Every moment, sometimes without even thinking about it, you rely on things you’ve learned that help you manage your daily life and that have an impact on your physical and emotional health – these are called life skills. Life skills can include the ability to manage your emotions, your health, your finances, your relationships, your school performance, etc. – and your ability to master these things has a direct impact on how you feel about yourself, your emotional balance, your physical health and your independence. Having a handle on some basic life skills can also protect you from dealing with mental health challenges or make dealing with mental health issues more manageable. Read on for some simple skills that you can learn and use every day.
Believe it or not, you’re supposed to get between 9 – 9 ½ hours per night – when was the last time you got that much sleep? Sleep and rest are incredibly important for your well-being – it’s a simple life skill (even if it is not always so simple to get the right amount of sleep) that can have a really positive impact on many parts of your life. Good sleep improves learning, concentration, memory, mood, attitude, energy, digestion and heart health; it promotes growth, performance and your safety. A good rule of thumb – if you’re feeling tired, moody, sick or just off, try getting a good night’s sleep!
Good nutrition is another life skill that can promote emotional and physical health. This is something you can teach yourself and practice every day – you can read about it (you can find excellent nutrition information here) , or ask a health professional about nutritious foods, a balanced diet and things to avoid such as too much caffeine or sugar. Remember that when your body is healthy and in nutritional balance, you’re bound to feel your best – and feeling your best can boost your emotional health.
Another life skill that will benefit your emotional and physical health is exercise. It’s true that exercise can boost your mood and release stress. It can be a good way to take your mind off your problems and help you cope. Exercise is good for physical strength, energy and stamina and helps release “feel-good” hormones called endorphins. Exercise doesn’t solve problems, but it’s a life skill that can boost your ability to face them.
Besides taking care of your physical and mental health, what is self-care? It’s the skills that allow you to take care of your possessions, your finances, your studies, your to-do lists, your time, to name a few! It is an important life skill to keep track of, take responsibility for, and take care of all the things that go into managing your life. When you’re independent and no longer living with your parents or guardians, it’s going to be up to you to develop the skills to manage your “stuff” on your own.