By Sarah Healy ’20
I feel like I need to improve in every aspect of my life right now. What are some things I can do? Sincerely, Overwhelmed
The first piece of advice I can give you is to think about what you are doing right. This will automatically improve your self-esteem and set you up for success. Whether it’s going to bed on time or dedicating a certain amount of time to your family, thinking about what you are good at gives you one less thing you have to improve. Next, think about what you are unhappy with and you feel you need to work on. Map out how you want to fix each of these issues on a piece of paper or your computer, or just make mental notes. For instance, maybe you aren’t connecting with your friends as much as you used to. You can make an effort to hang out with them more often and bond over the things you enjoy. If you keep working on each of your problems individually and gradually, you will find that you are even happier because you were able to work hard and achieve your goal.
I have been procrastinating a lot lately. I have plenty of time to do what I need to, but I instead waste that time on meaningless activities. When I finally get to my homework, it’s late at night and not only do I do poorly on assignments, but I don’t get enough sleep either. How can I do better? Sincerely, Distracted
A large amount of procrastination in teens comes from cell phones and electronic devices. Turn your phone off while you are working, and don’t use it unless you absolutely have to. You can also use website and app blockers that will deny you access to websites that you name for a certain amount of time. One computer program that I really like is called Self Control because you can block all of the websites that you find yourself getting distracted on for as long as 24 hours, and there is no way of undoing it. A good phone app is Forest because the longer you stay off of your phone, the more trees are grown in your virtual forest. It’s a really great incentive because it’s so much fun to see all of the trees! In addition, make sure that you take breaks every 30-40 minutes. This will give your brain a rest and give you time to you to get a snack, talk to your family, etc. Another way to stay focused is to work at a desk. Working in your bed will cause you to feel tired, and working on the floor is uncomfortable, causing you to be less focused on your work. Working at your desk is better for your posture, gives you a better work environment and you most likely have all of the supplies that you need at your desk, so it’s more convenient as well.
How can I stay kind in this politically volatile time? Sincerely, Concerned
To begin with, try your best to avoid political discussions, especially if you aren’t in a completely comfortable space to discuss them. This is easily done if you’re not in a political setting. Find other common ground with people in your sports teams, choir groups, etc., so that your discussions will most likely not be based on politics. While political discussions are good, approaching them in a school setting is not the best place unless you are totally willing to have an open mind. If you do find yourself in a political conversation, listen to the other people and when you speak, speak with regard to other people’s feelings. Accept that they may have different beliefs than you, and don’t disregard their opinions. Finally, help out the community and the world in ways that promote your beliefs. Volunteer at places you support, go to marches and follow your own beliefs – don’t let other people change them!