As teenagers, there are many habits that may not be optimal for what is considered a good day for a typical growing adolescent. For one, teens do not get much sleep due to school, technology, and other distractions. Additionally, teens tend to block out others when they get into bad emotional states, which could harm their health if done to an excessive extent. Here are five habits teens can develop that will physically and emotionally help them to succeed in areas like education, well-being, and employment.
1.Aim for 7 or 8 Hours of Sleep
Not only does sleep help with brain function, but it also allows the body to reset. It puts a teen at a disadvantage physically and mentally by not getting enough sleep. For example, when a student sleeps for four hours or less because they were up doing an assignment, you can see that the person is tired and burnt out. The teen did not have enough time to reset their body; As a result, the teen felt even worse when they woke up. Despite that, the person has to push through the day and sacrifice productivity because of lack of rest. This situation can entirely be avoided by having 7 hours or more of sleep.
2. Be Physically Active Everyday
Teens may find it hard to keep consistent with exercise because of all that the world throws at them. However, the benefits far outweigh the small amount of time spent doing that exercise on any given day. Jump rope, run a mile, play some basketball, or other physical activities that you like and can stay consistent. Your body will reward you in the future. Exercising now will make your bones stronger, your body stronger, your flexibility better, and even improve your mood because of the endorphins within your body. These endorphins are why people always feel so good when they finish working out and a reason people stay consistent. If something feels good, people are naturally drawn toward it. The physical benefits of exercise are great but our minds are our greatest benefactor from building this habit.
3.Begin Goal Setting
Whether it is getting good grades at the end of the semester or reaching an exercise milestone, goals are very important for teens. These goals give teens direction and a place of reference as to where they want to be. For example, if you know that you want to get all A’s this semester, you know that you have to complete every assignment on time and do well on all tasks your teacher assigns. This is a foolproof plan made to achieve that goal of getting all A’s. Since this teen took initiative and set up their goals at the beginning of the year, they are more likely to achieve that goal. This is because they know what they need to do, they have the motivation to stay consistent with that task, and they push you to even higher heights that you never even thought you could. If you got all A’s one semester, odds are you could add an even more rigorous course load and do the same with the habits you built up achieving that goal the first time. This is what makes goal setting so powerful.
4. Take Mental Breaks
When it comes to teenagers, it seems that they are always doing something: whether that be school, jobs, sports, or clubs, but rest is a subject that they do not get into very much. With all of this, rest almost becomes rare to some of these kids. But it is important to step away from all of that and relax for a few minutes. Whether it is a small 5-minute break or a longer 30-minute break, taking this off time to do nothing sets your brain up for even greater efficiency when you begin to work. That downtime allows you to truly enjoy the fact that you have no responsibilities at the moment, and with that comes happiness which cannot be found in a better way. When we come off of breaks, we may not be eager to get back to work, but trust that we always work at tip-top performance because we prioritize rest.
5. Create Daily Schedules
As a teen, your schedule is planned out from the moment you wake up. You go to school, come home, do homework, go to sports practice or a club meeting, come back home, and repeat in the most generic cases. Keeping a schedule makes sure that you do not feel as stressed in unexpected situations because your day was fully planned. This schedule, coupled with a list of tasks needed to be accomplished each day, sets you up to be as productive as possible. Creating schedules also lowers the need to push yourself through situations because you decided to incorporate it into your day consistently for an extended period. If you originally dread exercising, but then put it in your schedule and do it consistently, it gets easier. As a result, your brain cannot trick you into stopping the habit you have developed, which is why schedules are important. Just try it for a month and see just how much it helps!
In conclusion, habits are very important for teenagers to incorporate into their lives because it betters them mentally and physically and sets them up for later years in life. Whether it being exercise, sleep, goal setting, breaks, or schedules, forming these little habits helps a lot in the overall experiences teenagers have. If you can build these now, then as an adult, you will not be fighting so hard to develop good habits later.
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“Why Exercise Is Wise (for Teens) - Nemours KidsHealth.” Edited by Mary L. Gavin, KidsHealth, The Nemours Foundation, Jan. 2018, kidshealth.org/en/teens/exercise-wise.html.