Mental Health: Prioritize it!

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Ben Radspinner

With school entirely online, students are having a harder time staying happy these days.

Kaitlyn McClearen, Opinion Writer

Take a second to think about how you have been feeling these last few months. I doubt anyone will say this past year has been great, that you handled everything that happened wonderfully and that it all went well. That’s okay. It has been a very hard year. For this reason everyone should be trying to prioritize their mental health.

Your own mental health should always be at the top of your list, but it definitely should be a little further up there right now. With everything having changed in these last few months, it has been straining for everyone. One of the biggest changes of 2020 is the transition to online schooling.

Switching from in-person to online school has affected the vast majority of students across the country and not in many good ways. Not only do you have to do all of your normal school work at home; you have no one else there with you. There isn’t a teacher a couple feet away to help you when you need it, and there are no students next to you to talk to or work with. Along with school, stress from home can be piled on top of that. It might feel like all of these things are piling up on you right now, and you feel like nothing’s going right. However, it is important to know how to get the help you need.

So how can you help yourself?

If you are struggling, there are ways you can help yourself on a day to day basis. The Mental Health Foundation website (https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/how-to-mental-health) has a list of things you can do. Talking about what’s going on and getting professional help is extremely important, if you can’t get blatant, professional help, go to someone you can trust. There are free resources online that you can access as well, such as https://www.betterhelp.com/. Other things that may help include staying active, eating and drinking in a healthy way, can boost your mood and make you feel better. I know it’s easier said than done, but it has been proven to work. If it’s online school that’s getting you down, take a break. A change of scenery may help. Going outside, or going off and just doing something you like for a minute may help you feel a little better. Overworking yourself could be a reason you might be feeling down.

All of these, like I said, are easier said than done, but you shouldn’t let yourself suffer. There are people you can reach out to for help. Your guidance counselors and teachers are always within reach– that’s why they’re there, so you can get help when it’s needed.

Along with all of this, if you know someone who might be struggling, reach out to them; for all you know, they might be waiting for someone to do that. Helping others is always important. You can’t always fix the exact problem, but simply saying that you are worried and that you are there for them, or doing things like asking them if they want to call, play a game or sending them something funny can let them know you care.

These are really difficult times, and you need to remember that you should not only be keeping track of your physical health but your mental health as well. It is really important to make sure you are okay. You should know that if you haven’t been feeling like yourself, or just feel down a lot, it is perfectly okay. And I encourage you to seek help and prioritize yourself.