Schools are centers of learning, but when so many students are in one space for the majority of the day, the student body’s health and wellness can take a dip. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to ensure the healthiest, happiest school year possible.
Stick with Healthy Meal Habits
Significant strides have been made to ensure students receive a healthy and nutritious lunch while at school, and there are more nourishing, healthy meal options than ever. Still, students may fall victim to unhealthy snacking habits, skipping meals or swapping healthful side options for sugary or processed snacks. Organizations with wellness initiatives, such as USANA Refer a Friend, support students in eating a full, healthy breakfast and packing a lunch that focuses on whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats and very few unhealthy snacks.
Practice Good Hygiene
Hand washing, sneezing in your elbow and regular cleaning of high-contact areas are invaluable habits to maintain while at school, especially during cold and flu season. Consider packing a small bottle of hand sanitizer and a pack of tissues along for the day. As well, students should avoid sharing food and drinks to avoid the spread of germs that could lead to more than a few sick days at home in bed. Nobody wants to get behind on homework, so prevention is the best practice to avoid getting a cold as well as a stack of incomplete history packets.
Take Physical Exercise Seriously
No matter the age group, it’s important for students to be regularly active during the school day. Everyone from a preschooler to a senior in college needs regular exercise to maintain a good bill of health, and all the hours spent seated at a desk school slow the movement momentum.
Regular exercise is likely a part of the school day already, but fresh air and physical activities after school are great ways to further boost students’ physical health and wellbeing. After-school movement also helps to reverse some of the detrimental effects of sitting down and reading for most of the day, such as eye strain, posture issues, neck and back strain and muscle weakness.
Get a Good Night’s Rest
Sometimes, homework can keep older students up late at night. While it’s crucial that students get their work done, lost sleep guarantees that it will be tougher to focus and maintain high levels of energy and a positive mood the following day at school. An exhausted student is a less involved, concentrated and enthusiastic student. A good night’s rest is crucial for a great performance at school, and can improve immune function and help to fight off any bugs or illnesses that travel around the classroom.
Because school is essentially a student’s job, it’s no less stressful than any other career. Deadlines, presentations, social engagements, peer influences, grades and extracurricular activities all come with a great deal of pressure. It’s important for students to make time to do things they enjoy outside of their schoolwork, and to talk openly about how they’re feeling about their course load and various school responsibilities. Things like deep-breathing, regular play, journaling, conversations over shared meals and dedicated down time can do a lot to relieve school-related stress, and when students feel healthy and happy, they’re more likely to achieve academic success.