Essential Mental Health Tips for High School Students

Struggling to cope with stress and anxiety? You are not alone! High school can be a stressful period in life, with managing studies, social life, future plans, and more. Here are a few tips to help maintain your mental health during this trying time.

Quick facts: Mental Health Tips For High School Students

  • ✅ According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 1 in 5 adolescents ages 13-18 have a mental health disorder. (NIMH)
  • ✅ The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that between 2009-2017, the number of high school students with depression increased from 8.7% to 11.3%. (CDC)
  • ✅ The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry states that suicide is the third leading cause of death among 15-24 year olds. (AACAP)
  • ✅ According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, more than 20% of teens in the U.S. have experienced depression in the past year. (NAMI)
  • ✅ A study from Mental Health America showed that 49% of students feel overwhelmed by the amount of stress they have, while 41% felt that they could not ask for help. (MHA)

Ways to Stay Mentally Healthy in High School

Mental health is an important part of overall wellness and should be taken seriously in high school. As high school students face academic pressure, the need to fit in, and life transitions, it’s important to practice good mental health habits to help them stay focused and healthy.

Some ways for a student to stay mentally healthy in high school include:

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Engaging in exercise regularly
  • Taking breaks from assignments/studying
  • Connecting with supportive people such as friends and family
  • Pursuing enjoyable activities outside of school work
  • Limiting social media use if it causes stress or anxiety
  • Establishing a daily routine

Setting aside time for yourself—like going for a walk or meditating—can help refresh your mind. Creating structure through set bedtimes and mealtimes can also aid with mental health by providing consistency during the day. Additionally, it is important for students to seek professional help when needed by talking to their trusted adults such as teachers or counselors. All these tips should assist students in creating healthier habits that will last long beyond high school!


Exercise is an important aspect of any mental health program, and it can be especially beneficial for high school students. Exercise releases endorphins, which help to improve your overall mood and make you feel more positive. It also helps to reduce stress and anxiety, both of which can be factors in developing mental health issues.

In addition to the mental benefits, exercise is also beneficial for physical health. It can help burn calories, improve body composition, enhance cardiovascular fitness, and increase muscle strength. For high school students who often don’t get enough exercise due to their hectic schedules of attending classes and studying, it is important for them to incorporate some sort of activity into their daily routine in order to maximize the potential benefits of exercise on both the physical and mental levels.

Make It Fun

Creating a flexible working environment is an important mental health tip for high school students. Students need to be able to pick and choose when and how they want to work. For example, if one task can be completed in a group or alone, allow students to decide which approach works best for them. Additionally, incorporating rewards for completing tasks well can help motivate students and make the task more enjoyable. These rewards could be as simple as taking a break every now and then or having something to look forward to when the task has been finished.

Other ideas include:

  • Using music while working.
  • Taking regular breaks to stretch.
  • Talking with peers about their goals or processes.
  • Changing up the routine once in a while by using new approaches or techniques.
  • Varying where work is done (e.g., at home versus somewhere else).

All of these activities provide flexibility for students and make their work experience more enjoyable in the long run.

Build Slowly

In the colder months, it can be more difficult to stay in touch with friends and find activities to participate in. That’s why it’s important for high school students to build up their mental health slowly. Start by identifying your needs and writing out a plan that works for you. Schedule times to do things like exercise, relax, talk with friends, or do something creative to maintain your mental health.

When trying something new, take it slow and give yourself time to adjust and go through the learning process. This is especially important when it comes to finding ways of dealing with sadness or depression during winter – focus on positive coping skills rather than relying on unhealthy habits such as excessive eating or drinking alcohol. Engage in activities that make you feel accomplished and connected – like volunteering at a local animal shelter or signing up for an online art class. With patience, diligence and creativity you can learn new ways of managing your mental wellbeing in winter despite the cold weather.

Use Technology

Technology has the potential to both positively and negatively affect mental health. When used in the right way, technology provides students with access to helpful resources and connections. For example, social media can be an excellent way for students to build relationships with peers and mentors who may provide valuable guidance and support. Additionally, there are a variety of apps available that offer users tips on self-care and relaxation techniques.

