Teen and Parent Wellbeing

Study Skills

By Vihaan and Soven

We all know high school is really tough, and for many of us, focusing on work can be quite tough as well. There are many ways to improve your focus and study skills but the three that have been proved to be the most effective are meditating, taking breaks, and developing a plan for working that works well for you.


Meditation can be used for a variety of things and it is most effective when used to combat overwhelming or stressing feelings. When you notice yourself panicking about anything, you should sit down and meditate for 5-10 minutes in order to obtain a calmer mind.

Meditation consists of sitting down and slowing down. You need to focus on your breathing. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. The goal of meditation is to clear your mind. Don’t think of the test you have tomorrow or the homework you have to do. All you need to focus on while meditating is your breathing. After you sit down and meditate for 5-10 minutes you should feel very relaxed and rejuvenated. Doctors suggest that after you meditate, you should walk into whatever you are doing with a clear mind and relaxed body.

Meditation helps you focus, and focus helps you improve your study skills. One of the main causes of not being able to focus is stressing too much about things that are not worthy of stressing out over. With improved focus and study skills, you will have even less stress which will allow you to focus better, which in turn will improve your study skills. It is a cycle that, over time, brings many positive outcomes.

Taking Breaks

Another important thing you can do when studying is taking breaks. While these should not interfere with your productivity, they are important. You should take a break, even if it is 10 minutes, every couple or so hours from your work. It can prevent your brain from being fatigued. Additionally, taking breaks can help to lower your stress by giving a few minutes of relaxation, so you can calm down before you get back to work. This can, in turn, improve your creativity, productivity, mental health, and more. Also, having breaks in between your work can make you more motivated to work as you have something to look forward to. 

One very popular technique for taking breaks is called the Pomodoro Method. This is a technique in which you study for 25 minutes and take a five-minute break. This helps to keep your mind aware, awake, and active. Some excellent ways to take a break include: going on a quick walk or getting some fresh air, reading a book, talking to someone, or even taking a quick nap. A short, 10-20 minute nap can leave you feeling refreshed and ready to work again. 

Work Plan

In high school, it is expected for a student to already have a solid studying plan that works well for them. If a student does not have one of these plans, they will struggle until they find one that works for them. There are many ways to develop a good plan but one of the best ways is to let the homework you get in middle school guide you. You should use this homework to figure out what works for you, so when the homework gets harder, you already have a plan. 

I can personally attest that having a work plan increased my ability to study by a factor of 10. Before I developed a study plan that worked well for me, I was struggling. There was a lot of work to manage and I could never seem to find the time that I needed to manage it. This all changed though, when I developed my work plan. My grades improved, I had a lot more leisure time, and my stress levels decreased a lot.

Active Improving

Although the items mentioned above will help you with your passive studying skills, you have to actively improve them as well. There are many things that you can actively do to improve your study skills. These skills include paying attention in class by putting all distractions away, managing your workload by dividing things up, managing time so you don’t procrastinate, making a schedule, paying attention to your homework, and double-checking everything that you have done to make sure that you have not messed it up. Even though these are all study skills that you have to actively think about, if practiced frequently and effectively, these can become passive skills that you would no longer have to think about.

Stress Management

National Stress Awareness Month

By Soven Saste

April is National Stress Awareness Month, which has been observed since 1992. In today’s day and age, people are often stressed, so it is important to learn about stress and how to manage it.

What is stress? According to the American Institute of Stress, stress can be defined as a “physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension.” Stress is something we all experience at one point or another and is completely normal. Activities in daily life such as school, work, and family life can all cause some degree of stress. However, when you have too much stress, then it can start to become a problem. It can cause problems like being irritable, feeling overwhelmed, having depression, low energy, aching muscles, insomnia, nervousness, racing thoughts, changes in appetite, and much more.

 You cannot always control the things that make you stressed, but you can work on how you deal with tough situations and manage your long-term stress. When present in a difficult situation, put in a focused effort to remain calm, try and understand the situation, and take a step back from the environment if you have to. 

Managing Long-Term Stress

It is important to learn how to manage your long-term stress so that you can stay healthy and happy. Some great ways to manage stress include:


When you exercise, you release endorphins, (or feel good hormones) in your body that can combat stress. Going for a short walk, biking, or even swimming are all ways to clear your mind and to control stress. Additionally, a balanced diet can also help to lower your stress.

