3 Ways to Take Care of Your Mental Health While Attending an Online High School!
“How are you? I’m good!” This is such a general conversation we have when meeting new people. But, how many times have you answered the question, “How are you?” sincerely and truthfully? Saying “Good” under the question has become so generic that it is rare to answer this question frankly.
As high school students, we do not have much time to check in on how we are doing mentally and how we are feeling. Our mental health is a factor that we don’t focus on because it is hard to see it with our own eyes. However, it is an important factor that can impact and completely change our days, weeks, months, and years. This is especially true for online high school students because: we are not obligated to leave our homes, interact with friends, or even stay active. I remember looking into my health app and getting shocked by my “300 steps a day” data. Walking only 300 steps a day not only impacted my use of leg muscles but also my diet, sleep schedule, and mental health.
Mental health is as important as our physical health, and it is imperative that we check in with ourselves and take action to take care of our mental health! So, how can you take action for your mental health, starting today?
Here are 3 ways to take care of your mental health daily:
1. Pay attention to what you are eating and eat a healthy, balanced diet
You might think that physical health is completely separate from mental health. On the contrary, physical health can influence your risk for mental health issues and vice versa. According to the Mental Health Foundation, research shows that there is a link between what we eat and how we feel! It is important to try to eat a balanced diet of sufficient nutrients and stay hydrated.
2. Get enough sleep
Sleep and mental health have a close connection. Not getting enough sleep can impact your psychological state and mental health. I personally considered sleep to be the least important part of my day and could not care less about it. However, I realized that the days I slept less than 7 hours were always cranky days for me. Harvard Health Foundation and the Center for Disease Control recommend that teens aged 13 – 18 get 8-10 hours of sleep per night.
3. Move your body:) – Exercise!
Doing exercise can actually release endorphins, aka the feel-good chemicals in your body! Just a simple short walk outside can boost energy and reduce stress. You can read more about the benefits of exercise in the Mental Health Foundation article “Physical Health and Mental Health.”
Here are activities I love to do as a way to take care of myself:
1. Go on a self-date
I am a big advocate for self-dates! Self-dates are just a day or time in a day that is filled with what you like to do and spending your day alone. Studying at an online high school, you can work every single day if you want. BUT! You also have the freedom to take a day off as well! One day, I went out of my house at 9 am, watched a movie by myself at the theater, went to a mall to get a cake, wrote 5 pages in my journal, and came home after taking a walk along a river near my house! Honestly, it was WEIRD spending time solely by myself, but it was one of the most refreshing memories I have and it helped me to feel more calm and happy. Try it!
2. Find a new hobby
Whitmore School is a school that gives great flexibility and independence to the students! I highly encourage you to use this opportunity and take some time to find out more about yourself:) Through exploring various activities like sewing, writing, running, baking, or even just binging Netflix shows, I was able to learn about my interests and how I can relieve my stress! It is truly fascinating and exciting to spend days learning who you are. And, finding a new hobby helped me to feel the excitement and to focus more on the positives.
3. Reduce your screen time
From my personal experience, excessive phone use is just not a good idea. When I started online high school, I started spending a lot of time on my phone – specifically exploring social media. This really impacted my mental health because I started to compare myself with every friend I saw on Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube. As I spent more and more time on my social media platforms, I noticed that my self-esteem decreased. So, I made a hard decision. I decided to turn off my notifications on my social media apps and spend less time on them! It is not an absolute solution to the problem, but reducing screen time helped me to focus on the important values I hold and the parts that I actually want to focus on.
Whitmore School, accredited by Cognia, (formerly AdvancED), offers four Diploma Programs for students wishing to enroll full-time to earn their high school diploma. Additionally, students looking to get back on track to graduate on time can enroll in individual courses. Students enroll and begin any day of the year, work at their own pace, and may take up to 12 months to complete their courses.
And, as an online school, your child will be able to attend school in a physically and emotionally safe learning environment – Your Home with your guidance on safe Internet use. Whitmore School has earned the 2022 Best Private High Schools ranking from Niche.
Whitmore School receives hundreds of positive reviews from parents and students.
Read verified reviews to learn what parents love about Whitmore at Consumer Affairs.
Read verified reviews to learn what students love about Whitmore at Niche.
Written by: Jimin L., Whitmore School Student Blogger
Harvard Health. “Sleep and Mental Health.” Harvard Health, 17 Aug. 2021, www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/sleep-and-mental-health.
“Physical Health and Mental Health.” Mental Health Foundation, 18 Feb. 2022, www.mentalhealth.org.uk/explore-mental-health/a-z-topics/physical-health-and-mental-health.
“Sleep in Middle and High School Students.” CDC, 10 Sept. 2020, www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/features/students-sleep.htm#:%7E:text=The%20American%20Academy%20of%20Sleep,10%20hours%20per%2024%20hours.
Wacks, Yehuda. “Excessive Smartphone Use Is Associated With Health Problems in Adolescents and Young Adults.” Frontiers, 2021, www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.669042/full.See all blog posts