Mental Health Tips That Every Middle School Student Should Know

Struggling with mental health is a common issue for many middle school students – don’t let it be yours. You can take control by learning practical tips to support yourself and your mental wellbeing. Get ready to take charge of your mental health with these essential tips.

Quick facts: Mental Health Tips For Middle School Students

  • ✅ According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 6 children aged 6-17 have a mental health disorder.
  • ✅ The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) found that almost 50% of children aged 8-15 with a mental illness are not receiving treatment.
  • ✅ A study by the American Academy of Pediatrics identified that social media use can increase depression, suicide risk, and other mental health issues in middle school aged students.
  • ✅ According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, school-aged children are more likely to be diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
  • ✅ The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) suggests that encouraging positive coping skills such as physical activity, journaling, and talking to a friend or family member are effective mental health tips for middle school students.
  • Connect with other people

    Connecting with other people is an important part of mental health, especially for middle schoolers. Building relationships and talking to someone about issues can often reduce stress and anxiety, as well as give a sense of community. It’s important to find people you trust who can talk through things with you, help you come up with solutions, or just listen when needed.

    Connecting with others doesn’t always have to be face-to-face either – reach out over the phone or through text if that’s more comfortable.

    It’s also important to remember that not everyone will understand what you’re going through, so it’s ok to take time for yourself too! It’s ok to step away from people sometimes in order to reconnect with yourself and recharge.

    Be physically active

    Physical activity is a great way to both increase physical health and toughen up mental resilience when facing life’s challenges. Exercise provides endorphins, which are hormones related to happiness, and also helps to reduce stress. It can also help drain out negative emotions that can build up over time.

    Physical activity of any kind—whether it’s playing tag with family members or joining a sport team—is an excellent way for middle school students to stay in shape and keep their minds sharp. Additionally, physical activity can help:

    • Improve sleep patterns
    • Decrease stress levels
    • Expose kids to new social connections with others who share similar interests.

    Whether it’s doing jump rope at home or going for a bike ride with friends, being physically active is an important habit that should be incorporated into every student’s life!

    Learn new skills

    Learning new skills is a great way to improve your mental health and well-being. It can help build self-esteem, reduce stress, and lead to improved academic performance as well.

    Examples of skills that middle school students can learn include:

    • Time management
    • Goal setting
    • Communication abilities
    • Problem solving techniques
    • Organization skills
    • Creative thinking

    These are all important elements of mental health that should be learned and practiced at this age in order to prepare them for the challenges they will face in the future.

    Incorporating these activities into your daily routine not only helps build an understanding of how the mind works but also builds autonomy and resilience. Learning new skills also allows students to have more control over their lives which can have a major impact on their self-image in a positive way. Taking time for yourself to learn something new will not only help you feel better emotionally, but it can also open up new opportunities that might not have been possible before!

    Give to others

    Giving to others has a positive impact on mental health. Engaging in activities that provide help or support to other people can boost mood, reduce stress, and increase life satisfaction. One example of this would be volunteering at an animal shelter since it involves providing care and companionship to animals in need.

    Other activities could include:

    • Donating clothes, money, or food;
    • Helping people in need;
    • Offering words of kindness and understanding.

    This not only benefits those in need but can also contribute to the individual’s mental well-being by reducing feelings of loneliness and isolation. Middle school students should understand the strong link between giving to others and improved mental health and make sure they engage in some kind of giving activity on a regular basis.

    Pay attention to the present moment (mindfulness)

    Mindfulness is the practice of intentionally bringing one’s attention to the present moment without judgement. It can help middle school students develop skills to manage difficult emotions and manage stress. The goal is to be aware of one’s thoughts, feelings, and body sensations in the present moment in a kind, non-judgemental way. This allows middle school students to be aware of their thoughts, feelings, and body sensations as they unfold rather than being swept away by automatic reactions like anger or frustration.

    When practicing mindfulness techniques, it is important for middle schoolers to focus on their breath and remain in the present moment instead of worrying about the past or future. Other techniques include:

    • Mindful walking – walking slowly with attention on each step
    • Mindful eating – paying close attention while eating so that they notice textures and tastes while avoiding distractions such as screens or conversations.

    Mindful practices can also be incorporated into everyday activities like brushing teeth or taking a shower. Regularly practicing mindfulness can help middle schoolers learn how to recognize their emotions and respond appropriately instead of becoming overwhelmed by them.

    Value yourself

    Valuing yourself is one of the most important mental health tips every middle school student should know. Valuing yourself means having a positive view of your worth and believing that you are valuable despite any mistakes you may have made. It’s important to remind yourself often that you have a unique talent, strength and skill to offer the world. Celebrate any small successes as they come along and trust in your capabilities to reach your goals.

