As a high school student, you may be tempted to focus only on your work and disregard your health. However, your health is paramount to your education and success as a student. Therefore, you should consider your well-being alongside your work to make sure you’re able to keep up. In this post, we’ll consider a few of the tips that will help you thrive outside, just your schoolwork.
Related: Activities to Help Your Teen Discover Their Passion and Purpose
Why is Self Care So Important
Self-care is essential because it helps you to balance your needs with your responsibilities. It permits you to take a little time to care for yourself, despite having other things that also need doing. Self-care is any activity where you tend to your own mental, emotional, and physical health and wellbeing. It won’t be the same activities for every person, but many will be similar.
When you are adequately caring for yourself, you will notice:
- Your moods are consistently better.
- You have a positive outlook. When you consider your circumstances and your future, you feel good about it. It’s not that you don’t recognize issues, but you feel up to the challenges.
- You feel recharged. Self-care will fill up your empty energy tank.
- You get more done. Despite taking time away from work and responsibilities, you will be more productive when you return to them.
- You can manage stress more efficiently.
- You make calmer and more thoughtful decisions.
- You’re happier.
- Your relationships are healthier.
- You feel healthier.
- You are more confident.
- You’re more resilient. Even when things go wrong, you can avoid feeling low for too long.
- You have healthy coping mechanisms.
Engaging in regular self-care while you’re still in high school will ensure that you create healthy habits for the future.
The Four Categories of Self Care
Self-care falls into four broad categories:
This is about seeing your physical needs. Activities may include exercise, adequate sleep, and nutritious eating. It is also about having a positive and appreciative attitude toward your body and its needs.
Mental care has to do with caring for your mind. Developing new skills or hobbies are great activities for mental care. Reading a good book or engaging in other intellectually stimulating activities also fit into this category.
This isn’t necessarily associated with religious activities, though they may be included. This category is about caring for the deeper parts of yourself. Great activities that fit here are journaling, painting, drawing, meditation, prayer, and being in nature.
This category has to do with processing through negative emotions, embracing positive ones, and learning to be sensitive to yourself. You may benefit from speaking with a good friend, a therapist, or a counselor. This category addresses self-talk and limiting beliefs as well.
So how can a student practice self-care? Following are activities from various categories that will bring you many of the benefits mentioned above.
If you’re a student who wants insights and on how to prepare for your future Beta Bowl can help.
Taking breaks between work may be one of the most important things you can do to maximize your productivity. While this may seem counterintuitive, working hard, and then taking breaks in between helps you maintain focus and maintain peak capability. Nothing is worse as a student than working for hours while distracted or tired, only to realize you learned nothing because you weren’t in the right mindset. If you take breaks, you can rejuvenate your mind and prepare yourself to continue to work hard. On the other hand, if you delay taking a break and overwork yourself, you are more likely to burn out or not absorb the information at hand.
Eat and Hydrate
An important part of staying in the right mindset, emotionally and physically, is maintaining your nutrition. While it’s easy to get lost in your work and skip a meal, this may become harmful if it becomes a habit. Losing routine because of a habit is a dangerous precedent that can cause your body to adapt to poor eating standards or schedules. If this happens, your body may signal itself to increase stress or otherwise inadvertently harm you – as a result, being habitual with what you eat and when you eat, it is important. And, of course, being hydrated is key to staying focused and priming your body to work hard.
Related: Most Important Life Skills for Teens
Spend Time Outside
If you’re flooded with work, it may be easy to force yourself to stay cramped in your room and focus only on your studies. However, it’s advantageous to go outside occasionally, even if you go there to work. Apart from the obvious health benefits, exposure to the outdoors, and a change of scenery will work wonders on your productivity. If you can take a more extended break and take a walk or drive around, you can prime your brain to refocus later. Finally, spending time outside will provide you with a much-needed period of relaxation to work more efficiently and with less distraction.
Hang Out With Friends
Hanging out with your friends and engaging in social activities is one of the best ways to distract yourself from your work and relax when stressed. Parties, or even simple get-togethers with your friends, can be incredibly calming and help you focus on yourself despite your work. No one can sustainably work for hours on end without human interaction – even if this means studying as a group or calling your friends to work on a few problems together, it will positively affect your productivity. What’s most important is to realize you’re relaxing with your friends and to not hold your stress with you, even in social situations.
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Read for Fun
While reading can feel like a chore, especially when it is a book or assignment given by your school, just reading a book for fun can be both enjoyable and stimulating. As long as you don’t treat the book like work, you may find it fun to read and help you in a personal context. The best way to enjoy what you read is to pick a topic that interests you – if you do that, you can learn from your reading through absorption without taking special care to memorize the text.
Related: Examples of Online Extracurricular Activities
Ask For Help
Sometimes, the best way to cope with your work and manage your health is to ask for help. High school can be overwhelming for many students, and it’s easy to feel like you have too much to do or too little time to do it all. You’re not alone if you think this way – it’s easy for your work to pile up and feel like you can’t keep up with it. These situations are rarely the student’s fault – instead, as the student, you can reach out to friends, teachers, or counselors to better prepare yourself to take on your workload. Taking advice from these sources and their experience and applying it to your own life can help you be more efficient and productive with your work.
Journaling, or writing in a diary, is a great way to reflect on your thoughts and take a step back from your work. If you can maintain a journal of your thoughts, you should be able to maintain your sanity even when faced with large amounts of work. Journaling can also help you maintain a schedule – if you write down all your tasks and what you’ve completed, it is easy to keep track of your work. Journaling can also be an outlet for creative expression; designing and decorating journals is a common trend and a great way to add some more livelihood to your diary.
Related: Why High School Is Important and How to Make the Most of It
Sleeping well is the single most important thing you can do to maximize your productivity when working on schoolwork. Sometimes, schoolwork piles up so much that it cuts into your sleep time, and you’re forced to wake up early and potentially miss sleep or alter your schedule to account for the work. While this may work for a few days, sleeping poorly for long periods of time will significantly hinder your productivity. Sleeping a lot on weekends also doesn’t make up for the ‘sleep debt’ you can get from not sleeping throughout the week – you need consistently high-quality sleep without distractions to perform your best.
Take Technology Breaks
Even if taking a break from your work isn’t feasible, it’s possible to switch between technology and no-tech when doing your work. A good rule of thumb is to stare at an object in the distance for 20 seconds for every 20 minutes of looking at your computer screen. This break helps your eyes adjust and prevents fatigue. Additionally, you should keep a similar technology break in mind before you sleep – make sure your laptop or phone automatically enables a ‘night mode’, and that you completely put away your device at least 30-60 minutes before you sleep.
Schedule and Set Goals
Scheduling is a great way to keep your life organized in the short term – rather than have to go through the day and recall what work was assigned, having a digital or physical planner will help you allocate your time and work. Similarly, setting goals for the long term is a great way to organize your long-term plans. Writing your goals down helps manifest them in your own life and ensures that you continue to focus on them. The best way to achieve a goal is to put your all towards it, and the best way to start that is to note down what those goals are.
For further help and advice check out the Beta Bowl website.
It’s easy to disregard your health if you’re flooded with schoolwork or personal commitments. However, as far as being productive, efficient, and in a good state of mind, nothing is more important than your health. We strongly advise you to watch out for your mental and physical health and give yourself the care you deserve.
Now that you know about self-care, are you looking for a program that will support you? Our program will give you extracurricular enrichment opportunities and introduce you to business and entrepreneurship. Check out Beta Bowl today.