  29. Go to the spa with a parent
  30. Go outside and watch the birds and other animals
  31. Make a list of things you like about youClick To Download PDF version of List of Self-Care Activities for Teens
  32. Go to the library
  33. Write a poem/short story
  34. Learn a new language
  35. Sing your favorite songs
  36. Write a song
  37. Learn to play an instrument
  38. Make a funny video
  39. Draw or paint a picture
  40. Make a list of your accomplishments
  41. Make a bucket list
  42. Write a letter to your future self
  43. Make a list of things you’re good at
  44. Work outside in nature
  45. Plant a garden*
  46. Make a scrapbook
  47. Trim your nails
  48. Visit a museum*
  49. Eat your favorite dessert
  50. Take photos of nature
  51. Make a playlist of your favorite songs
  52. Do a puzzle
  53. Play with a sibling
  54. Go to the bookstore *
  55. Google information about a different culture
  56. Watch funny cat videos
  57. Read a comic
  58. Go outside and watch the clouds
  59. Make a playlist of funny movies
  60. Turn up the music and dance
  61. Make a list of people you look up to and why
  62. Practice deep breathing exercises
  63. Walk barefoot in grass
  64. Read an inspirational book
  65. Write in a gratitude journal
  66. Do an arts and craft activity
  67. Start an art journal
  68. Have a good laugh
  69. Practice progressive muscle relaxation
  70. Volunteer in your community*
  71. Draw or color Zentangles
  72. Draw or color Mandalas
  73. Unplug and spend time in nature
  74. Go stargazing
  75. Make a fairy garden
  76. Look at family photo albums
  77. Read inspiring quotes
  78. Listen to running water
  79. Snuggle under a cozy blanket
  80. Fly a kite
  81. Write a love letter to yourself
  82. Make jewelry
  83. Blow bubbles and be silly
  84. Give yourself a self-massage
  85. Daydream


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  1. I am a licensed therapist and I just happened to come up this page. Awesome list of self care activities. I run a social skills groups for teens and this information is very helpful.

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