    Additionally, it’s also important to practice self-care – take time to nurture your emotions, thoughts and body so you can achieve balance in life. Find activities that make you feel relaxed, such as reading a book or meditating, or those that make you feel accomplished such as exercising or taking up a hobby.

    With these tips for valuing yourself and practicing self-care, middle school students can improve their mental wellbeing!

    Take care of your body

    Taking care of your body is an essential part of living a healthy lifestyle. Eating nutritious foods and getting enough physical activity on a regular basis can help you to stay fit, have more energy and stay in shape.

    • Things like avoiding junk food and sugar,
    • drinking lots of water,
    • getting plenty of rest and exercise,
    • as well as practicing healthy hygiene habits

    are all important aspects to remember when taking care of your body. Additionally, it’s important to take breaks during periods of intense study or work and to get out in nature appropriately when possible can also be very beneficial for mental health. Taking care of your body is key for both physical and mental health so make sure that you prioritize it in order to live an optimally healthy lifestyle.

    Surround yourself with good people

    Surrounding yourself with good people is key to mental health and well-being. When you make positive connections with people, you can help create a space of comfort and trust. The better you know someone, the more likely you are to share things with them that can make them a part of your support network.

    This means talking about how you are feeling about things like your school work, family life, or any other issue in your life that might be causing stress.

    Having good people around also means being able to open up to them when something is troubling you. Whenever possible, having someone close by who will listen without judging can be an invaluable source of comfort and relief. In middle school especially, these relationships can be a powerful way to help cope with emotions like anxiety or depression. Talking through difficulties with a trusted friend or relative is one of the best forms of self-care on hand for middle schoolers dealing with mental health issues.

    Give yourself

    Giving yourself is one of the most important mental health tips that every middle school student should know. In fact, self-care is necessary at all stages of life, but often we become so focused on responsibilities and other external pressures that we forget to take care of ourselves. It’s essential to nurture our bodies and minds in order to lead healthy, fulfilling lives. It’s important for middle schoolers to build healthy habits around self-care as they navigate early adulthood and establish a set of core values.

    Self-care means different things to different people; it could include anything from taking a walk in nature or having a relaxing bubble bath, to journaling positive thoughts or playing an instrument. Creating an environment where students feel comfortable taking time for themselves can help reduce stress and foster positive mental health habits from an early age.

    Some other ideas for building self-care skills could include:

    • Planning for physical activity
    • Actively seeking out hobbies or activities that bring joy
    • Taking time each day for reflection and self-reflection
    • Setting boundaries with family/friends/peers, etc.

    Learn how to deal with stress

    Learning how to deal with stress is essential for the mental health of middle school students. This can range from simple, everyday tasks such as learning how to manage a busy schedule or dealing with difficult social situations, to more serious situations like family or financial concerns. Teaching middle schoolers effective ways to cope with stress can help them stay focused and perform better academically, as well as build resilience and enhance overall wellbeing.

    One of the best ways for young people to handle stress is through relaxation activities. This might include deep breathing exercises, stretching, mediation, guided imagery, journaling or light physical activity. In addition to relaxation strategies, encouraging positive self-talk and making time for activities you enjoy can also help reduce stress levels. Middle schoolers should be encouraged to practice self-care by ensuring they are getting enough sleep and following a balanced diet. It is also important that young people have access to supportive adults in their lives who they can turn to for help when feeling overwhelmed or anxious about an upcoming event or situation.

    Quiet your mind

    Quieting your mind is a skill that will help you manage stress, both in and out of the classroom. When you try to quiet your mind, focus on your breathing, and create space between yourself and your thoughts – allowing them to pass by like clouds in the sky. Practicing this can help you be mindful of what you’re feeling, think more clearly, and stay in the present instead of getting overwhelmed by worrying about the future or ruminating on things that happened in the past.

    To quiet your mind further, meditating is also a great tool. Start with a few minutes each day to clear away distractions such as screens and others’ demands on your time. Take some time for yourself to find inner peace and eventually get more out of life.

    Set realistic goals

    Setting realistic goals for yourself is an important part of maintaining good mental health as a middle school student. Realistic goals are achievable and attainable targets that you can work towards and accomplish. When setting these goals, think about what you want to achieve in the short-term (e.g., an improved grade in math) and the long-term (e.g., college acceptance). Prioritize your goals, break them into smaller parts, and be flexible with yourself so that you can adjust when life throws unexpected curveballs at you.

    Remember to reward yourself when you reach a goal – even small ones! It’s OK to take a few moments to enjoy the moment of accomplishment, but don’t forget to move on to your next goal quickly without letting yourself become complacent. Plan out how you will handle potential obstacles that may get in the way of achieving your goals, such as scheduling conflicts or family issues, so that you are ready for them when they arise.

    Break up the monotony

    Middle school is a unique time filled with social and academic pressures. It’s important to take a break from the monotony of the school day and engage in activities that add fun, joy, and creativity to your life. Taking a break provides much needed mental stimulation and can help bring balance to your mental wellbeing.

