Self-Care for High School Seniors

Schoolwork. Work. College applications. Scholarship competitions. Prom. Graduation. It can all be overwhelming. Remind your high school senior it’s OK to take time for self-care.

High school seniors are under pressure during the Fall and Winter months. They’ll write various self-reflection essays for college and scholarship applications. They’ll answer questions about their next steps in life to dozens of different people. They’ll wait anxiously for acceptance into their dream college. All this on top of their regular schoolwork and outside commitments. It can be very stressful. For their mental health, remind your high school senior it’s ok to take care of themselves and enjoy this milestone moment.

When my son’s high school senior photos came in I was so excited and sentimental too. He’s my oldest son. His road to college has been different from my daughters. He’s walking his own path.

Self-care is quite simply, “care for oneself,” according to Webster Dictionary. If you search Google, you’ll find a more elaborate explanation, “the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.” Self-care is a must for high school seniors!

What you can do for your high school senior

  • Parents, become aware of the workload during this first semester. The Common App for college applications require 8 essays. University of California applications require 4 essays. SAT and ACT tests are taken between August – December. They may also have projects and essays due for their current coursework.
  • Parents, it’s important to recognize when they’ve had enough and are stressing. Know the signs! Dr. Michele Borba shares several physical signs such as frequent headaches and loss of appetite and behavior signs such as irritability, frequent daydreaming, and social withdrawal. Click here to review her article.
  • Parents, keep communication open. It’s important to listen, but not necessarily to give an answer. Our students need to vent their frustrations, fears, and doubts. You can start with open ended question like, “What’s on your mind today?” “Tell me more about that.” Then let them share.

Remember your last year of high school? It was a mix of emotions for me! I’m so glad there are more resources to help students navigate and cope. Here are several self-care tips for high school seniors to keep balanced and enjoy this special time. #Dove #mimomentodove #showus

What your high school senior can do

  • Students, physical exercise is a great way to relieve stress. Bonus points for trying a new activity! Do you normally run? Then try swimming. Do you normally play basketball? Then try tennis or handball. Switch up the activity and have fun.
  • Students are you grouchy? Are you feeling droggy? Then sleep is needed. Get the rest you need by setting boundaries for assignments and commitments. For example, when it comes to schoolwork set a hard stop at a specific time to avoid exertion. Another example is volunteering for too many activites. Setting a boundary will help you feel accomplished rather than exhausted.
  • Students, lean on family and friends for a supportive network. We want to do what we can to help. Whether it’s a hug or a coffee run! Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Class of 2020

I just can’t believe my oldest son is graduating this year! Do you remember your senior year of high school? Wonderful times but I do remember the doubt and uncertainty. I hope remembering to make time for self-care helps your senior and us too! If you have suggestions, please leave a comment.

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