Peace of Mind: Take time to unwind

As the school year spirals students into a whirlwind of college admissions, testing, and classes, relaxation becomes even more important.  According to the National Institute for Mental Health, 31.4 percent of 13 and 14-year-olds suffer from anxiety disorders, already much higher than the 19.1 percent of adults with the same affliction.  

For 15 and 16-year-olds, this number rises to 32.1 percent, increasing to 32.3 percent for 17 and 18-year olds.

For many teens, anxiety is a result of being forced to balance family, school and often work, all while trying to figure out what they want to do with their lives. As they near the end of high school, they must prepare for many aspects of their life changing. This can be stressful and exhausting.

It is important that students learn to relax, and this is something that school often does not teach. Relaxation helps students not only de-stress, but it gives them a comfortable environment in which to think about their lives, their futures and their identities.

However, for many teens, it is difficult to find time to relax. Much of the day is filled with school, homework, extracurriculars, a part-time job and, when there’s time, sleep. Students must find more time to think without pressure.

Sometimes, it’s beneficial to decrease the amount of time you spend doing homework or thinking about school. Taking school home with you happens more now than ever. Sites like Schoology and Google Classroom make it difficult for high achieving students to have time for themselves.

It is expected that students prioritize school over life and grades over mental health. There is something very wrong with this.

Even when students finally manage to carve out an hour in which to relax, it’s difficult to stop worrying. Why would you waste time meditating on your life when you could be finishing that project for English class?

Students who take time to relax away from school are seen as lazy or not reaching their potential. But potential for what? Potential to get a good score on a test? Is this something worth every waking second of your life?

Everybody needs to relax, including students.

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