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10 Lifestyle Changes to Help You Academically!

10 Lifestyle Changes to Help You Academically!

posted by Karen Quinn, The Testing Mom - January 9th, 2020

These 10 lifestyle changes will help your children academically–bringing the first part of our series to get you started!

In today’s busy, chaotic, and fast-paced world, many of us are familiar with or even practice a concept we have come to know as self-care. Although the word itself is self-explanatory in many ways, the act of implementing such a concept can often be a challenge. Although many of you may understand this idea, it is still best to define our terms. Self-care is the practice of taking initiative to improve one’s own health, either through emotional, spiritual, physical, or psychological means. It is an individualized experience where you have the power to do the things that make you feel healthy, productive, and at peace. It can be as simple as taking a walk, writing in a journal, or increasing your water intake. You have the agency and power when it comes to making even the smallest of changes.

Now, what if I told you that self-care, or meaningful lifestyle changes could also be practiced by your children?

As the parent, you have the influence to help your children be more intuitive and self-reflective when it comes to the ways in which they care for their body and mind. When your child is working to care for themselves, these small changes have the power to translate to their social, emotional, and academic lives. The beauty of caring for oneself is that you and your child can inspire each other when it comes to making lifestyle changes. In today’s post we will be exploring 10 different ways in which your child can positively influence their mind, body, and in turn their academic careers.
 

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10 Lifestyle Changes to Help You Academically

(Part 1)

1.) Understanding Your Limits

I decided to start with this point, mainly because of how misunderstood this concept seems to be. In the world of academics, it is not uncommon for children to develop the “go go go” mentality. While it is important to be persistent and disciplined when it come to one’s academics, taking time to listen to one’s desires is crucial. For example, if your child is in the middle of a math assignment and is becoming frustrated and unmotivated, encourage them to step back, take a breath, and take some time to calm down. In moments such as these, help encourage your child to find an activity that relaxes them, or helps them to channel their emotions. When they come back to this same math assignment, they will hopefully have had some time to set a new intention and develop a fresh mentality. Understanding your limits is not a sign of weakness, but demonstrates a real sense of maturity. It shows that your child knows what they need when they are in situations where they are struggling or having difficulty with something in particular. As many of us know, stress, exhaustion, and feeling “burnt out”, tends to negatively impact academic performance. Although it is unrealistic to protect your child from these experiences, you can teach them to become increasingly self-aware of when their emotional or physical energy is becoming depleted. If I communicated anything through this topic, remember this: help your child to not be afraid when it comes to listening to their mind or body. While this ability does not develop overnight, it will benefit your child both in and outside of the classroom.

 

2.) “Catch some Z’s”

It is nearly impossible to overlook a topic that we all know too well. While many of you guessed it, it is sleep! For those of you who are parents to teenagers, I am sure you have witnessed how their sleep has gradually decreased throughout their academic careers. Achieving a full night’s sleep plays a crucial role in one’s vitality, particularly when it comes to one’s mental and physical health. Throughout the night, your body is working to promote healthy cognition, muscle and tissue repair, and the synthesizing of hormones (just to name a few). Sleep is essential when it comes to physical and cognitive development, as well as alertness. If your child is sleep deprived and dozing off during class, they are missing out on crucial information that may prevent then from optimal performance on exams and homework assignments. Additionally, it may negatively impact their overall mood and or desire for achievement. If your child is increasingly sleepy during the day, try re-evaluating or modifying their sleep schedule. It is truly essential that they are having time to achieve sufficient rest, as feelings of rejuvenation are invaluable when it comes to academic performance.

 

3.) Finding an Extracurricular Activity

Finding a passion outside of the classroom can be essential for one’s mood, day to day motivation, and overall confidence. It also gives them a way to channel their energy outside of the classroom. As a child, I discovered my love for dance. Not only did it give me something to look forward to at the end of the week, but it gradually helped to enhance my focus both in and outside of the classroom. I became increasingly less restless, as this form of exercise helped to ease my anxiety. Try helping your child to explore a few of their passions. The sky is the limit!

 

4.) Forming Study Groups

For many children, a major component of school revolves around friend groups, or their social environment. It is often reassuring for your child to know that their friends are also there to support them academically. Try encouraging you child (if they would like), to engage in study groups, homework help or some kind of interactive collaboration with a friend or two. Not only is it fun to bounce ideas off of other people, but it allows your child to see that they have other supports besides the adults in their lives!

 

5.) The importance of H20

Encouraging your child to increase their water intake is invaluable when it comes to physical and mental heath, mood, and levels of attentiveness and concentration. According to Doulton.com, “water also ensures the body, and the brain, can function properly. Fluid helps to transport blood around the body to major organs, regulates temperature…and also supplies oxygen to the brain and supports the function of healthy cells.” At the core of it, hydration is essential. Try making this healthy habit into a fun and interactive project that you as a parent can take part in. Both you and your child can create a water chart, where you can begin charting an estimate of how much water you are drinking per day. There are also fun apps such as Plant Nanny, that  is both a water tracker, as well as a fun reminder for you to stay hydrated. It is child friendly, easy to use, and stresses the importance of caring for one’s body.

 

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I hope today’s post provided some helpful inspiration for the small, yet meaningful, lifestyle changes your child can integrate into their own lives. These powerful changes will not only benefit them outside of the classroom, but also positively influence their academic careers.

Come back next week for part 2 of this post!

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