Teen Librarian Toolbox
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Morgan’s Mumbles: Healthy Habits, by teen contributor Morgan Randall

Every Wednesday, teen contributor Morgan Randall shares what’s on her mind. She is one of the many teen voices we are sharing here to help us all listen to teens to better serve them. Today she is sharing some healthy habits, combine this with Christine Lively’s post on helping teens cope with the pandemic and you have a great resource for helping teens navigate these difficult times.

Recently, I have been trying to incorporate healthy habits into my daily and weekly routines. Here are some habits I think that truly can have a great impact on the way you live your life:

  1. Have a Morning Routine – This can be something that is just a few steps, or very elaborate. But I highly recommend you try to build a regular routine that you practice every day when you get up (and challenge: try to do it without it being on your phone). Try to create a routine that involves/encourages productivity in the morning, but make it productive for yourself NOT for your job. It won’t be easy, new routines are hard to adapt to and I haven’t been the best at doing this habit so far, however, when I do those days are the most productive and I feel the best. My ideal routine (for myself, yours could be very different): wake up, make my bed, yoga, read my Bible, bullet journal/look at my schedule for the day, daily hygiene (brush teeth, wash face, etc), get dressed for the day, drink water, make breakfast and tea, then eat both of those.
  2. Drink Lots of Water – As I have been trying to live a healthier lifestyle, I have begun to try and drink the necessary amount every day. We are often told to drink eight eight-ounce cups of water a day, but for a majority of teenagers and adults, this isn’t an accurate amount to drink. I recommend using a water calculator, which use your age, weight, and how active you are in order to determine a more accurate amount of water to intake. It is important to drink water first thing in the morning, to help start your day off refreshed.
  3. Journal – Personally, I have recently been enjoying bullet journaling, because it allows me a way to track my emotions, sleep, habits, plan my days and months, and have a collection of my memories in one place. There are lots of really pretty bullet journals out there, which personally made it really hard to start because I wanted mine to be perfect. However, I realized that a minimalist approach that isn’t “pretty” is just fine because it is for me personally to plan and reflect not for anyone else. However, you don’t have to bullet journal, there are plenty of other kinds of journals to keep and I recommend you explore them until you find one you like. A few ideas: classic journal (a diary in a sense where you record your days), brain dump journal (just a space to write what comes to mind), commonplace journal (a collection of quotes and notes from things you are reading or that you hear), dream journal (a record of your dreams), and there are so many more.
  4. Make Bed – This is an easy thing to do at the beginning of the day that helps put you on the right foot. If you make your bed every day when you get up you have already completed one productive activity, which is really helpful in tricking you brain into being more productive during the day.
  5. Workout – This can be for any amount of time, and it can be as simple as walking or something more strenuous. The goal is to get your body moving and be able to feel better after the workout. I read a quote the other day that really changed my relationship with working out: “Exercise is a celebration of what your body can do, not a punishment for what you ate.” It is highly recommended that you workout in the morning, however, if you can’t pick a specific time in your routine that you workout during three to five times a week.
  6. Yoga – Personally, I love yoga in the morning when I wake up and right before I go to bed. It is a way to relax and decompress. Plus, it provides me with time to reflect, because I do yoga in silence. There are all different levels of yoga, some of which in themselves can be their own workout, but some are able to just be calming stretches. Feel free to create a routine that works for you, and don’t be afraid to try new things.
  7. Meditation – I typically do this after my evening yoga, using a guided meditation. There are a lot of meditation apps and guided meditations on YouTube. However, if you prefer meditation can be done in complete silence and you explore and discipline your mind individually.
  8. Fun Reading – During the school year, this was hard for me, because oftentimes I would read out of requirement rather than for enjoyment. Even if its just a few pages, or a chapter or two, try to set time aside every day to read something enjoyable.
  9. Spend Time Outside – Take some time every day to go outside and get some sunlight. (Friendly reminder: wear sunscreen). Be responsible and safe while doing so, but spend time walking, swimming, gardening, or even just sit outside for a while.
  10. Get Dressed – Something helpful to me has been to take the time every day and get dressed, even if I have nowhere to go because it tricks me into being productive and it makes me feel better about myself.
  11. Plan Your Meals – Every week I like to plan my meals because it allows me to be conscious of the things I am putting into my body. Plus, it forces me to limit how much I drive-thru places which is super important for my health and my wallet.
  12. Reach Out To Someone – Every day I have been trying to reach out to someone, even if it is just a “hi” in a text. This has allowed me to rekindle some friendships and stay in touch with important people in my life, even during these hard times.
  13. Have A Creative Outlet – It is super important to find a way to creatively express myself, and to do so consistently. This doesn’t have to be daily, but I try to do a creative activity I enjoy daily or every other day. This allows me to stay in touch with my creativity and avoid getting too bored.
  14. Practice Gratitude – I practice my gratitude when I journal, however, if journaling isn’t the best way for you to express your gratitude I challenge you to write letters to those you are grateful for, or call/text them and let them know.
  15. Take Technology Breaks – This allows you to separate yourself for a while, to be able to reflect and decompress. This can vary from have a day separate from social media, or maybe just turning off your phone for a few hours every day. Just find a way to be conscious about your technology intake.

Morgan RandallTeen Contributor

Morgan recently graduated high school and is currently enrolled to attend college in the fall getting her BA in Theatre and Dance with an emphasis on Design and Technology. She loves theatre, writing, reading, and learning. But something that has always been important to her is being a voice for those who feel like they don’t have one, and being a catalyst for change in any way possible.

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