    Breaking up the monotony of the day can come in many forms such as:

    • Reading a book
    • Playing an instrument
    • Exercising
    • Engaging in outdoor activities like camping or hiking

    Unplugging from technology is also important; replacing screen time with unstructured free play helps build resilience and encourages creativity. Incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine can also help foster relaxation and inner peace; yoga, meditation, journaling or even coloring are all great activities for this purpose.

    Avoid alcohol and other drugs

    Alcohol and other drugs can have a major negative impact on our mental health, particularly for young people in middle school. Drug use can lead to feelings of depression, anxiety, paranoia and fear. It can also impair focus, concentration, and decision-making skills – traits that are essential as a student. Furthermore, drinking alcohol or taking drugs to cope with difficult situations or to escape reality can lead to dependence or addiction over time.

    It’s important for middle school students to be aware of the dangers these substances pose to their physical and mental health so that they can make informed decisions about their behaviour now, and in the future. Students should be encouraged not only to stay away from alcohol and other drugs but also to learn how to reduce stress levels through various activities such as joining clubs or taking up hobbies. These healthy coping mechanisms will ensure their long-term emotional wellbeing.

    Get help when you need it

    Getting help when you need it is an important mental health tip for middle school students. It can be hard to recognize when you’re feeling overwhelmed or dealing with a lot of stress, but it’s good to remember that seeking help is not a sign of weakness – it can actually give you the strength and support you need to work through your problems. If you are struggling to cope with something, reach out for assistance.

    Talk to a trusted adult in your life (e.g., parent, teacher, school counselor). Or if your issues go beyond what they can help with, contact a mental health provider (e.g., psychologist or psychiatrist) who specializes in helping young people manage their mental health. Seeking professional care when needed is an important step towards overall wellbeing and healthy development during the middle school years and beyond.

    Make it fun

    Encouraging middle school students to have fun can be a great way to help manage stress and develop a positive attitude. Incorporating activities that are enjoyable and entertaining into a student’s daily life can help to reduce the strain of stress and combat negative emotions.

    Activities like watching comedy shows, playing sports, listening to music or going for walks can all be beneficial in helping adolescents de-stress and stay positive. Additionally, incorporating activities that involve physical activity such as swimming, running, or playing team sports can help with self-esteem, energy levels and emotional regulation.

    Making time for fun activities is an important part of maintaining healthy mental health habits both now and into adulthood.

    Build slowly

    Building slowly is a mental health tip for middle school students that encourages them to take their time and be mindful in everything they do. It’s important for students to understand that things can’t always be accomplished quickly, and it’s important to build slowly and steadily. This also helps build self-confidence, as taking the time to learn something new or complete a task will ultimately create positive feelings.

    For example, if a student has never done coding before but wants to, it’s best for them to work through the basics one step at a time instead of jumping right into complex coding projects. By taking the time to understand each concept first, they will not only learn faster but they will also be more confident in their abilities.

    Building slowly can also give students more appreciation for what they have by learning how things are made or by understanding why tasks take longer than expected. Slow building is an important lesson for middle schoolers as it helps them learn about themselves and builds valuable skills for tackling future tasks.

    Use technology

    The use of technology is an effective way to support and promote mental health. Technology can be used as a tool to help students stay organized, focused, and motivated.

    For example, apps like Evernote, Trello and Google Drive can help middle schoolers keep track of tasks and assignments. These tools can also help structure goals for personal development. Middle schoolers can also use technology to explore how their behaviors and emotions may be impacting their stress levels with the help of tools such as Calm or Headspace.

    Similarly, apps like Talkspace or 7 Cups offer online counseling so that students can connect with professionals who specialize in mental health awareness from the comfort of their home.

    Technology offers many opportunities to support students’ mental health so they can reach their full potential in school and beyond!

    Reward yourself

    Reward yourself is a key mental health tip for middle school students. It involves setting realistic goals and rewarding yourself when you successfully achieve them. Rewards can come in any form that is meaningful to you. It can be something as simple as taking a break from studying after a certain amount of time or something bigger like going out for ice cream or doing an activity you love.

    Having realistic goals helps keep students focused, motivated and productive without causing frustration – a great way to build confidence in your own ability to achieve success.

    Rewarding yourself is also important because it gives you a sense of accomplishment and helps recognize when your hard work has paid off – an essential skill for middle schoolers who are transitioning from elementary to high school and beginning to build their academic skills. Expressing gratitude for everything that has been achieved will help keep students feeling positive about their abilities and recognize the value of putting effort into their work.

    Limit social media time

    Limiting social media time is an important mental health tip every middle school student should know. Social media can be a great way to stay connected with friends and family, but too much of it can be damaging to your mental health. Excessive social media consumption has been linked to feelings of depression and isolation.

