Mental Health in 2020



Teenagers in this day and age suffer from mental health issues because of the daily stressors and ever-increasing expectations. But with a little more sleep, exercise, and positivity, living the life of a hard-working high schooler can get better.

Alas, we arrive at another year, another semester. It is important to realize that as students, we needed that winter break. But as we look forward and face the remaining half of the year, we should also examine the state of our mental health, as it is imperative in the fast-paced shenanigans of the second semester in the form of tips and tricks:

Sleep: It is no secret that high schoolers lack sleep. According to Stanford’s most recent national poll, 87% of teens do not get the recommended eight to ten hours of sleep. And it takes a toll. A 2006  poll that very much applies today showed that teens exemplified depressive behavior and anxiety due to sleep deprivation. Needless to say, get your sleep. You cannot survive AP Exams, baseball practice, and multiple tests a week running low on sleep. Think of it as fuel. What will you do when you run out?

Exercise:  Losing weight and getting fit is the number one new year resolution for Americans, but let’s face it: most people who make this their top resolution are full of donuts and Doritos by the end of January. As a high schooler, be realistic. So many of us are involved in plenty of extracurricular activities, and sometimes, it feels hard to even find time to think. Experts recommend at least half an hour of exercise a day, though. So how can you, drowning in your world history homework, achieve this?  Try your best to make that daily dose of exercise. If you join a sports team, you’re likely covered. If not, try walking around your neighborhood once a day. You can even study at the same time: try an audiobook for your English class or a lecture for your history class. Remember those days when we played outside? Try something similar, like kicking or throwing a ball around with your little brother or your best friend who lives around the block. There are plenty of ways to get in good, fun exercise. And guess what? Exercise has proven to make your heart and brain happier and healthier because of blood circulation, and this can greatly improve your experience in school! It will make you feel a lot better and a lot more accomplished daily.

Positive Affirmations: Think of affirmations as mantras, or even daily quotes. You wake up in the morning feeling groggy, stressed, and slow, but you have to get ready for a 7+ hour adventure in the halls and classrooms of White Station High School. It’s not easy, but try this: when you get up in the morning, look yourself in the mirror, and tell yourself something positive. You’re going to have a great day, you’re going to be successful, you’re going to be a good friend. And try your best to stick to it just for that day. And then the next day what do you do? You do it all over again. You’d be surprised how much of a difference this can make in your day. No one said high school is easy; we’ve all got plenty of work to do and many expectations to fulfill, but giving yourself a beacon of hope every day can boost your state of mind indefinitely.