Life can be a mixed bag of emotions—fun, exciting, exhausting, overwhelming, and everything in between. That’s why it’s so important to take care of yourself. Find ways to look after your mental health. Connect with friends and family who help you get through the bad times and enjoy the good. And never forget that you deserve just as much compassion as you give others.

Know the Signs

Feeling all sorts of ways right now? You’re not alone. Recognizing your emotions helps you track when feelings like sadness or hopelessness are lasting longer than usual. Depression is a serious, ongoing, and common medical condition. Here are some signs you can look out for: losing interest in the things you used to enjoy, sleeping too much or not enough, or having trouble concentrating. If you or someone you know needs help, there are resources and people who can support you.

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Manage Hard Emotions

Between school, social media, and relationships—stress can come from a lot of areas in life. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try looking ahead by setting goals for the future and planning out how to work toward them now. Take a break from screens and constant updates. Talk about your feelings with your friends or family. Try positive affirmations or grounding exercises. Or focus on getting more sleep.

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Help Others

Check in with the people you care about. And if you’re worried about them, let them know. Not sure how to start the conversation? Try our guides for talking with friends who may be going through hard times, struggling with drug use, or having suicidal thoughts. Don’t forget, it’s important to check in with yourself too and to reach out for help if you need it.

And you can help other teens from across the state by volunteering for an organization like Teen Link. Or serve your community by volunteering at a shelter or charity in your area. However you give back, volunteering can help you feel connected to others, find positivity, and build your skills.

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Practice Self-Care

Putting your needs first isn’t always easy—but it’s important.  And developing a self-care routine before things become too heavy is a great way to reduce stress regularly, express your emotions, and find positivity. Remember, you can’t be there for others if you’re not there for yourself.

So, try building a new mindfulness habit to help you stay present. Explore emotions through creativity. Check support resources for helpful materials and exercises. Or search for new content that connects to what you’re going through—like a mental health podcast. Whatever it is, take the time prioritize yourself.

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Find Support

Caring for your mental health isn’t something you have to do alone. If you’re struggling or feeling overwhelmed with life, reach out to people you trust. Talk about what you’re going through with a friend, family member, teacher or coach, counselor, or health professional. Not sure who you’d to turn to? There are free resources available to you anytime you need someone to listen without judgment—like Teen Link, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, The Trevor Project Lifeline, and the Washington Recovery Help Line.

If you’re not sure which resource is right for you, try checking this Youth Mental Health Guide which can help you find a support service that meets your needs.

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