Thriving, Not Just Surviving: Sustaining Wellbeing When Things Are Going Well

Posted by on June 12, 2024

As psychotherapists working with teenagers and adolescents, we often find ourselves supporting young people through challenging times. However, it’s equally important to address the other side of the coin—how to sustain wellbeing when things are going well. Cultivating a foundation of self-care can help us navigate the inevitable ups and downs of life with greater ease.

The Teenage Landscape

Being a teenager is no walk in the park. From navigating the complexities of social dynamics and academic pressures to grappling with identity formation and hormonal changes, there’s a lot on their plates. It’s no wonder that many teenagers worry about fitting in, meeting expectations, and finding their place in the world. Alongside the challenges and difficult changes, there are also moments of joy, accomplishment, and personal growth. It’s during these times that we have the opportunity to fortify our wellbeing, and create a reservoir to draw upon when things get hard. 


Building a Wellbeing Toolkit

When things are going well, it’s easy to let self-care fall by the wayside. However, this is precisely when we should be thinking about nurturing our physical, emotional, and mental health. The summer season can have a positive impact on our mood and our wellbeing. Feeling less pressure because school’s out, enjoying friendships and social activities can bring calm and offers an opportunity to help sustain wellbeing. Here are some tips:  

  1. Prioritize Self-Care: Engage in activities that nourish your mind, body, and soul. This could include exercise, mindfulness practices, creative pursuits, or simply spending time in nature.
  2. Cultivate Gratitude: Make a conscious effort to appreciate the positive aspects of your life, no matter how small. Keeping a gratitude journal or sharing your gratitude with loved ones can help shift your perspective and foster a sense of contentment.
  3. Nurture Healthy Relationships: Surround yourself with a supportive network of family and friends who uplift and encourage you. Invest time in building meaningful connections and fostering open communication.
  4. Embrace Personal Growth: Identify areas for self-improvement and set achievable goals. Whether it’s learning a new skill, developing a hobby, or working on personal development, continuous growth can contribute to a sense of fulfillment..
  5. Practice Mindfulness: Cultivate the ability to be present in the moment, savoring the good times without getting caught up in worries about the future or ruminations about the past.
  6. Create Memories: Good times in the summer can offer a space to create some wonderful memories. Remember you are creating memories, and that these memories will stay with you. Your attention to creating memories—before, during and after—will offer a treasure trove when you’re not feeling great. Before: plan an event or activity with friends and family; make it around something you love doing. During: take lots of pictures and videos. After: create a montage or album and share it with everyone who was there  to remind you of how much fun you had!


Building Space for the Unknown

By taking care of ourselves when things are going well, we’re not just enjoying the present moment, we’re also building a reservoir to draw upon when challenges inevitably arise. Just as we save money for a rainy day, nurturing our wellbeing during the good times allows us to accumulate emotional, mental, and physical resources that can sustain us through difficult periods.

When we’ve cultivated a foundation of self-care, we’re better equipped to navigate life’s curveballs with grace and acceptance. We have a deeper well of inner strength to draw upon, and a greater capacity to cope with stress, anxiety, and adversity.

Remember, sustaining wellbeing is an ongoing journey, not a destination. By making self-care a priority, even when things are going well, we’re investing in our long-term mental, emotional, and physical health. Let’s embrace the good times as opportunities to fortify ourselves, nurture our wellbeing, and build the capacity to weather a storm that comes our way.

Build your skills! Practice with tools, tips and resources to improve your wellness in the way that feels best for you. You can learn how to identify your strengths, communicate thoughts and feelings, overcome obstacles and connect with support. We’re here for you at the Toronto Counseling Centre for Teens to support you with our teen, adult, and family counseling services. 


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