It Is Vital For High School Students To Make Time For Mental Health Care
By Amanda Machonis, Stride Success Coach
Taking care of mental health should be a priority for students. It can be challenging, though, with all of the current obligations for many high school students. However, if you, as a high school student, don’t make time for mental health now, you could find yourself dealing with more debilitating symptoms in the future. Below are a few simple things that you can do, each week, to ensure you are feeling ready to tackle your daily responsibilities.
Step away from screens and find time for hobbies, to promote better mental health.
It is important to feel connected to others, and social media is a popular way to do that… but spending too much time there can be detrimental. Social media provides highlights and may be misleading. You may start to measure your own happiness by comparing it to others’. People are also more likely to post about accomplishments on social media, rather than their natural low points. We all have ups and downs, and keeping that in perspective can be helpful. Next time you feel yourself getting bogged down in feelings of inadequacy, take a break from social media and screen time. Go for a walk, call a friend, cook a meal, create some art, or do something else that brings you joy. Do something for the fun of it, rather than for competition or comparison to others.
Practice gratitude to give your mental health a boost.
This could look different for each person. It could be as simple as taking a few minutes, as you start your day every morning (or when you go to bed at night), to think of one thing you’re thankful for in your life. Maybe it’s the support of a parent or friend. Maybe it’s looking forward to an event happening soon. Maybe it’s knowing you’ll have your favorite food for dinner. Maybe it’s the unconditional love of your pet. Maybe it’s a good grade you earned recently. Even little things, for which you feel authentic gratitude, can ground you in positivity. Some people like to keep a gratitude journal or blog. Others like to talk about what they’re grateful for, with family or friends, regularly.
Watch out for each other to have meaningful engagement bolster your mental health.
It can be tricky to recognize when you’re having a hard time and need some help, so watch out for those around you. People mean well when they tell others, “Just reach out to someone if you’re depressed,” but that can be very challenging, or even impossible, when you feel that way. If you notice a friend, classmate, or family member acting differently or struggling, ask them how they are doing. Remind them that you support them and can assist them in finding help from a mental health professional, if they need it. You can even be a sympathetic listener, providing social support to someone close to you. Someday, that person may also return the favor.
Your school has people you can talk to, including the Student Support Services Team. The team includes guidance counselors, advisors, and the Family Academic Support Team™ (FAST). The team empowers students in overcoming challenges of all kinds—academic, social, emotional, medical, or otherwise—to succeed in school and beyond.
Want to learn more about mental health? Be sure to check out our podcast series on the subject, by visiting Episode 1 and Episode 2!
Discover how you can get more social, as an online student, with our webinar, “Getting Social With Stride!”
To learn even more from our Stride Success Coaches, be sure to read the Finding Your Path article, for additional career prep advice.
To learn more about Stride Career Prep Success Coaching for teens and how it prepares them for life after high school through career exploration or college readiness, visit this site: https://www.stridelearning.com/career-prep/career-exploration/student-success-coaching.html
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