Many young adults and teens find it hard to manage their lives whether it be sports, school, a social life, or time for self care. It is important to find a good balance for a healthy and happy lifestyle. Mental health is often overlooked, but it is actually just as important as one’s physical health. There are many practices that go into maintaining good mental health, including going to therapy, making time for yourself, and mindfulness. Whether it’s following a specific day-to-day routine, or productively managing the limited amount of time you have, balance and happiness are the two most important factors that student-athletes need to fulfill for healthy habits.
According to The Mountaineer (Montclair High School Student Newspaper), “Most students who are involved in athletics are doing it because they truly have a love and passion for the sport they are participating in. And in the midst of a stressful school year, they are still willing to sacrifice their time and energy for something they enjoy doing, and they do it so gracefully.”
To begin with, following a solid routine that keeps your mind on track and helps you plan ahead, will be effective in the long run. Although it’s hard to stay motivated to be productive all of the time, consistency is key. Make a schedule for daily activities you have, for example: school, sports, homework, etc. This will allow you to set an allotted time for each activity and assist you in thinking about what is on the list for today.

By creating a routine, you can set as many breaks as needed throughout the day to keep you on your toes, and stay calm and happy. It is important to recognize the difference between overworking yourself, and having a balanced day. Although, you may be able to complete things quicker, it won’t be efficient if you are constantly tired and can’t keep your mental health at a good standard throughout each day.

Source: Gladiator Guards
Another important tip to leading a balanced and happy school life is to recognize normal stress and depression. When school gets harder, it is important to take time to reflect on how you are feeling with sports and classes. Most students participate in sports that they love and have a passion for, to take time for themselves and have fun. Even if it is more competitive for certain students, they are still doing something they are interested in. It is not uncommon for athletes to lose interest in a sport that they once loved. This can be for a variety of reasons, however most commonly being overworked, or lacking a good support system.
Throughout all of the busy schedules most teenagers have, prioritizing mental health is imperative and being able to understand the difference between good and bad stress. When you become depressed, you can’t handle all of the pressure being thrown at you, and a loss of interest in many activities is common.

Normal stress may still include pressure, but you are thriving under that stress and it is something that drives you. Everybody usually suffers from some stress, however knowing the difference is something you need to do for yourself. Sometimes stepping away from things that cause too much stress for your mind to handle, is the best option.

Throughout all the struggles that teenagers may suffer through, it is crucial to take care of your mental health by balancing your schedules as a student-athlete. Be sure to stay organized and take care of your priorities. Although it may seem difficult at the moment, making sacrifices is okay because staying healthy is a top priority. As Robert H. Schuller says, “Tough times never last, tough people do.”


Brubaker, Diana Creaser and Amelia. “Balancing School and Sport: The Double Life of a

Student-Athlete.” The Mountaineer,

-student-athlete/#. Accessed 11 Oct. 2022.

Stathakis, Gianna. “Students Struggle Balancing School with Sports.” Coyote Chronicle, Accessed 11 Oct. 2022.

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