Especially with online learning, students are prone to burnouts and breakdowns, making self care vitally important. Mental self care involves activities that help declutter your mind and reduce your stress levels. Caring for your mental health is different for everyone. Some read books, others go for a walk. There is no “wrong way” to take care of yourself as long as it makes you feel more relaxed and at ease.
As a student, my primary source of stress is school. Others feel similarly. An RHS freshman agrees that school is one of her biggest stressors, saying “teachers assign homework like their [class is] the only class that exists . . . then [they] say to watch our mental health.” There are many different stressors for students in high school currently; it is safe to say school is one of the biggest. How can we normalize and actually practice mental self care? It is not so different from physical care.
Particularly because of the virtual setting, students lack and crave social interaction more than they ever have. Maintaining social time is crucial in maintaining your mental health. Experts recommend talking about feelings and what stresses you, helping you stay in good shape. In addition, students can keep active which can help boost self esteem, help you concentrate during class, sleep better, and feel better overall. Besides socializing and keeping active, eating consistently is just as important. 60% of high school students skip breakfast each morning. Eating properly allows your brain to stay healthy and function well. A diet that’s good for your physical health can also benefit your mental health.
Another way to take care of yourself is to take the comfort approach. Remind yourself what makes you happy and feel good. This can be wearing soft and cozy clothes while reading your favorite book. It can also be taking a quick nap or unwinding by listening to your favorite artist. No matter how you approach self care, remember that you are doing this for yourself.
Photo: Simon Migaj – Unsplash