How To Stay Mentally Healthy


Sebastian Voortman

Wendolyne Aguilar

Being mentally healthy is important, especially when both the first semester and the calendar year is ending. Here at Round Lake High School, many students stress over finals and getting their work done on time so they can get those perfect grades. Studying is one of the major ways to nail a final or the last test of a unit, but it’s a hard task to complete when you’re feeling frazzled and stretched thin. If you’re looking for ways to overcome your stress these next couple of months,  here are a few tips that can help you free your mind and help you finish the school year.

An important piece of advice that students need to take into consideration is nutrition. When school is getting to be its hardest, students focus on studying and upcoming exams instead of what they’re putting in their bellies. “When dealing with stress or mental health challenges it is common for eating habits to change,” Student Counselor Mrs. Stephanie Garvey said. “I encourage students to try to to eat nutritious food to help them have energy for the day. It is really hard to focus and take care of yourself mentally if you aren’t taking care of yourself physically.”

Breathing is a powerful exercise to do once in awhile, as it can help clear the mind and help students release stress. “Take a deep breath, and practice that in through your nose, out through your mouth, and really slow it down,” said Mrs. Elizabeth Keller, RLHS’s school nurse. “Try to take three deep breaths, close your eyes, and try to picture yourself in a place that brings you peace, and happiness. It sounds very cliche, but if there is a place, whether it’s sitting out in your backyard or sitting at a table with your grandparents or whatever, take yourself there, do some deep breaths. Just try to stay in the present moment, and really think about what you have in control, and what you don’t have control over.”

Walking in nature can also reduce stress. Surrounding yourself with the beauty of the environment can take you away from your troubles, and help you boost your energy. “When we [go] for a walk outside we [are] practicing mindfulness,” Garvey said. “Mindfulness involves trying to keep your mind focused in the moment and letting go of stressful thoughts or feelings that pop up. Practicing Mindfulness can help manage stress and anxiety.”

Asking for professional help can be frightening, but having someone giving you advice is ten times better than facing things on your own. High school students often feel overwhelmed by the amount of work they have to do, and it can be especially hard when it’s all due around that time of year when we’re supposed to be the most jolly. Professionals will be able to help give you more coping skills and suggestions on how to healthily deal with whatever life throws at you. 

So just remember as November kicks into gear, pay attention to those eating habits, take in some deep breaths, enjoy some time in nature, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. That way you can make sure your body and mind stay tension free.