Show yourself some love with these self-care activities

Ava Koblik

As today’s high school students navigate their busy schedules both online and in-person, simple self-care acts are often overlooked, despite their significance to health and overall well-being. Incorporating these practices into your everyday schedule will give your body and mind time to relax, reset and rejuvenate. Taking care of yourself can also improve self-compassion and help you realize your own goals and values. Most importantly, it is about understanding your worth and doing what makes you feel good. Here are five self-care suggestions to help you ease stress and achieve a healthier lifestyle. 



As simple as it sounds, getting a good night’s rest is one of the best ways to improve both your physical and mental health. With looming tests, homework and the demands of after-school activities, it can be challenging for teenagers to get the recommended eight to 10 hours of sleep each night. Dedicating a routine time to go to sleep will help you maintain a healthy sleep schedule and strengthen your mind to improve concentration and productivity. Furthermore, getting quality sleep is just as significant as getting enough hours of sleep. Ensure you are in the right environment for sleeping with the lights off and electronics put away or silenced. With the increased exposure to blue light due to online school, putting away your devices will guarantee proper rest, leaving you feeling more energized the following day. 



Relaxation looks different for everyone. Whether it is lighting a candle, reading a good book, going for a walk in nature, settling down in front of the TV, or engaging in your favorite creative hobbies, it is essential to find time to unwind and destress. Focus on activities that you enjoy doing but usually don’t have time for during the school week. Incorporate these activities into your lifestyle, as they will not only help calm and clear your mind but will also relieve tension and give you the energy to accomplish your goals for the day. Additionally, these methods improve academic performance, as studies have shown that students who reported practicing mindful habits performed better on tests and had higher grades. 



Exercise is essential to maintaining your overall health. Physical activity releases endorphins throughout the body, which boosts your overall mood and self-esteem. Additionally, physical activity delivers more oxygen to the brain, which promotes better concentration and clear thinking. While working out can feel like a chore to some, there are countless ways to incorporate movement into your daily routine. Even if it is simply doing some yoga or going for a 15-minute walk in your neighborhood during lunch, take time to get out and move your body. 


Catch up with friends and family

Your well-being is dependent on your relationships with others. FaceTiming an old friend or family member and hearing about their life updates can help you feel more connected. Especially if you are going through a difficult time, loved ones can provide companionship and support. Additionally, talking to friends and family can boost your happiness and help you feel grounded. Build a support system of people who lift you up and want the best for you. Providing comfort to people closest to you is equally important, as it will give you a sense of purpose. 


Prioritize mental health

Although mental health is often stigmatized, taking care of yourself is not selfish. If you struggle with mental illness, getting help is not a sign of weakness; it is a sign of strength and a willingness to commit to your health. To confront this stigma, talk openly about mental health and show compassion to others going through the same thing. Most importantly, be patient with yourself if you are struggling. It is important to learn how to care for yourself, so that you may do so for others. If you are feeling overwhelmed or burnt out, that is a sign to take time to rest. The pandemic has caused personal stress and anxiety for many, and grounding yourself with healthy habits is a way to stay positive and proactive.


Illustrations by Kalyn Dawes