I am not the first to say that the transition from elementary school and junior high to high school can be very difficult. Not only are you trying to find where you fit in, but you’re also adjusting to a new level of difficulty whether it be in sports, clubs, or academics. Looking back on these past four years, I think one lesson stands out to me the most- TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. It’s so easy to get caught up in the stress and pressure that comes with being in high school. Here are my top ten ways to manage your physical, spiritual, and emotional health:
Sleep. What is sleep? Where can I get it? These are a few of the questions I’ve asked myself multiple times during my time in high school. I didn’t really discover the beauty of getting a good night’s rest until last year. You might be thinking “what if I have so much homework?” or “what if I don’t get home from my games/meets until really late?” or even “what if I can’t sleep if I go to bed early?” The answer to all of these questions is simple. Find a reasonable hour and set a goal to get in bed at this time (I suggest before 11 or even 10:30 if you want to get a little crazy!) If you still have homework, wake up early to do it! I promise there is nothing like going to school the next day awake and refreshed. It’s a beautiful feeling! Sometimes I even go to bed at 9/9:30 on a weekend night just to make up for any lost sleeping time (call me an introvert). Sleep is a major factor in your well-being and I’ve learned that being tired alters your ability to feel and respond to the promptings of the Spirit. You don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to help someone else or have a good attitude that day.
Exercise. Before you scroll away, hear me out! Working out is NOT my friend but I can tell you with strong conviction that it is something we need to do. Exercise helps us relieve stress and makes us feel good. I only workout a couple times a week and I’m far from those rock-hard abs, but I’ve found that I feel really good about myself if I make it to the gym and do a fabulous run/walk that day (mostly walk :). Just a simple jog around your house or a quick at-home workout releases built up stress or tension. Instead of taking your frustration out on your little brother or best friend, go out for a quick jog and get back to work.
Forget Popularity. Delete this word from your vocabulary completely. If you spend all day every day trying to become “popular”, you could lose some really good friends in the process and forget to love yourself for the beautiful daughter of God that you are. I believe the girls that are the most “popular” are the girls that are kind to everyone and are confident in themselves. Make an effort to look at yourself in the mirror everyday and compliment yourself! If you have trouble seeing your worth, pray and ask Heavenly Father to help you to see yourself as He does. You will feel of his love and find confidence within yourself.
Attend the temple regularly. Attending the temple can bring so much peace to your life. It is a sacred place of peace that we can go to if we need to escape the stress of life for a moment. Whether you go monthly or weekly, set a time that you will go and do everything in your power to make it there. Temple attendance can reduce stress that gets built up from homework, anxiety, and being overwhelmed.
Avoid drama. Drama is completely unnecessary. Surround yourself with friends that are uplifting and don’t talk bad about others. It is so refreshing to have friends that build you up and make you feel good about yourself. Friends that are really negative or try to tear us down hurt us emotionally and mentally. Friends come and go all through high school. When you feel like you don’t have anyone to turn to, just remember that hard times don’t last forever and there is always something to be grateful for.
Don’t take seminary for granted. Set a goal to stay off of your phone ALL HOUR. Listen to the lesson your teacher took the time to prepare and see what you can get out of each and every lesson. The Instagram and Snapchat world can wait, I promise.
Allow yourself to relax. It is so important to try hard in school and obtain all the knowledge you can, but it is not good to wear yourself out. Allow yourself to relax a little and know that you don’t need to be involved in everything. Eat a bowl of ice cream, take an extra long shower or bath, meditate- just RELAX!
Accept yourself. Self acceptance is a major struggle today with the beauty standards that are set for girls everywhere. It took a while for me to understand that doing what makes you happy is OKAY and good for you. Through the course of high school, it’s highly likely that you might feel like you don’t fit in or don’t have any friends. Instead of throwing a pity party for yourself (guilty) why not devote your Friday or Saturday night to completing that Pinterest DIY you’ve been waiting to try? Why not hang out with your mom or dad? There’s bound to be someone that would call that “lame” but when did having joy become lame? Pretty soon, the beautiful and unique person you are will impact others and attract friends with common interests. Not everyone in life will love you but there’s one person who will always accept you whether you have 100 friends or 1 really close friend. That’s the Savior. The only perfect person to walk the earth was Him so just remember that we are here to progress, not be perfect.
Set aside time to read the scriptures and pray. Every single day, read the Book of Mormon. Just recently in the April General Conference Thomas S. Monson, the prophet called of God, asked us to read every day. Try reading your scriptures before you do homework every day, you may notice it is easier than before! Try reading as soon as you wake up to start your day off with goodness and light. Pray whenever and wherever. In the morning, before a race, when you’re feeling sad, etc. How cool is it that you can communicate with Heavenly Father directly?? He will listen and help you if you take the time to request His love and comfort.
Develop a good relationship with your parents/someone else that is close to you. Your parents or an influential person in your life can have a huge impact. Find that person that you can go to that will help you through any problems you might have. Don’t be afraid to talk to them- they’ve been there! Another person that is an amazing advisor is your bishop. Do not be embarrassed or ashamed to seek his guidance if you are in need of it. Talk to him if there is a burden in your life you need to get rid of. Talk to him even if you just feel stressed about school or life in general. Chances are, he won’t even remember what you came in for so you don’t need to worry about judgement or rumors. That’s the beauty of it. He is there to give you spiritual guidance in any aspect of your life and he will never disclose any of your information to anyone.
I’m sure we’ve heard many of these things before, but have you ever implemented them into your life? Not every single day will be a good day and that’s okay. Bad days help us appreciate the good ones! If you just remember to rely on the Lord’s help, stay healthy, and stay positive through emotionally tough times, the high school experience can be memorable and enjoyable.
Guest Post by Kallee Johnson
Hello! I’m Kallee! I love editing, kind words, and eating Chick-Fil-A. I hope to become a journalist some day. I’m very devoted to the things I’m passionate about. Good font choices, pink-frosted doughnuts, and the gospel make me the happiest!