3 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health This School Year
Getting back to school after a relaxing summer can be stressful. especially if it’s a new school or you’re dealing with mental health concerns. If you struggle with anxiety about returning to school, you can take positive steps to manage it so it doesn’t control you. Teen mental health is essential, so here are 3 ways to improve mental health as you navigate back to school in 2019.
Practice Good Self-Care to Improve Mental Health
Although this step seems obvious, it can be easily overlooked, especially in the midst of getting back to school in 2019. Yet self-care can go a long way toward boosting your mental health. Be sure to get enough sleep, even if it means going to bed earlier than you’d like. Eat nutritious meals with plenty of protein. Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day– bonus points are in order if you can do it outdoors. When you’re feeling stressed, sometimes the best thing to do is step back for a while and meditate. Take ten minutes for deep-breathing or practicing mindfulness (observing what’s happening in the moment).
Changing Your Perspective To Be More Positive
When you’re feeling overwhelmed, try to build yourself up. Keep a daily gratitude journal, or at least spend time every day thinking about what you’re grateful for. When you make an “attitude of gratitude” a habit, you’ll begin to see an improvement in your mood overall. How you think about yourself has a tremendous impact on how you feel, too. When you find yourself thinking negatively about yourself, substitute it with something positive. Instead of saying, “I’m not smart enough to pass algebra,” you can tell yourself, “I’m smart enough to handle this. I’m going to study and do my best.”
Develop Relationships With Those Around You
If you’re struggling with back to school social anxiety, remember you’re not alone. Connecting with others will help you feel less isolated. Get involved in extracurricular activities to learn new skills and meet new people. If you’re not ready for that yet, spend quality time with trusted friends and family members. Paying it forward– doing something kind for someone else– can give you a sense of meaning and value, too. It’s important to note too that you’re not alone with these feelings of anxiety or unwelcomeness, it’s perfectly natural and normal to feel this way.
Teen mental health is extremely important, and Chicago Behavioral Hospital is dedicated to improving mental health in schools. We provide comprehensive care which may include inpatient services, partial hospitalization, and/or intensive outpatient therapy. Contact us to learn more about how we can help.