Teens in selfie

Self-Care For Teens

There’s a misconception amongst Christian groups in which self-care is labeled as selfishness, including self-care for teens. While self-care can be done in a selfish way, we can redefine self-care as understanding and seeking to meet our own needs. This requires self-awareness, grace, boundaries, and most importantly, a relationship with God.

God has designed each individual with unique needs that only He can meet 

Oftentimes, teens do not get those needs met, or are seeking to get their needs met in unhealthy ways. When this happens, they begin hurting both themselves and others. When self-care is approached by learning how to get needs met, teens can take steps toward having healthier relationships with themselves, others, and God. 

How can we teach teens to practice self-care?

Begin with self-awareness

Teens need to take time to learn what their own personal needs are. The Arno Profile System Questionnaire is a great tool to learn each individual’s unique temperament and temperament needs. Once a teen learns their temperament, they can identify their own strengths and weaknesses. Acknowledging weaknesses does not excuse them, but brings understanding to support growth. When we know our weaknesses, we can seek the Lord to grow us in those areas. 

Leave room for grace

Self-care requires grace for the spaces we fall short and the things we don’t know while we’re learning. A teen doesn’t know what they don’t know. As they identify their needs and how to get them met, mistakes are going to be made. Grace also needs to be extended towards parents who are seeking to help the teen get their needs met. Often, teens have opposite temperaments from their parents leaving parents uninformed on how to help them meet their needs. Both parents and teens need to work together to better understand each other. 

Set boundaries with those around you

Teens need to understand that self-care requires boundaries. If an individual has found they have a need for many friendships, it’s important to be mindful of the nature of the friendships you have. Friendships that do not support a teens effort to grow may need to be distanced from. Additionally, how you get your needs met is important. If a teen’s need for stability is being sought out from the wrong sources, they will be left feeling constantly disappointed. Christian counselors for teens can help an adolescent find reliable avenues to get their needs met. 

Without God, self-care can be unhealthy

The key to separating self-care from selfishness is making God the center of your self-care journey. Apart from God, self-care can be marked by chasing wants. Society pushes a very “me-centered” approach to self-care. “Go after what makes your heart happy.” Scripture, however, teaches us that our hearts are not to be trusted. Jeremiah 17:9 NIV says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Luke 12:34 NIV reminds us, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” When our eyes are not on Christ, we seek after desires that are fleeting and unfulfilling. However, the transforming work of the Holy Spirit helps our desires to align with the heart of Christ. 

“Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”

Colossians 3:9-10 NIV

As a teen grows their relationship with God, their self-care journey transforms to include humility and a desire to work towards emotional maturity. No longer are they trying to bend everyone else to meet their needs, but they are able to seek God to meet their needs and accept everyone else where they are. In keeping their hearts in check, their relationship health follows. Their self-care allows them to create safe spaces for others to grow and be held accountable. 

Contact Us Today

Kayla Wright is a frequent guest author on this blog. She joined the counseling team at Life Training Christian Counseling in Louisville, Kentucky in May of 2023. The passion of her counseling work is to make a meaningful difference in the lives of  Teens and pre-teens.

Kayla Wright, as well as each of our other counselors, offers convenient sessions at Life Training Christian Counseling in Louisville, Kentucky. She also offers online counseling via Zoom or FaceTime. Please click on this link to learn much more about how our Counseling for teens and pre-teens in Louisville, Kentucky can help the child you love find the highly-effective, Christ-centered help they need. Contact us today at 502-717-5433, or by email at kayla@lifetrainingcounseling.org

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *