Let’s be real…high school is hard. From exams to friendship dramas and sporting pressures, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by it all. That’s why it’s SO important for us to prioritise our wellbeing – both mental and physical. By incorporating wellbeing strategies into your life and working hard to make them habits, you can build resilience, learn to deal with challenges and really grow as a person. Our GIE blogger Bella shares five wellbeing strategies that she finds super helpful.

Practise mindfulness

Mindfulness is a great way of focusing on the present and taking some “me time” each day. Originally adapted from Buddhist meditation, this technique can improve concentration and allow us to manage stress or anxiety. It’s most effective when practised regularly and there are loads of free guided mindfulness meditations on YouTube! I try and do it 4-5 days per week for 10 minutes…would recommend making it a regular before-school activity!

Pursue your strengths

At school, it can be easy to compare yourself to your peers when it comes to grades or who’s best at sport, music, etc. However, it’s important to remember that we all have strengths and weaknesses. Spend some time working out what you’re good at (and importantly, what you enjoy!) and then invest some time in pursuing these activities each week. This will not only boost your self-confidence but increase motivation too.

Have a regular sleep schedule

SLEEP IS VERY IMPORTANT {*shouts from the rooftops*). Personally, I know my mood is directly linked to how much sleep I have. Little sleep = low on energy, stressed (and sometimes angry) Bella L. Teenagers typically need 8-10 hours of sleep each night – but between exams and Netflix this can be hard. It’s important to try and create a regular routine of when you go to bed and wake up each day. So, I challenge all of you to set yourself a sleep schedule and stick to it, at least during term time!

Get physical

There is plenty of science linking exercise and improved mood due to the ‘happy chemicals’ (AKA endorphins) which exercise releases into the brain. Doing regular exercise throughout the week is a great way to reduce stress and improve your overall mood. So, join a team sport, walk to school or follow some yoga tutorials on YouTube – your mind (and body) will thank you for it!

Stay social

When exam stress starts or life gets busy, it’s easy to sacrifice your social life first. This can lead to you feeling really isolated though, which is not the best for your wellbeing. Humans are social beings, so staying socially connected is super important, ESPECIALLY if you’re feeling stressed or low. Make sure you spend some solid time with friends or family each day, even in exam periods. Maybe even try a group study session!