6 Healthy Habits to Embrace This School Year

Every year, the back-to-school season feels like a chance to reinvent yourself.

You've been away all summer, and even if you do virtual learning, it's still a return to a regular routine that you haven't practiced in a while. If you're looking to start off this school year in a healthier, happier way, then try embracing these habits as you head back to school.

1. Start Waking Up Earlier

It may not sound like the most fun idea, but most healthy habits sadly aren't fun at first. While it'll definitely take some getting used to, waking up earlier sets you up for success throughout the day and gives you time to tackle some extra tasks before the rest of your day gets in the way. Not a morning person? Don't worry—becoming one can be easier than you think once you make it a habit.

A young girl smiles with the sun shining behind her

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2. Plan Your Meals Ahead of Time

Meal prepping isn't just for fitness influencers anymore. Planning and making your meals ahead of time, especially lunch, can save you precious time during your day and will help you stick to the healthy food you've packed. It doesn't have to be fancy, either. Think simple sandwiches on whole wheat bread, easy-to-make salads (pro-tip: pack your dressing on the side so it doesn't get soggy before you even make it to the cafeteria) or a pre-made stir fry you can just pop in the microwave.

Two boxes of meal prepped healthy food sit on a counter

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3. Stop Being So Hard On Yourself

Healthy habits are about your mental health as well as physical, which is why it's important to make sure that you take time to breathe even when things start to feel overwhelming. If you find yourself stressing over homework, extracurriculars, getting good grades and applying to colleges, try to relax and take it easy on yourself. We already have so much pressure on us to be perfect in so many unachievable ways, so just do your best and remember that doing the things you love counts as investing in yourself too.

 

4. Find a Workout You'll Actually Do

We all know that exercise is technically good for us, but that doesn't make doing it any easier. Getting regular exercise comes with a huge amount of benefits that make it worth it though, from reduced stress to more energy. The key to making this an actual habit rather than just something you'll dread doing is finding a workout that you'll actually do. It doesn't have to be anything intense, you could try going on long walks, joining a local gym or even just testing out some at-home workout videos.

Close up of a woman's legs sitting down during a workout with weights

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5. Think Positively

Not everyone is born an optimist, but positive thinking can change the way you look at every situation and even help you make changes for the better. That doesn't mean you aren't allowed to ever feel sad or have a negative thought, but remembering that there's a bright side to every situation will help you get through even the toughest of situations. Failed a test? Now you know what to study more next time. Didn't get the elective class you wanted? Make some new friends in the one you got. If thinking positively is something you struggle with, try doing a few deep breaths in the morning and thinking about things that make you happy or that you're thankful for. It feels small, but it can set you up for a happier day and year when you make this a regular habit.

 

6. Watch Your Spending

We all love treating ourselves with the occasional treat once in a while, but if you're the type to grab a venti iced coffee every morning before class or splurge on a new pair of shoes after a bad day, then it's time to start watching your wallet a bit better. Make this a habit by setting yourself a weekly (or daily) budget, making more of your coffee or meals at home and checking thrift stores when you need (or just really want) new clothes.

 

Need a little help cutting your spending down? Click HERE for some shopping habits to break ASAP to help save yourself some cash.