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9 self-care ideas for teens going back to school

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Going back to school can be a stressful experience for teenagers. They have to worry about the pressures of schoolwork and schedules after the relative freedom of the summer, not to mention concerns about friendship groups, cliques and teachers. These factors may lead to stress and feelings of depression and anxiety that teens may not know how to address. 

Learning some self-care techniques can make the back-to-school transition much easier for teenagers. Parents can help by providing them with any resources they might need for self-care, but teens must follow through. Talking to them about what self-care is and providing them with methods for improving their overall health and well-being can benefit them significantly. 

Shop this article: Peter Pauper Press Celestial JournalLifeAround2Angels Bath Bombs Gift Set and Paul Rubens Artist-Grade Watercolor Paint Set


When people talk about self-care, it's often about long soaks in the tub, spa days and manicures, but it encompasses more than that. Self-care is any deliberate action that someone carries out to improve their physical, mental or emotional health and well-being. Practicing good self-care can help teens regulate their emotions, have stronger relationships and be better prepared to navigate life’s ups and downs. 

People practice self-care by:

  • Meditating
  • Journaling 
  • Exercising
  • Engaging in hobbies
  • Going to therapy
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Establishing healthy boundaries in relationships
  • Getting organized to avoid stress and overwhelm
  • Going to the nail or hair salon

These examples are just a drop in the ocean of self-care. Remember that self-care can look different for everyone and vary for one person on different days.


There are several benefits teens can gain from engaging in self-care, such as:

  • Alleviating stress
  • Aiding with depression and anxiety
  • Helping them adopt healthy habits 
  • Increasing happiness 
  • Encouraging healthy relationships
  • Recognizing emotional and spiritual needs 


Teens can practice self-care in a range of ways. As a parent or caregiver, you can explain the concept and encourage them to look after their well-being, but it's up to them to decide what constitutes self-care for them and how to practice it. One side of self-care is finding time to do fun or relaxing things. 

For teens, practicing self-care may include:

  • Yoga
  • Painting or drawing
  • Knitting
  • Taking a bubble bath
  • Playing an instrument
  • Spending time with their beloved pets
  • Engaging in physical activity, such as sports
  • Hanging out with friends
  • Volunteering 
  • Spending time outdoors 


Here are tips your teen can adopt for practicing self-care:

  • Stick to a schedule: To maintain healthy habits, it’s crucial for teens to create a daily routine they can stick to. They should aim to find at least 15 to 20 minutes daily to practice self-care.
  • Get enough sleep: Catching enough Zs each night is important for teens as they develop. According to Nemours TeensHealth, teens should get 8 to 10 hours of sleep every night. 
  • Don’t get overwhelmed: Handling school, friends, family and extracurricular activities can affect a teen’s mental health. Therefore, teens should learn how to balance themselves and communicate when they have too much on their plate. 
  • Take deep breaths: Deep breathing is a quick method for teens to practice self-care care. This mindfulness practice has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety while boosting a teen’s mood. 


Peter Pauper Press Celestial Journal

A journal is a great self-care outlet for teens, as it's a private place to write their thoughts and feelings. Regular journaling can positively affect mental health and well-being, and it's an inexpensive and low-pressure avenue into self-care. This journal has a nice celestial design and plain-lined pages. 

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Lightimetunnel Sleep Headphones

If your teenager needs to get more sleep, this combination of an eye mask and headphones is an excellent choice. The soft, well-padded eye mask helps block out light for better sleep quality, while the built-in Bluetooth headphones let users listen to relaxing music or podcasts.

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LifeAround2Angels Bath Bombs Gift Set

These bath bombs are great for teenagers who need to relax and unwind from the stresses of a new term at school. They're made in the United States from high-quality, natural ingredients. They come in a range of gorgeous scents with 12 to a pack.

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Taylors of Harrogate Assorted Specialty Teas Box

This 48-pack of tea bags offers various flavors teens can try. Some of the flavors included are organic chamomile, green tea with jasmine and earl grey tea. Each pack contains six tea bags of each flavor. They are eligible for Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program and Eligible Benefits Transfer.

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Blue Sky 2023-2024 Academic Year Weekly and Monthly Planner

This planner helps teens keep track of their daily and weekly schedules, which can lower stress. It provides ample space for detailed writing to plan for deadlines, doctor appointments and other obligations. It is offered in three sizes on high-quality, premium white paper. 

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New Seasons Large Print Easy Color and Frame

This coloring book includes 31 pages of seashells, flowers, mandalas and more. The images are large-print, making it easier for teens with sight challenges to color. It has thick paper to prevent markers or pens from bleeding. The book also has a spiral bind, letting coloring pages lay flat.

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Paul Rubens Artist-Grade Watercolor Paint Set

Watercolor painting is another relaxing hobby for artistic teenagers who would prefer more freedom of expression than a coloring book allows. This watercolor set includes 24 colors in a metal box, but you'll need to buy brushes and watercolor paper. 

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WhiteFang Skateboards for Beginners

If your teen is interested in skateboarding, this skateboard is perfect for beginners. It comes in 17 designs and is pre-assembled. It can hold up to 220 pounds with magnesium alloy trucks. Its design allows beginners and skilled riders to master new skills. 

