How to balance school and mental health

Aleena Barlow, Staff Reporter

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The end of the first semester of school is nearly upon us,  and most students adjusted to the workload of the new school year. But for others, the struggle many of us experienced at the start, balancing our new workloads while making sure to avoid burnout, is still an all too familiar presence.

Maybe you’re one of these students, trying to find a way to make it to winter break and not fail your classes. Or maybe you’ve recently hit a rough patch, and suddenly the balancing of school and keeping sane is more difficult than before, and you don’t know what to do.

Luckily, you don’t have to resign yourself to a fate of struggling. Below, you can find several ways to help make the balancing act of school and mental health easier to manage and what to do when it does get bad again.

Take Time to Unwind

According to a study from New York University, over half of high school students are chronically stressed, and a key way to cope with stress is to find time to cool down. Every night, try to set aside half an hour to an hour to engage in a healthy coping mechanism. This can include meditation, yoga, listening to music, or talking with friends. However, try to avoid screen time such as video games if possible, and even though several of us have heard it before, try to go outside as well as fresh air can rejuvenate you.

Obviously if neither is possible, do not write off time to unwind as unable to happen. The most important thing to do is to find an activity to take your mind off the stresses of your day and allow you to step back and breathe.

Keep a Close Eye on your Symptoms

Symptom management is a key part of mental health management, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Take some time to formulate a list of your symptoms you might be experiencing related to mental health. Even if f you don’t have a professional diagnosis, create a list of symptoms which might signify that your mental health is on the decline. Some common symptoms to include are an inability to cope with problems regardless of how small or how big, increased sensitivity to others, a loss of interest in things which usually interest you, changes in appetite, and changes in sleep patterns. 

Reach out to your Support System

Talking about your mental health struggles can be scary but according to Mental Health America, it is better to talk to someone and get help and support then suffer in silence. If you find yourself struggling, consult someone you trust-a family member, a good friend, a staff member, or even a therapist or support group. 

Regardless of what you’re going through, there is someone out there who knows what you’re going through and will offer to help you, be it reaching out to your teachers for extra help or provide you support and guidance. The balance between school and mental health can be difficult, but you never have to go through it alone.