Staying healthy in high school is a struggle, to begin with, but when you are only given access to Sage Dining and the occasional Dale’s trip, it is extremely difficult to keep that New Year’s Resolution of ‘becoming healthy.’ Here are some tips to stop seasonal depression from getting the best of you.
- Drink Water!
Drinking six to eight glasses of water each day has been proven to boost mental health. Over 70% of the human brain is made up of water and not drinking enough can result in dehydration. Drinking one glass when you wake up, and two to three glasses after every meal bolsters mental health and combats dehydration.
Sleep plays a big role in students’ physical and mental health, but is one of the most overlooked parts of our lives. Teenagers should get 9 ½ hours of sleep each night, but the average teen sleeps for about 7 to7 ½ hours, and at Blair, many students sleep even less, with about 5 hours of sleep a night. Sleep deprivation has been proven to cause teenagers to become moody and easily irritated, have poor decision-making skills, and get lower grades. Although it can be extremely difficult for teenagers to meet the sleep requirement each day, you can take 15 to 20 minute naps after school or between activities and dinner. You should also aim to maintain a sleeping schedule, stay off screens before bed, and avoid caffeine to combat sleep deprivation.
- Don’t Skip Breakfast!
Breakfast is overlooked by many high schoolers because we would rather sleep an extra 20 minutes than wake up in time to eat this important meal. Eating breakfast has been proven to boost energy and also causes your metabolism to work faster, making it easier to burn calories throughout the day and stay fit. Eating breakfast can help your dream of getting a six pack to become a reality.
- Stay Active!
Exercise may be the most important way to stay healthy. Whether it’s working out at the gym or going for a run, staying active reduces your chances of developing diabetes and heart disease. Exercising has also been proven to release endorphins, a chemical linked to happiness that helps with stress, anxiety, and depression, issues faced by many high schoolers. If you’re feeling stressed, go on a walk around campus or take a trip to Dales.
- Be Mindful!
Mindfulness has been sweeping the nation and it actually helps ease mental health problems. Mindfulness is “maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment” (Berkeley). Mindfulness Meditation helps people to cope with stress and depression. It is also a skill that helps maintain a healthy mind. A mindful lifestyle can be achieved through meditation and being aware of your body and what is going on around you. Take five minutes out of your day to reflect and use your senses to keep a positive mindset.
(Copyright 2019 Madeleine McNamara)