For teenagers, balancing school, extracurricular, and social time takes practice. A reader shares her tips and tricks for how she manages a packed high-school schedule.
Teen Contributor, Allegra, 15
I’m super busy. All the time. I have a lot of activities such as work, cello, and tutoring. Sometimes it’s a struggle to get everything done. A lot of other teens have to balance schoolwork, sports, clubs, or music, in addition to getting enough sleep and free time. It can be difficult to get everything done without going insane. Here are some tips that I found helpful in trying to manage my schedule:
GET ENOUGH SLEEP: Sometimes it’s necessary to stay up late working on a project or a paper. But try to keep to a steady sleep schedule most of the time. Even if you haven’t finished all of your homework, get to bed at a reasonable time. You can always wake up early to finish your homework. Getting enough sleep will help you focus and put you in a better mood. You should get about 8 hours of sleep per night in order to feel rested.
PLAN YOUR TIME: Plan what times you’re going to do certain things. Try to squeeze in time anywhere you can. For example, if you have a car ride to some of your activities, bring your homework to do in the car. If it helps, you could keep a planner. Managing your time will help you feel less stressed because you know when you’re going to do something. Prioritize your activities and try to eliminate non-necessary things.
EAT A NUTRITIOUS MEAL: Bring healthy snacks. Don’t eat lots of junk food that causes a sugar rush because you will crash quickly. Try to choose food that will naturally give you energy, like fruits and vegetables. Always make time for meals or else you will get crabby. For more information on healthy snacks click here.
DO RELAXING TIME: Make time for yourself. Do relaxing things, like yoga and listening to music. Take walks and have hot cups of tea or hot chocolate. Try to have at least 15 minutes per day for yourself. Try meditation. Even simply thinking about your day and letting the negative things go can help you stress less. Here are 10 ways to de-stress.
MANAGE YOUR ACTIVITIES: If you feel like your activities are getting out of control, cut back. Decide what you care more about doing and eliminate the others. Extracurricular activities are supposed to be fun, so if you’re so stressed about them, it’s okay to withdraw. Things like sports and clubs are supposed to be enjoyable so if you’re not loving them, then maybe it’s not the right fit.
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