When a teen struggles with mental health challenges, it’s normal for parents to want to help. However, finding ways to support a teen without making them feel scrutinized can be challenging. In addition to adolescents’ relationship counseling, there are plenty of ways parents can support teen mental health while having fun.
Imagine Boise offers assistance with teen mental health challenges. We work with teenagers and their parents to provide the skills, and support teens need to thrive. Call 208.487.8260 today to learn more about the programs at Imagine Boise.
Mental Health-Building Activities for Teens
Finding good mental health activities can help a teen get out of their head. Mental health-building activities bring benefits that include:
- Stronger relationships
- Increased confidence
- Heightened self-esteem
- Stress relief
- Excitement and novelty
Finding ways to bond and have fun is critical to strengthening teen mental health. When parents carve out time to participate in activities that support a teen’s mental health, the whole family benefits.
1. Get Moving
Exercise is a hugely beneficial way to support mental health. Moving your body naturally releases feel-good endorphins. Getting active can mean hitting the gym together, but it can also involve other activities.
Joining a yoga class, going swimming, exploring local nature trails, or taking an evening walk through the neighborhood are all great ways to improve mental health while also supporting physical health.
2. Schedule Screen-Free Time
As screens become more pervasive elements of life, studies increasingly show that too much screen time negatively affects mental health. Research from Harvard graduate schools shows that in addition to effects like sleep issues, reduced cognitive ability, and weakened emotional skills, an overreliance on social media can directly impact teen anxiety and self-esteem.
Setting aside screen-free time each day to play a game, work on a project, or do chores together can allow a teenager time to self-regulate without the interference of technology.
3. Explore New Skills
Getting involved in new activities is an excellent way to help improve mental health. Consciously seeking out new experiences helps provide perspective and demonstrates the benefits of adventure and exploration.
You could attend a concert, volunteer at an animal shelter, or try skydiving. Cultivating a sense of novelty helps to make life exciting, builds confidence, and alters brain structure as new neural networks are formed.
4. Support a Teen’s Interests
You might be surprised to hear that playing a video game can support your teen’s mental health. However, participating in a teenager’s interests is an excellent way to support teen mental health.
When teenagers see that their parents care and are interested in the things that interest them, it’s an affirming experience. Attending a local sporting event together or taking a shopping trip can help reduce a teen’s stress levels and demonstrates parental acceptance and approval.
5. Get Creative
The creative process is highly therapeutic. Taking an idea and turning it into a reality is an empowering experience and requires a teen to be present in the moment.
Getting creative can mean dabbling in the arts, such as attending a painting lesson or pottery class. However, there are an endless number of ways to get creative. Redecorating a teen’s room, planning and growing a garden, or challenging yourselves to make every recipe in a cookbook are all great ways to get creative.
The Importance of Support
Good mental health activities can significantly impact a teen’s overall wellness. They can also strengthen family relationships and make life more fun. However, teens who struggle with mental health concerns often need more than parental support alone.
Imagine Boise Helps Improve Mental Health in Teens
Imagine Boise offers teen mental health treatment. Our treatment team works with teens to address all types of mental health concerns and then create a plan for increasing mental wellness.
To learn more about getting help for your teen, call 208.487.8260 or reach out online and ask about the programs at Imagine Boise.