The importance of self-care for high school students

As a high school student, it’s normal to be overwhelmed by the demands of academic work, extracurricular activities, and social obligations. With so much going on, it can be easy to neglect your own needs and wellbeing. But self-care is essential for maintaining good physical, emotional, and mental health – so how can you prioritise it when life is already so full? Let’s look at the importance of self-care and see three examples of self-care practices you can incorporate into your daily routine.

What is self-care?

Self-care involves taking intentional actions to nurture your physical, emotional, and mental health. It can take many forms, such as exercising, getting enough sleep, eating well, practising mindfulness, and seeking support from others.

Why is self-care is important?

Self-care is crucial for all of us, but particularly for high school students for several reasons:

Reduce stress and anxiety

High school can be a stressful time, with academic pressure, social challenges, and uncertainty about the future. Practising self-care can help reduce stress and anxiety levels, allowing you to feel more relaxed and focused.

Boost academic performance

When you feel good, you’re better equipped to handle the demands of schoolwork. Regular exercise, healthy eating, and adequate sleep can all improve cognitive function and memory retention, leading to better academic performance.

Improve overall wellbeing

Self-care can help you feel happier, more confident, and more fulfilled. When you prioritise your own needs and take care of yourself, you’ll be better equipped to handle life’s challenges and pursue your goals.

Three examples of self-care for high school students

Here are three examples of things you can do to practise self-care in your everyday life.

Exercise

Regular exercise is one of the most effective ways to improve both physical and mental health. You don’t have to be an elite athlete or run a marathon – even simple activities like walking, jogging, or yoga can help you feel more energised, reduce stress levels, and improve your mood.

Mindfulness

Practising mindfulness involves being present in the moment and non-judgmentally observing your thoughts and feelings. This can be done through meditation, deep breathing, or simply taking a few minutes to tune out distractions and focus on the present. Mindfulness can help reduce stress, improve concentration, and increase overall wellbeing.

Social support

Maintaining social connections is essential for our wellbeing. Make time for friends and family, join a club or organisation that aligns with your interests, or seek support from a trusted adult or mental health professional when you need it. Having a strong support network can help you feel more confident and resilient in the face of challenges.

Be kind to yourself

Remember, there’s no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to practise self-care. Forcing yourself to do something you don’t enjoy will only have the opposite effect – so try out different techniques until you find what works best for you.

You can find more wellbeing tips and advice on our website here.

Need help? Support is available

AUSTRALIA

If you are in an emergency situation or need immediate assistance, always call 000.

Urgent Help
Lifeline: Call 13 19 40 | Text 0477 13 11 14 | lifeline.org.au
Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636 | beyondblue.org.au
Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467 | suicidecallbackservice.org.au

Youth
Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800 | kidshelpline.com.au
headspace: headspace.org.au

First Nations
13YARN: 13 92 76 | 13yarn.org.au
Thirrili: 1800 805 801 | thirrili.com.au

Domestic Violence
1800RESPECT: 1800 737 732 | 1800respect.org.au

LGBTQIA+
QLife: 1800 184 527 | qlife.org.au

Veterans
Open Arms: 1800 011 046 | openarms.gov.au

NEW ZEALAND

If you are in an emergency situation or need immediate assistance, always call 111.

Urgent Help
Lifeline: Call 0800 543 354 | Text 4357 | lifeline.org.nz
TAUTOKO Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865
Samaritans: 0800 726 666 | samaritans.org.nz
Need to Talk?: 1737 | 1737.org.nz

Youth
Youthline: Call 0800 376 633 | Text 234 | youthline.co.nz
What’s Up: 0800 942 8787 | whatsup.co.nz

Older People
Seniorline: 0800 725 463 | seniorline.org.nz

Domestic Violence
Shine: 0508 744 633 | 2shine.org.nz

Men
He Waka Tapu: 0800 439 252 | hewakatapu.org.nz

LGBTQIA+
OutLine: 0800 688 5463 | outline.org.nz

Māori & Pasifika
Vaka Tautua: 0800 652 535 | vakatautua.co.nz
Whetu Helpline: 0800 494 388 | pw.maori.nz

CALD
Asian Family Services: 0800 862 342 | asianfamilyservices.nz

UNITED KINGDOM

If you are in an emergency situation or need immediate assistance, always call 999.