However, it is important that students respect their mental health needs when using technology. This means reducing their exposure to potentially damaging content, such as harsh criticisms or cyberbullying. Furthermore, they should prioritize restful sleep by limiting their use of blue light-producing devices in the hours leading up to bedtime. Finally, establish regular breaks from technology during the day to minimize its negative impacts on physical and mental wellbeing.

Reward Yourself

It’s important to give yourself rewards when you’ve competed a task, or simply just recognize how far you’ve come. High school can be a stressful time, and it’s important to reward yourself for all the hard work you’re putting in. It is also important to practice self-care and set aside a little fun time whenever possible. Self-care can help you mentally recharge and keep motivated on your goals.

These rewards don’t have to be anything extravagant; they could be as simple as:

  • Taking a walk
  • Going out for ice cream
  • Watching your favorite movie

Additionally, having positive reinforcement from family and friends only increases the motivation and encourages you to continue achieving success. Everyone deserves recognition for their efforts, so reward yourself for reaching your goals or simply because you deserve it!

Limit Social Media Time

Social media can be a great way to stay connected, but it can also become a major source of distraction and stress. High School students are particularly prone to becoming consumed with the activity and social dynamics of social media sites. For example, if students are spending hours upon hours scrolling and engaging on Instagram, TikTok, or Twitter, this can add stress to their lives in several ways.

  • For starters, it promotes comparison with peers as well as a false sense of competition for who is the most “liked” or “the most popular.”
  • Additionally, too much time online can lead to more procrastination from responsibilities like studying and completing assignments.

To ensure mental health is taken into consideration when using social media, students should set limits for their time spent on these activities each day. Doing so will help keep work hours in check and leave more time for relaxation after school or during the weekend.


Medical students often find it difficult to keep up with their health and wellness as they navigate school and clinical rotations. Staying hydrated is a critical component of self-care for medical students. It can help enhance alertness, memory, mood, and focus.

Water is the best way to stay hydrated and should be consumed throughout the day; it will help regulate bodily functions like digestion and body temperature. Other hydrating beverages such as herbal teas may also provide benefits but should not replace water in a student’s daily routine.

It is important to drink enough fluids to avoid dehydration, fatigue, headache, foggy thinking and an overall decrease in productivity when studying or working long hours at the hospital or clinic. Aside from drinking enough fluids, consuming a balanced diet with fruits/vegetables that are rich in fluids like cucumbers or watermelon can also contribute to your daily hydration goals.

Find Balance

Finding a balance between academics, work, family, friends and personal hygiene can be difficult for high school students. As such, it is important to keep a healthy lifestyle and create healthy habits.

  • For example, make time for physical activity or outdoor activities that are enjoyable and make sure to get enough sleep.
  • It is also essential to find time for self-care so that you are better equipped to deal with any stress or anxiety. This could be in the form of hobbies like reading or drawing, engaging in conversations with friends or family members, or doing something creative like making art.
  • Additionally, ensure that you eat nutritious meals throughout the day and stay hydrated.

By implementing healthy habits into your life this will help promote mental well-being and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

FAQs about: mental health tips for high school students

Q: How can I manage stress in high school?

A: It’s important to take care of yourself and manage your stress levels during high school. Develop healthy habits such as exercising regularly, eating nutritious foods, and taking regular breaks. Talk to a trusted adult if you’re feeling overwhelmed and need help managing your stress levels.

Q: How can I stay healthy mentally in high school?

A: Mental health is just as important as physical health. Take time to relax and do activities you enjoy such as reading, journaling, or listening to music. Make sure to get enough sleep and practice healthy habits such as exercising and eating nutritious foods. Reach out to a trusted adult or counselor if you need help.

Q: How can I cope with feeling overwhelmed in high school?

A: It’s normal to feel overwhelmed in high school. Make sure to take breaks and give yourself time to relax and do something you enjoy. Talk to a trusted adult or counselor if you need help managing your stress. It can also be helpful to practice mindfulness and deep breathing exercises to help manage your emotions.

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