Students can help achieve a sense of balance by practicing healthy life skills. Busy students at all levels of school should seek a balance through proper maintenance of their time, body, mind and relationships, all of which affect physical and mental health. If you develop healthy habits, you can lead a healthy lifestyle as a student and beyond.
Managing your time wisely can help your health by minimizing your stress. With 24 hours in a day, you might end up taking on many obligations at once. Aside from class time, you have your family and friends, and you may have extracurricular activities, such as athletics, fine arts, jobs, community service. Not everything goes as planned, but you can keep an organized schedule that helps your prioritize your obligations.
Students who exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet are able to keep up with their activities while less stressed and run down than sedentary students. These habits also can lower your risk for disease and cancer. Working out, such as aerobics classes, mixed martial arts, running or weightlifting, promotes mental focus and more restful sleep. This boosts academic performance. Healthy diets rich in vitamins and essential nutrients provide energy to study and get through the day's other activities. Physical fitness also challenges and stimulates the mind.
To function properly and avoid burnout, in school and the rest of your daily lives, you need down time. In their book “Becoming a Resonant Leader,” Annie McKee, Richard E. Boyatzis and Fran Johnston coin a term called "Sacrifice Syndrome," describing when strengths start to slip as pressure piles up. Therefore, you should make room in your life only for the things worthy of your time and energy, including rest. The National Sleep Foundation’s chart for age and sleep needs indicate that elementary school students ages 5 to 10 need 10 to 11 hours of sleep per night; secondary high school students ages 10-17 need about nine hours; and adults need seven to nine hours. Consistent doses of shut-eye will help prevent accidents and long-term health problems.
Support systems benefit your mental health by lifting your spirits and giving you a bright outlook, including toward graduation. Surround yourself with good influences because their positive energy can inspire you to reach your goals, from passing a test to winning a game to graduating. Emotional contagion, according to communications educators Ronald Adler and Russell Proctor’s “Looking Out, Looking In,” suggests that moods spread. That means the good mood of those around you can help you look forward to class, work and life’s events.
- American Institute for Cancer Research: Five Ways to Prevent the “Freshmen 15”
- "Becoming a Resonant Leader"; Annie McKee, Richard Boyatzis, Frances Johnston, 2008
- Harvard School of Public Health: The Benefits of Physical Activity
- "Looking Out, Looking In"; Ronald B. Adler & Russell F. Proctor, 2010
- Mayo Clinic: Stress Management: Tips to Reduce Stress and Improve Productivity
- National Sleep Foundation: How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?
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