Urgent Help
Samaritans: 116 123 | samaritans.org
SANEline: 0300 304 7000 | sane.org.uk
Shout Crisis Text Line: Text SHOUT to 85258 | giveusashout.org

Welsh
Samaritans Welsh: 0808 164 0123 | samaritans.org/samaritans-cymru
C.A.L.L.: Call 0800 132 737 | Text HELP to 81066 | callhelpline.org.uk

Older People
Age UK: 0800 678 1602 | ageuk.org.uk
Age Cymru: 0300 303 44 98 | ageuk.org.uk/cymru

Domestic Violence
Juno Women’s Aid: 0808 800 0340 | junowomensaid.org.uk
Men Standing Up Helpline: 0300 3030 167 | bradfordcyrenians.org.uk/men-standing-up

LGBTQIA+
Switchboard: 0800 0119 100 | switchboard.lgbt
Galop LGBT+ Hate Crime Helpline: 020 7704 2040

Immigrants & Refugees
Barnardo’s Boloh Helpline (for asylum seekers): 0800 151 2605 | helpline.barnardos.org.uk/boloh-helpline
Migrant Help UK: 0808 801 0503 | migranthelpuk.org

CALD
Muslim Youth Helpline: 0808 808 2008
EYST Wales: 0808 801 0720

IRELAND

If you are in an emergency situation or need immediate assistance, always call 999 or 112.

Urgent Help
Samaritans: 116 123
Pieta: 1800 247 247
Text About It: Text HELLO to 50808

Youth
Childline: 1800 66 66 66
Teenline: 1800 833 634

Older People
ALONE: 0818 222 024
Senior Line: 1800 804 591

Domestic Violence
Women’s Aid: 1800 341 900
Men’s Aid Ireland: 01 554 3811

LGBTQIA+
LGBT Ireland: 1890 929 539
The Switchboard: 01 872 1055

Immigrants & Refugees
Immigrant Council of Ireland: 01 674 0200

CALD
Cairde: 01 855 2111

UNITED STATES

If you are in an emergency situation or need immediate assistance, always call 911.

Urgent Help
Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: 988
Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741 741
NAMI Hotline: 800 950 6264

Youth
The Youthline: 877 968 8491
Teen Line: 800 852 8336

First Nations
Crisis Line for Racial Equity: 503 575 3764
StrongHearts Helpline: 1 844 762 8483

Domestic Violence
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1 800 799 7233
STAND!: 888 215 5555

LGBTQIA+
The Trevor Project: 1 866 488 7386
The Trans Lifeline: 1 877 565 8860

Immigrants & Refugees
National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights: 1 510 465 1984

CALD
Nacional de Prevención del Suicidio: 888 628 9454

CANADA

If you are in an emergency situation or need immediate assistance, always call 911.

Urgent Help
Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: 988
Talk Suicide: 1 833 456 4566
The Listening Ear Crisis Hotline: 517 337 1717

Youth
Kids Help Phone: 1 800 668 6868
Or text CONNECT to 686868

First Nations
Hope for Wellness: 1 855 242 3310
Or chat online at hopeforwellness.ca

Domestic Violence
Family Violence Info Line: 780 310 1818
Fem’aide (French): 1 877 336 2433

LGBTQIA+
LGBT National Hotline: 1 888 843 4564
The Trans Lifeline: 1 877 330 6366

Immigrants & Refugees
Refugee HealthLine: 1 866 286 4770

CALD
Multicultural Mental Health Resource Centre: multiculturalmentalhealth.ca

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