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11 fantastic ways for teens to feel awesome

11 fantastic ways for teens to feel awesome

It can be super hard for teens to feel awesome about themselves. The teen years are fraught with angst as kids struggle to be accepted and find their place amongst their friends and society in general.

You’ve got your parents breathing down your neck trying to get you to do better, feel better, be better (sorry kids!). Your teachers are equally demanding. Friends want you to listen to their problems day and night (as if you don’t have enough of your own). Other times they randomly decide not to be your friend at all.

It can be so hard to be everything everyone wants you to be. Especially when you don’t even know who you are yourself. Add to that the pressure of social media, bombarding you with perfect looking people who seem to effortlessly have everything they ever wanted in life and bam! You suck, right?

There are no easy solutions for finding your path. However, there are actually many things you can do to feel awesome about yourself. Or at least, a little more awesome. Try this list and see how you go.

This list will help teens feel awesome

1. Go ahead and rock your personal style

One of the best ways to feel good about yourself is by expressing your unique style. You know you’ve got one, even if you’ve buried it in AirForce trainers and Frank Green bottles. 

Take the time to experiment with different outfits, hairstyles and accessories that make you feel confident and comfortable. There’s loads of inspiration on social media, but jump around the internet a little to get out of your usual comfort zone.

It’s fun, plus you’ll find looks you’ve never considered before. You’ll soon pull together a style that gives you confidence that’s all your own. That means what looks good on you and best expresses the way you feel.

2. Work on your mindset

Your thoughts have a powerful impact on how you feel about yourself. If you want to feel awesome, challenge negative self-talk. Remind yourself daily of your strengths, talents and accomplishments (yes, that A+ you received that one time definitely counts!).

While positive affirmations have their place (we like this list a lot), this is more than a quick pep talk in the mirror each morning. Instead, try to catch yourself every time you say something negative to yourself and think of a positive to replace it. So, instead of ‘I’m not good enough at sport’, try ‘I love the training schedule I’m working on and I’m getting better all the time’.

3. Find out what you like

This is about engaging in activities that make you lose time (‘oh look, it got dark out there!’) and make you feel alive. This isn’t about the latest fad and what you ‘should’ love. Instead, it’s about what really lights you up when no one is watching.

Whether it’s painting, writing, playing sports, knitting or dancing, find what brings you joy and dedicate time to pursue it. Doing what you love will boost your confidence and really make you feel awesome.

If you don’t know what you like, it’s time to experiment. There’s a fun list of things that help many teens feel awesome here: 17 projects  that will help you find your passion.

4. Surround yourself with supportive people

Are you hanging out with friends or frenemies? You know the difference, you do! True friends love you just the way you are. You’re comfortable to be yourself around them and they’re not trying to change you or compete with you. 

The best way to make friends like that is to be a friend like that yourself. Give your friends space to open up, be cringey if they want to and let it all hang out. Believe me, when you get the same space in return, you’ll feel awesome and so loved.

A group of friends help teens feel awesome

5. Throw in some RAOK

Doing random acts of kindness may feel like a massive cliché, but they help spread positivity and they’ll make you feel awesome. It might be big things like helping a classmate with their homework, volunteering at a local charity, or smaller things like offering a quiet, listening ear to someone in need. Or putting on a load of laundry for your mother (just thought I’d throw that in there ).

Kindness not only make others feel better but also boosts your own sense of purpose and brings plenty of joy to your day. Go on, try it and see. RAOK are surprisingly addictive!

6. Be gentle with yourself

We all have imperfections, and, truly, that’s what makes us unique and beautiful. Embrace your flaws and accept yourself just the way you are. I know, I know, that’s easier said than done, but don’t give up the good fight. 

Ask yourself why you think something is a flaw and delve deep into the impact it has on your life. Is there really an impact? If there is, talk to someone you love about what they think of it. It pays to be vulnerable to really get to the heart of the things you hate about yourself.

With a bit of work, talking about them can help you see your flaws from a different perspective. Could it be that it’s our flaws that make us uniquely ourselves? Could they actually be key to standing out (or even, weirdly, fitting in) and being awesome?

7. Set yourself some lofty goals

We feel awesome when we’re striving towards something and making small inroads to getting there. Setting goals helps you grow and achieve things that matter to you. Start by setting small, achievable goals and gradually work your way up to the lofty stuff. Your goals might be for:

  • home
  • relationships (yes, you can set a goal to get your crush to fall in love with you – go for it!)
  • school
  • sport
  • a new hobby or skill
  • when you grow up

Here’s a quick way to set goals that play to your strengths: Tips for setting and achieving your goals

8. Take care of your body

Caring for physical you plays a vital role in boosting self-esteem and helping you feel good about yourself. You know what to do: move everyday, eat nutritious foods, not junk, and please, please, please get enough sleep.

Taking care of your body also means taking care of your mental health. If you’re stressed out, too anxious, feeling sad for days, then talk to someone you trust. There is plenty of help out there to get our heads sorted, so please reach out. It’s common – a lot (in fact, probably most) teens don’t feel so good at some stage or another.

9. Try new things a lot

Challenging yourself to step out of your comfort zone is a powerful way to boost self-esteem. Try new activities you’ve never done before, explore different hobbies that spark your interest, or step up, be brave and take on a leadership role at school. By pushing your boundaries, you’ll quickly realise that you’re capable of far more than you ever thought.

Ditching your comfy comfort zone will also foster your creativity, curiosity and sharpen your critical thinking skills.  All very good stuff indeed.

A day at the beach helps you feel better about yourself

10. Spend time in nature

There’s nothing like the natural world to help put life into perspective. Time in the bush or at the beach will really help you get outside your own head. It lifts the spirits and soothes the mind and I guarantee a day like this will help teens feel awesome in every way.

By all means, go with a group of friends or your family, but also try to spend time in nature alone. Oh, and ditch the headphones, too. You don’t need a beat when you’ve got the sound of birds to keep you company. Listen, focus and lose yourself for a while.

11. Remember to celebrate glorious you

Don’t be shy to celebrate your accomplishments, big and small! Whether it’s acing a test, finishing a project, or overcoming a fear, take the time to acknowledge and celebrate your achievements along the way. Treat yourself to something you enjoy or share your success with loved ones. You deserve to celebrate your awesomeness every step of the way.

It’s also a good reminder to celebrate your friends and family as often as you can as well. Remind them of how good they are on a regular basis. Ted Lasso is a great role model here: ‘I appreciate you’ should definitely be in your vocabulary. Say it to everyone in your life – and especially remember to say it to yourself.

Feature image Deposit Photos under license; guy in beanie by Jeremy McKnight; friends by Katarzyna Grabowska; beach by Nataliya Smirnova