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Best Choice Products Beginner All Wood Acoustic Guitar Starter Kit

This set is great for teens wanting to learn or advance their guitar skills. It is all-in-one, including a 38-inch guitar, e-tuner, gig bag, guitar strap, pick holder, extra nylon strings, guitar picks, a capo and cloth. It has a classic design and finish for a modern look. 

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Maxwiner Essential Oil Diffusers 

Aromatherapy is a calming method teens can adopt to relieve stress. These diffusers come in a visually appealing design and are available in several colors. They have advanced ultrasonic technology, providing a quiet operation. They have a timer setting and automatically shut off to prevent damage.

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Lulu Candles Scented Soy Jar Candles

Lighting a candle creates the perfect setting for relaxation. This candle comes in different sizes and calming scents such as blueberry cobbler, apple cinnamon and spiced vanilla. It is made with vegan soy wax and 100% cotton wicks. It is non-toxic, paraben-free and lasts longer than most candles.

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Celavi Cosmetics Essence Facial Sheet Variety Set

A face mask can be a great addition to a teen’s self-care routine. This 12-count of sheet face masks includes ingredients such as honey, collagen, seaweed, pomegranate, aloe vera, vitamin C, acai berry, tea tree, avocado, ginseng, cucumber and charcoal. They are paraben-, sulfate-, oil- and cruelty-free. 

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Alomidds Weight Blanket

This weighted blanket can comfort teens after a long day of school. It weighs 15 points and is made of breathable fabric. It comes in a variety of sizes, so choose one that fully covers the body.

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Color City Women's Fuzzy Slipper Socks 

What teen doesn’t love a pair of warm, cozy socks? This set includes five pairs of fuzzy socks made of microfiber and synthetic lining. They come in a variety of colors and designs to choose from. It comes in one size that fits women’s shoe sizes 6 to 10. 

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Cleverfy Shower Steamers 

Teens who prefer a relaxing shower over a bubble bath can add these shower steamers to their self-care routine. These shower melts come in a 6-pack with different aromatherapy scents such as lavender, menthol, eucalyptus, vanilla, grapefruit and peppermint. They are hypoallergenic, vegan and not tested on animals. 

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Sndyi Scalp Massager Shampoo Brush

A scalp massager not only helps teens shampoo their hair but can also improve mental health and well-being. It is made of food-grade silicone and wheat straw, which is a gluten-free material. It has long bristles to penetrate through thick hair to massage the scalp. It is available in 14 vibrant colors. 

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Turquaz Linen Lightweight Unisex Spa Robes

A must-have item for teens after a relaxing bath or shower is a comfy robe. These lightweight robes are available in multiple sizes and colors. They are made of 60% cotton and 40% polyester. They include a tie closure and two front patch pockets. 

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Gaiam Yoga Mat

A yoga mat can be a great way for teens to practice this mindfulness activity. This mat is reversible and comes in a variety of designs. It is lightweight, durable and thick for extra comfort. It has a sticky non-slip surface and is free of phthalates. 

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Jade Lead Matcha Traditional Starter Set

Teens can learn how to make delicious matcha tea at home with this set. It comes with a bamboo whisk, scoop, stainless steel sifter and step-by-step guide. The matcha isn’t included, so it must be purchased to use the set. 

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Thermoflask Double-Wall Vacuum Insulated Water Bottle

Teens should stay hydrated throughout the day, so having a water bottle nearby is important. This water bottle is insulated, keeping water ice cold. It comes in several colors and sizes ranging from 18 to 40 ounces. It includes both a chug and straw lid for easy sipping. 

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Oubonun Premium Adjustable Loft Quilted Body Pillows

A pillow can bring comfort to teens after a stressful day at school. This body pillow is adjustable to support back, stomach or side sleepers. It comes with a breathable cotton pillowcase for extra comfort. After removing the pillow’s packaging, give it a day or two to expand fully.

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Nellsi Sunset Lamp Project

Having a sunset lamp may boost a teen’s overall mood. This lamp provides a LED projection that’s reminiscent of a sunset. It has a 360-degree rotation and 16 colors that can be switched with just a touch of a button. 

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Fuxi 9 By 12 Inches Sketchbook

Artistic teens can use this sketchbook to draw, paint, write and more. It is 9 by 12 inches and comes with 100 sheets of blank paper. The paper is recycled, pH- and acid-free and won’t fade. Each page is perforated and can be easily torn out if desired. 

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Hearth and Harbor Crochet Kit for Beginners 

Teens looking to expand their expertise in crocheting can try out this kit. This kit has 73 pieces, including crochet yarn, hooks and accessories. It is designed for beginners and comes with assorted yarn in 15 different colors. Teens can keep their tools tidy with the container providing easy storage. 

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ULG 1 Pack Over Door Organizer 

An organizer in a teen’s bedroom can encourage them to stay organized, which can help with stress and being overwhelmed. This organizer has five large pockets and 10 mesh pockets for extra storage. It holds up to 44 pounds and is hung over a door. 

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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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