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Importance of Implementing Routines for Your Teen’s Mental Health

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Clinically Reviewed by:
Lindsey Rae Ackerman, LMFT

Written by:
Alex Salman, MPH on February 23, 2024

For kids, teens and young adults, summer vacation often means late nights, sleeping in, long days with friends and fewer responsibilities. Without the need for early morning alarms or evenings full of homework, schedules and routines are often tossed aside.

While many adolescents look forward to the summer, it can bring added stress for parents. Maintaining a routine throughout the year, including summer vacation, can have benefits for the whole family.

Benefits of Routines

Not only will maintaining a summer routine ease the transition back into a fall, but also routines help foster a healthy lifestyle for the entire family:

Create Structure

Without a routine, our day can devolve into an unorganized scramble where time is wasted catching up on chores or trying to remember what needs to be done. Implementing a daily routine provides structure and a plan to tackle the day’s tasks and demands. There are no surprises, so you’re not left guessing or forgetting what needs to be done.

Reduce Stress

With a routine, your day-to-day chores become second nature, removing much of the guesswork, stress and uncertainty. When decisions are made in advance, not only do you prevent stress but you also save time and feel more in control. Not to mention, routines help prevent your mind from focusing on anxious, unproductive thoughts.

Promote Better Sleep

With a routine in place, day to day sleep and wake times almost always become consistent. Maintaining a consistent sleep-wake schedule Monday through Sunday helps with the production of melatonin for better quality sleep. Inconsistent sleep-wake times disrupt your circadian rhythm and can increase risk of insomnia and anxiety.

Increase Productivity

When you design a routine that accommodates your lifestyle, you can prioritize healthy habits and easily stay on track with your goals. Routines take the guesswork out of finding time to work out, meal prep or stay in touch with friends.

Improve Decision-Making

Decision exhaustion is real. Planning makes you feel more prepared and allows you to dedicate more time to important decisions. Routines pre-plan your small, day-to-day decisions, so you can dedicate your brainpower to answering more significant and meaningful questions.

More Time for Yourself & Loved Ones

It’s a misconception that routines make people busy. In fact, by efficiently scheduling what you have to do, you’ll have more time for things you want to do. You can dedicate more time to self-care, or spending quality time with loved ones.

Routines for Teens & Young Adults

For teens and young adults, routines provide the structure necessary keep their priorities in line as well as keep them safe and out of trouble. And for those in recovery, it can be the difference between maintaining a meaningful recovery and relapsing.

Routines help ward off boredom and restlessness, which often lead to drug and alcohol use. Routines create a rhythm to accomplish what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, and routines can also make it easier to replace unhealthy habits with healthier ones. Most importantly, routines help foster a sense of purpose by promoting a balanced and fulfilling lifestyle.

Mental Health Treatment for Teens

The teenage years are an important time where many changes occur. Challenges can present themselves in the form of mental health struggles, difficulty making friends, and a lack of motivation to take care of responsibilities. In these cases, seeking teen mental health treatment can give young adults the resources they need to overcome these challenges. Having a set routine in place is one way we help teens at Clear Behavioral Health. If you or your child is struggling with mental health and other challenges, reach out to learn more about our teen IOP specifically designed to help teenagers.

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