A healthy lifestyle is not just about eating healthy foods and drinks and exercising, it's also about finding an appropriate balance in your life. Between school and study, extra-curricular activities, friendships, sports and your life at home, there are many things that compete for your time and attention. Setting up some good habits can help you stay in balance.
Eating healthy foods and drinks will help you fight off illnesses and help you enjoy life to the fullest. This means choosing foods from the five food groups. Eat regular meals, including breakfast, to set you up for the day. Drink plenty of water and limit your intake of junk food. Your school may have a tuckshop where you can buy your lunch or you can bring a healthy lunch from home.
Regular physical activity of at least moderate intensity, for at least 60 minutes per day, helps develop a healthy body and mind. Regular physical activity helps your mind by reducing stress, is an effective way to manage your mood, and can be an essential component in enhancing your overall wellbeing. There are many ways you can include physical activity in your life from incidental activities like walking up stairs, walking around the school grounds, getting active during school breaks, and walking or cycling to and from school. There are also focused physical activity opportunities, such as before and after school activity clubs, school-based sports, gym classes, sporting club activities, going for a swim at the pool with your friends or walking your dog to the park.
Getting enough sleep is essential for you to relax and recover from your day and allows you to be ready and alert to start a new day. Having a pre-bed routine can help your body unwind. This might mean turning off televisions and computer screens before bed, turning on some relaxing music at a low volume, drinking a warm drink, turning your phone off, and minimising any light sources to your room.
Taking time to laugh, be around people who make you feel good, or doing things that are fun or get your creativity going is really important to achieving a sense of wellbeing and balance in your life. Try and include something fun in every day.
Sharing your concerns or worries with trusted friends and family is really important for your wellbeing. Sometimes being a teenager can be really tough and you might feel challenged in many ways. Having people around you that you can talk to and share what you're going through can help you deal with your feelings of stress and worry. Let someone know you need to talk, just in case those around you don't realise you're going through a tough patch. It's important to remember that you don't have to go through hard times on your own. Sharing what you're going through can really make a difference. There will be specific people in your school who you can turn to for help, but in addition to these people consider talking to your parents or other health professionals. Below is a table of the common services you can seek out advice or support from in Australia.
People to turn to outside your school environment
If you're after support outside your school environment, you can talk to a friend or family member, visit a headspace centre, or you can talk over the phone or chat online to a professional trained to listen and assist young people. A number of these services are listed below. If you're in need of immediate support or medical assistance, you can also contact 000 or one of these services:
Kids Help Line (for teens)
Phone: 1300 22 4636 (24 hours, 7 days a week)
Chat online: www.youthbeyondblue.com between 3pm-12am 7 days a week
Email: get a response within 24 hours, via their www.youthbeyondblue.com website.
Information: for a range of information www.youthbeyondblue.com
Phone: 1800 650 890 (7 days a week from 9am to 1am AEST)
7 days a week from 9am to 1am AEST
Email: via their www.eheadspace.org.au website. Email anytime and receive a response from an eheadspace worker within 24 to 48 hours. You can also email eheadspace with your details and times you are available for an eheadspace worker to call you back between 9am and 1am AEST.
Phone: 13 11 14 (24 hours, 7 days a week)
Chat online: between 8pm-4am 7 days a week www.lifeline.org.au
Information: for a range of information www.lifeline.org.au
Phone: 1800 55 1800 (24 hours, 7 days a week)
Chat online: web counselling is available in Queensland on Mondays to Friday from 12pm-10pm and on Saturday and Sundays from 10am-10pm www.kidshelp.com.au/teens
Email: via their www.kidshelp.com.au/teens website.