Partaking in a hobby or leisure activity

Doing something fun and engaging for even 20-30 minutes a day can get your mind off of your issues. You can do things like playing an instrument, knitting, reading, or cooking, among other creative activities.


Recently, many people have started to meditate and practice mindfulness as part of their self-care routines, and for good reason. At Taarika Foundation, we emphasize the practice of meditation and mindfulness for overall health and well-being. Meditating is doing things that essentially attempt to bring you in touch with reality and the present moment. 

There are many ways to meditate, including mindfulness meditation, religious meditation, meditating through exercises such as yoga, and more. You can explore these different options and see which one works best for you. 

Mindfulness is a form of meditation. Mindfulness is often given a false meaning or misunderstood by many people. According to the Oxford dictionary, mindfulness is “ a mental state achieved by concentrating on the present moment, while calmly accepting the feelings and thoughts that come to you, used as a technique to help you relax.” Mindfulness involves being fully aware of your thoughts and feelings but rather than shutting them out, you acknowledge them and the fact that you have them. 

Mindfulness can be applied to many different things. For example, you can be mindful while eating food. That would entail focusing on the food, how it tastes, how it smells, etc. By practicing mindfulness and meditation, you can greatly curb your stress.


Sharing your personal issues with someone trusted like a close friend or family member can be very helpful to manage stress. Oftentimes, talking to other people about your stress can help you gain clarity. If your stress load is very heavy, it would even make sense to talk to a professional like a therapist or a psychiatrist. While there is a lot of stigma that might linger around this, it is perfectly normal to talk to a therapist and in fact, getting help is a sign of great strength, courage and resilience. 

This April, put an effort towards making a habit out of self-caring activities like exercise, clean eating, and meditation to keep your stress in control. Remember that it is normal to find these practices challenging even if you might understand how beneficial they are. The important thing is to put your best foot forward and try your best. Try to make improvements that work well for your own circumstances and current habits to have a healthy and satisfying lifestyle. 

Thought Management

How I Boost My Self Esteem – A Teen’s Experience

By Krish Jhurani

There is one specific quality in humans that gives us the power to achieve sky-high goals. The one virtue that emperors over millennia have manipulated to cause the downfall of many empires. This, my friends, is the power of self-esteem, the evaluation of one’s self-importance. It is one of the few qualities that is easily broken, but difficult to rebuild. 

Self-esteem, in a way, can be thought of like trust. When someone takes advantage or lies, the bond of trust between two individuals is broken, and hence, it is hard to believe the person again. Similarly, due to disturbing experiences, one’s self-worth can diminish, and this can create a wall of sorrow and misery. In order to conquer this dejection with bliss, it is of utmost importance to understand the two main qualities that contribute to self-esteem, which are confidence and self-respect.

As I stated before, throughout history, many kings and rulers intimidated their enemies with unfriendly letters, malicious threats, and rumors. This caused the ruination of many big empires, since the subjects’ and soldiers’ morale decreased, therefore letting their emotions get the best of them. Mind games were played and self-esteem crashed.

 Likewise, experiences in life do the same with us. They attempt to destroy our confidence and self-respect by causing anxiety and stress and making our minds heavy. The natural human response would be to just keep tolerating all of it until the difficulty goes away. But how long can one face the same problems again and again?

There is always a limit, and to reduce the stress on the mind, several methods exist. The most popular is meditation. Unique styles of meditation are taught, such as mindfulness, spiritual or transcendental. From my experience, the most effective has been spiritual. It aims to silence the mind and send vibrational energy (comes from your mind and thoughts), to each of the chakras, or power points of the body. Being easily done, an individual does not have to sit in a specific posture but can do it while doing everyday work. However, the ideal way is to sit, close your eyes, and turn on some peaceful music. 

Imagine all your tension flowing out of you like water from a fountain, and your mind emptying all its thoughts into that “flowing water”. Power is being filled within you, as you send positive energy to your mind and organs. Finally, as you open your eyes, try to maintain that stage of silence, and watch as your day goes by blissfully. 

Personally, my work gets done quicker after meditation, and I feel less distracted. Other forms such as mantra meditation involve chanting or praying. These methods of de-stressing yourself help boost confidence, and hence self-respect. These two “sub-qualities” make up what is known as self-esteem. So, if you often feel inadequate or demoralized or have low self-esteem, try meditation and work on your thoughts and feelings to achieve this peaceful state of mind. You can do it!