As teenagers start to get older and approach their twenties, a huge transition occurs. Your brain is still developing along with your body, and you are gaining more independence from your parents or guardians who raised you. This time can be exciting, but it can also be very stressful.
Unfortunately, our culture places a lot of importance on figuring out what you want to do for the rest of your life at a young age. The pressure to pursue an education, attend college, and find a job starts to mount. Add all the physical changes and social maneuvering and you can easily get overwhelmed during these years.
It is crucial that you learn about self-care and how to prioritize your needs, especially when it comes to mental health.
Here are some strategies to help you pursue mental wellness as you approach and enter adulthood in the Bay Area.
Remain Socially Open
Friendships are such an essential aspect of the human experience. While you are related to your family forever, friends are people that you choose to form a connection with based on the circumstances of your life.
In school, many of your friends will likely be classmates. Playing sports helps you build bonds with other players on the team. Meeting new people as a teen is a skill that you can develop which will serve you as an adult.
The opportunities for forming friendships will change as you get older, so developing strong relationships now and learning how to meet new people can set you up for social health as you grow.
Also Read: 9 Reasons to Pursue a Psychology Degree
Even Now, Diet Matters
Many teenagers feel invincible, so they feel like they do not need to worry about the long-term consequences of decisions. As a result, plenty of young people have poorly-balanced diets that are not delivering enough nutrition.
Believe it or not, your diet can have a huge effect on your mental well-being. Food provides the energy and nutrients needed to help you feel better physically.
Additionally, a healthy diet yields better physical wellness, which contributes to feeling in a better mood. Don’t wait until you get older to start caring about what you put into your body.
Value Intimate Relationships
Knowing how to meet new people in the Bay Area is important, but even more significant is the ability to take care of your strongest relationships.
That might mean your family members, your closest circle of friends, or your significant other. In a healthy family situation, do not take quality time for granted, even if you would rather spend time with friends.
With your closest friends, practice active listening so that you can get to know them even better and support them through hard times.
If you have a significant other that you could see being with for a long time, CBT couples therapy wouldn’t be the worst idea to invest in that relationship and will be a valuable practice when you get older too.
Find Activities That You Love
Grade school is not going to last forever, and neither will college. These environments often make it easy to have friends since you spend many hours each day with the same people, playing sports together, going through the same classes, and struggling with exams.
When school is over, it may leave a gap in your time that can start to feel lonely. Finding activities and hobbies that you love can have a huge positive impact on your mental health. It gives your mind a creative outlet or goal to pursue and something to accomplish.
Plus, when you find the right activity, it can connect you to others who are passionate about the same thing, forming new social bonds.
Learn to Appreciate Solitude
Some personalities are more averse to being alone than others. They want to surround themselves with people at all times to stave off the feeling of loneliness. But getting away to spend time with your thoughts can be a helpful practice for mental health.
It allows you space to reflect on your thoughts and feelings, as well as how the day or week has gone. This would also be a great time to write in a journal. Reflecting on how you think and feel can strengthen your emotional intelligence, and similarly, your mental health.
Consider activities that give you those moments of solitude like walks through nature or laying in a hammock in your backyard.
Never Sacrifice Mental Health for Success in Other Areas
If you want to get the most out of life as you become an adult, then mental health must remain a priority for the rest of your life. It is so easy to sacrifice mental health in the name of professional aspirations, time with friends, and staying busy.
But if you are struggling emotionally, it will be impossible to enjoy life as much as you could be. Consider the strategies above to focus on mental health as you become an adult living in the Bay Area.