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Art by Brooklyn Williams

Additional reporting by Jennie Matos

VOX 5: How To Maintain Your Mental Health Through the School Year

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It is now halfway through the school year, but that doesn’t mean your mental health should be overlooked. Stress can come in many forms and can be caused by many things, so in order to keep your mental health in the balance, we have come up with a few tips to help: 

Reward yourself

You should be proud of yourself that you’ve made it halfway through the school year! Reward yourself by going out and doing something fun or enjoying some of your favorite hobbies.  Self-love is important so reward yourself for all the hard work you have done.  

Doing work in chunks 

School means work and lots of it. Whether it is a project, multiple worksheets, or a section of a book you have to read, that can really drain your energy (especially if you have after school activities). A good way to tackle all this work is to do it in sections. Setting a certain amount of time for each piece of work you have will make the process a lot faster. For example, instead of doing that Algebra 1 worksheet and reading four chapters of that book you were assigned for hours at a time, do it for 30-40 minutes then take a 10-minute break. You can reward yourself during this break using some of the tips from #1.  However, things like scrolling through Instagram or watching TV in between can stall you from getting back to work. Before you know it, one YouTube video or one episode of “The Office” can turn into hours of binging and lost work time. An extra tip is also planning out your work schedule so that you know what sections to start first. 

Taking a moment to reflect

I know this might not sound very effective but taking a couple of minutes to have a breathing break and reflecting can really help ground you and alleviate stress. This can be as simple as just focusing on your breath by breathing in and out, writing, drawing, going outside for a walk, or doing whatever helps calm you down.  You should do this for how long you see fit. It’s just as simple as that. So when you start to feel stressed or anxious, you should do like Ariana Grande and “just keep breathing and breathing and breathing.” 

Get lots of sleep

Now, this reason seems kind of far fetched because you have to sleep, but really getting a good night’s sleep, (you know if you aren’t drowning in work) is really helpful for your brain.  It’s a time for you and your brain to calm down and reset. Not sleeping can result in even more stress on your brain which can cause you more stress that is unnecessary. Getting a good eight to nine hours of sleep can help you refresh and start your day off on the right foot. 

Realizing that you are not alone 

There are lots and lots and lots (and lots) of students that experience academic stress and just stress in general so this isn’t rare or uncommon.  There are many ways to combat and cope with it so taking a second and realizing that you aren’t the only person to deal with it can also lift your mood and your stress.  

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