Mental Health Becoming Bigger And Bigger Issue

Students are being affected more the longer they remain at home


Have you ever felt deeply unmotivated? Sick of school? Don’t even want to get up to get your computer to join class? You let your homework pile up? Sad and lost? These are feelings school causes and more because of the situation the world is in.

Having to stay cooped up at home and missing being in school can cause a mixture of feelings. Some feel happy to be at home doing school, but others hate it and fall into a deep depression.

“Like many things in life, school can help or hurt one’s mental health,” said Geoscience teacher Ms. Gwara. “School can provide opportunities for creativity and help establish meaningful routines. It’s also an important social outlet. Everyone is reacting differently to the new format of school.

“Some aspects may be nice, like being able to sleep in or attend class in your pajamas. However, other aspects are unpleasant, like not being able to learn hands-on, having too many distractions during the day, or feeling like you aren’t understood by your teachers and peers.”

Everyone lives a different life and has many things going on everyday that can stop them from putting their full focus on school.

There are students who have to deal with abusive homes, money troubles, and of course have to deal with the pandemic.

All these things cut out the good with online school, they don’t get to escape to school physically and have their friends or a trusted teacher to talk to and basically distract themselves from the not so good things in life.

Yeah, you get to be comfortable in your pajamas just listening to your teachers talk, not really paying attention, but your mind keeps running and those good things don’t even matter. You focus on the bad and try to stop yourself from falling into sadness.

“I think it’s affecting them drastically,” stated senior Eva Ortiz. “They have no social interaction or anybody they could confide in. Teachers just pile on work everyday when there are families struggling with bills and putting food on the table. For self care they can contact teachers for resources to help their family or even for just a quick chat.”
Ortiz stated another problem plenty of students and families, especially in these times have been dealing with, money problems.

In these times, people are losing jobs, their homes and are struggling to provide, but instead of teachers taking that into consideration all they care about is whether or not your work is done and if not, there you are with a failing grade.

“Honestly I can only speak from my experience, it has definitely made me more anti-social,” explained senior Lailanni Sanchez. “I literally hate people and interacting with them and I was never like that before. It has made me seep into a deeper hole as well. The only bright side to this is that I’m teaching myself and it’s helped me more than being taught by a teacher in a classroom filled with students.

“As for self care yea I don’t do that.. it’s so hard, especially because I have no motivation to even get up or eat sometimes. I’d say if you’re having a hard time, give yourself a few minutes or even hours out of your day to just be alone.”

Aside from students feeling hopeless with at home problems, there’s students who grew apart from being around people, like Sanchez.

With the pandemic going on, it’s impossible to get that social interaction you are so used to having with in person school.

You’re not around your favorite teacher(s) talking about things other than school work and you’re not around your best friend and friend group, laughing and enjoying the time you have together.

Instead, you’re stuck being glued to a computer screen seeing your teachers and friends picture (sometimes not even that) on your screen or texting your friends distracting each other from work, but this doesn’t compare to moments you have in person.

“First I would like to say that being in front of a screen has a strong relation to disconnecting from reality,” said college and career advisor Mr. Ramos. “With that said I do believe that it plays a factor in depression and stress. In my opinion it can take a toll and it really depends on how it is dealt with when it comes to the worst case of depression.

“I would suggest students drink lots of water, take some vitamins, take a walk/exercise and limit their usual time in front of a tv and their phone. We live in a world where it’s unusual to not look at a screen for hours and I think we have to take in what nature has to offer more.”

Although it may be hard to get up from your bed and go on with your day, it isn’t impossible. You can take little steps.

Separate yourself from your computer for a couple hours and go out to the park or a simple walk around your neighborhood, of course staying as far away from others as possible.

“We have to understand that our mental and physical health comes first no matter the circumstances,” said Ramos. “We have to be on a computer with school/ work but we don’t have to drag it into our personal life. I would also suggest looking for a hobby or side hustle. There are many things to do to avoid more screen time.

“You can wash cars, knit a coat, draw, write a book, film, workout and even hang out with friends with no electronics. Self care is important and my advice for everyone is to learn some form of meditation and take in life for the greatness it brings.”

Things like this help you separate yourself from reality and get in touch with the good the universe has to offer.

“Self care comes in two forms: self soothing and productivity,” said Gwara. “It’s my personal belief that both are vitally important. Self soothing refers to the more commonly understood practices of self care, like taking breaks, taking a bath or shower, listening to music, eating one’s favorite food, etc. Essentially, ways of acknowledging your humanity and being kind to yourself.

“As a form of self care, productivity is getting things done. It can mean exercising, doing chores, or completing homework. You are taking care of yourself by getting right to the root cause of your stress or anxiety, and confronting the thing you may be ignoring. Self care is a daily habit, not an end goal. I would recommend slowly building up routines for self care, such as a morning routine, a studying schedule, or an exercise regimen.”

There are lists of things you can do at home/ your room or even outside if possible, it only takes some research.
Built up anxiety and not reliving it does nothing, but makes you feel worse. It’s always a good idea to let everything bottled up inside go to your best of abilities.

Let yourself calm down and breathe, not everything has to be done in that exact moment, once again little steps.
If deep cleaning your room helps go ahead and do it. Wanna read a book you love all over again? go ahead. Want to go out and paint? Go ahead!

It may not be much, but in the moment it is the best thing that can help with built up stress that school, work, or family is giving you.

In the moment it may seem like those assignments and your grades are more important, but nothing is more important than taking care of yourself and your mental health.

How do you expect to do good on assignment and give it your all when you’re feeling your worst.

It seems as if teachers don’t understand and you feel like not even family will understand, but everyone goes through things like this. It’s never bad to ask for help or just ask for someone to listen.

It is always number one to take care of yourself before taking care of other things, nothing matters until you physically and emotionally feel like yourself again.