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How to Create Smart, Long-Lasting Habits in High School

It's important to develop good study skills and healthy habits that you can carry from high school to college. Read these tips and find what works best for you!

High school is an extremely significant transitory period in a student’s life. The best way to capitalize on it is to use it to your advantage and find what makes you happy, healthy, and successful. The sooner you discover these things, the more the future will have to offer. Establishing good study, time management, and health habits early on will benefit you throughout high school and into college. However, just because one strategy, system, or tool works for one person does not mean it will be the key for another. Ideally, you should take this advice and shape it into what works for you and your life!

Improving your study skills

Learning how to effectively study in high school is crucial to achieving higher-level success. Although we live in an era of infinite distractions via the internet, dozens of developers have created ingenious (and often fun) ways to eliminate them. The Forest app, for example, plants virtual trees after you set and stick to a time goal in which you may not check any other apps on your phone. Many other similar study timer apps and extensions exist with the same goal of helping you maximize your productivity. 

Eliminating distractions is just the first step in effective studying. Another great tool is one of the most basic: rewarding yourself! Sometimes intrinsic motivation just can’t get the job done, so supplying yourself with external rewards will incentivize hard work. It’s so crucial that you celebrate each win—whether it’s finishing a chapter or creating a flashcard deck—and carry that positivity toward whatever’s coming next. Rewards can range from a piece of candy to a fun mini–dance party! 

Related: Can You Make Studying More Fun?  

Being more mindful

Contrary to what many people think, mental health is not a burden, and there are simple ways to jump those psychological hurdles that may be holding you back. Meditating is a great way to gain the self-awareness necessary to help you acknowledge what’s affecting you the most at any given moment. Meditation comes in infinite forms, so even those who find it hard to sit still or concentrate have options out there for them. Another great way to gain self-awareness is by journaling. Journaling helps relieve stress and anxious feelings by allowing the writer to sort through their thoughts in a tangible way. In addition, journaling is a great way to help you track and achieve your goals, which becomes increasingly important as you grow as a learner.

Taking care of your body

There are two main things when it comes to staying physically healthy: food and movement. Both of these involve habits that we’ve picked up over the course of our entire lives—some of which are better than others. Eating right is key to a good mood, substantial energy, and stable motivation. Foods that are high in processed and refined sugars are going to give you a small jolt of energy before a major crash, which will drastically impact your mood. On the other hand, whole foods such as berries and vegetables will supply your body with natural energy-boosting carbohydrates that break down much slower, giving your body and mind exactly what they need to keep you going throughout the day.

Purposeful movement is another fundamental to a healthy mind/body relationship. Using the term “purposeful movement” is what is best in this instance, as not everyone is going to find themselves with the consistent motivation to exercise. Taking just five minutes in the morning or before bed to gently stretch can be a fantastic way to release the tension built up in your body throughout the day, and giving personal meaning to this purposeful movement can help you get in touch with how you’re physically feeling. If you find yourself with a bit more motivation, doing cardio-intensive exercise is a great mood booster, and some gentle yoga will make your joints thank you. 

Related: How to Stay Active During the Coronavirus Pandemic 

All in all, taking care of your mind and body while focusing on your academics can be a tough feat to accomplish. Securing every opportunity you can during your high school years to further develop these mental and physical habits will benefit you greatly as you move on to college and adulthood. Once again, you know yourself best. Do what works for you, and without a doubt, you’ll find what makes you feel happy and healthy. 

Find more ways to improve your mental and physical well-being with our “student health” tag. 

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About Abigail Horwitz

Abigail Horwitz

Abigail Horwitz is a sophomore in high school. She is very passionate about learning, especially in the fields of history and mathematics, but she also loves to read and write. Outside of school, you can find her playing tennis or furthering her yoga practice.


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