    It can be hard to keep off of social media when everyone else seems to have the latest apps and updates, but it’s important for students to take control of their own digital use. A good way to do this is by setting time limits for yourself or using parental controls so you won’t be tempted to spend too much time online. Taking breaks from social media use will help you stay present and focused on other activities like spending time with family, studying, exercising, or simply relaxing outside away from screens.


    Hydration plays an important role in maintaining overall mental health. It is especially important for middle school students, who are often dealing with stress, anxiety, and learning in new environments. Drinking adequate amounts of water can help to improve concentration, as well as reduce feelings of depression and anxiety.

    Water is essential for flushing toxins from the body and helping to regulate internal body temperature. Without enough water, an individual may experience headaches and confusion at higher levels than normal. It is recommended that middle schoolers drink 6-8 glasses of water each day, or about 64 fluid ounces total.

    Middle schoolers should also eat hydrating foods, such as fruits and vegetables that are high in water content like cucumbers, melons, tomatoes, oranges and spinach. Lastly, middle schoolers should get fresh air whenever possible to reduce stress levels and sharpen their focus during class time.

    Find balance

    Finding balance in life is essential to mental health, especially for middle school students. It is important to find time to work on both tasks and hobbies, as well as time to just relax and decompress. This is a time of rapid growth and development, so it’s important to give yourself the space to explore new interests and passions while allowing yourself the time to recharge.

    Finding balance also means making sure you get plenty of restful sleep, eat nutritious meals, stay physically active with sports or exercise, limit screen time when possible (TV, social media, video games), and find ways to deal with stress.

    For students in middle school who may feel overwhelmed or too busy with activities and homework, it can be helpful to practice mindful breathing exercises when needed—inhale slowly for 4 counts and exhale slowly for 4 counts—to find moments of calm during the day.

    Talk it out

    Talking about mental health is one of the most important things a middle school student can do. It’s common to feel overwhelmed by all the changes that come with being a middle schooler, and talking through your thoughts and concerns can help you work through them. Talking to your family, friends, or a mental health professional can be invaluable in helping you make sense of your emotions and stay healthy.

    Talking is also a great way to keep yourself accountable for taking care of your mental health. Whether it’s taking the time to practice mindfulness when you’re feeling overwhelmed or scheduling it into your day, talking about how you are managing stressors can help you maintain good habits. Plus, talking with others about what works for them may help you find new strategies for managing stress.

    Lastly, if someone is struggling with mental illness or another issue that needs professional support, getting started by simply talking about it helps create an environment where seeking help is comfortable and necessary.

    Change up your perspective

    Changing up one’s perspective is an important tip for promoting mental health. The world can be a stressful place, and it can be easy to get wrapped up in our own issues and problems. It’s important to remember that there are still good parts of life, even if you don’t feel that way at the moment. Taking time to appreciate the good things in your life can help to counteract the negative feelings and stress.

    Sometimes it helps to look at things differently; for example, instead of focusing on a problem or situation that is stressing you out, try looking at it with an open mind or from another person’s point of view. This can help you gain new perspectives on how best to tackle a situation, as well as helping you manage your feelings about it more effectively. Additionally, finding activities that don’t focus on negative thoughts and emotions (such as listening to music or going for a walk) can help shift one’s focus away from anxious thoughts, allowing them to take a break from their troubles.

    Improve your diet

    Having a healthy diet can help to improve your mental health. Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and healthy fats helps your body to stay healthy and supports the production of important chemicals in the brain. Consuming processed snacks high in sugar or artificial sweeteners can make it harder for you to concentrate and can even affect your mood.

    Incorporating a variety of colorful produce into meals and snacks every day is an important part of eating well. Additionally, drinking enough water during the day is also key for staying mentally alert and hydrated. Eating nutritious foods regularly helps you focus better on school work, allows you to have more energy during physical activities, and supports a positive attitude towards yourself and others!

    FAQs about: mental health tips for middle school students

    Q: What are some good habits for mental health?

    A: Practicing good sleep hygiene, staying active and exercising, eating healthy and balanced meals, managing stress, and spending time doing activities you enjoy are all important habits for promoting mental health.

    Q: How can I help a friend who is struggling with their mental health?

    A: Let your friend know you are there to listen and show that you care. Offer to help them find resources for support, such as a mental health counselor, hotlines, or online resources. Encourage them to talk to their parents or another trusted adult. Offer to do something fun together as a distraction from their worries.

    Q: What should I do if I’m feeling overwhelmed?

    A: Take a few deep breaths and remind yourself that it’s OK to not be OK. Talk to a trusted adult about what you’re feeling and find ways to relax, such as meditating, doing a breathing exercise, or listening to music. Make sure you’re taking care of your physical health by getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercising.

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