Activities to develop self-esteem in depressed teenagers
Teens who suffer from depression are very sad, have difficulty sleeping, feel hopeless and worthless, gain or lose a lot of weight, have difficulty concentrating and have difficulty maintaining a healthy relationship. Many depressed teenagers also have low self-esteem. There are many activities that teachers, therapists and parents can use to improve adolescent confidence and self-esteem.
Compliments and praise
If you lead a group of teenagers in a therapeutic environment or work with teenagers in your classroom, you can improve their self-esteem by encouraging them to congratulate each other, according to Education World. Divide the teens into groups of four or five and tell them that their task is to compliment each member of their group. Ask teens to focus on something that is behavioural and not related to appearance. Give examples so that teens know what you are asking for.
Teenagers who suffer from depression often have low energy, which can lead to weight gain. When a teenager does not feel well in her appearance, she will probably become more depressed and her self-esteem will continue to collapse. If you want to encourage teenagers to be confident, get them moving. Team sports are an excellent way for teens to develop their confidence and improve their self-esteem. If the teenager does not want to play a team sport or has no athletic skills, suggest other ways to exercise. She could walk with friends after school, go bowling on weekends, spend time in the park when the weather is nice outside and bike to school.
Mark affirmation lists
The National Mental Health Information Center recommends that teens make positive lists and read them often to feel better. As a group leader or teacher, you could choose a topic each day for a week and ask teens to make a list of things related to that topic. For example, you could ask teens to list five strengths, ten things that make them laugh, four ways they have helped someone in the past month, and ten achievements they have had in their lives. Ask teens to put these lists in a place where they will see them often, such as near their bed or on the bathroom mirror.
Another activity recommended by the National Clearinghouse on Mental Health is the establishment of a timeline to build trust. When you do things you love, your happiness and confidence increase. Teenagers should write something that makes them happy, smiling or laughing next to each other every day. A teenager’s calendar can include walking his dog, playing soccer with friends, going to the movies with his girlfriend and reading for 20 minutes. Once the teenager has completed his or her schedule, he or she should try to do the things listed each day.