By Bella Booysens
Mental health is a strange topic. When I was growing up, I had no idea what that concept meant, never mind how important it is in life. For the most part, schools argue that the most important thing for young people is to keep educating themselves and to learn new things about the world and the physical subjects found within this sphere of blue. I have yet to encounter a school that focuses on the mental health of the children as well as the education and knowledge aspect of their development. Yet many children in many schools are suffering with anxiety and stress. This may just be my own experience, but as a psychology student, I believe that one cannot thrive in school or life generally if you neglect to take care of one’s mental state. It is therefore vital to tackle these issues or empower young people to tackle them themselves.
Anxiety and stress
Anxiety and stress are big problems in today’s society. The world we live in is fast paced, and there is no time to sit and reflect on your day, what you did and how you feel about it all. It is very important to make time for that to maintain your mental well-being. Meditation isn’t always sitting with your legs crossed and chanting ‘om’. It could also be taking a few minutes to relax and experience your feelings, as that is the best way to understand what you are feeling and what you can do to make it better or move forwards. If you don’t take the time to maintain your mental health, it will get harder and harder with time to combat bad feelings and get yourself back into a good mental state.
Here are a few things you can do to maintain good mental health and combat anxiety and stress:
- Physical health is just as important as mental health, and is a key component to bettering your mental health. Keep active, eat healthy and stay hydrated.
- Sleep is incredibly important – make sure that you get enough sleep and are well rested.
- Find or participate in hobbies – do things you enjoy, because life isn’t always serious – you need to have fun as well.
- Learn some breathing exercises – it will help you a lot when you are in a very stressful situation.
- Talk to someone – sometimes if you open up to someone you trust, they can help you cope with what you are dealing with and teach you new ways to handle stress and anxiety.
- And finally, educate yourself on mental health. The more you know about this topic, the more you can help yourself and others understand what mental health is and how to maintain good mental health.