Mental Health Awareness Month

It’s been a wild few months. The school is finally open 5 days a week for those who had opted to come in, more and more people are getting vaccinated, and I write this having just taken 3 out of my 4 AP exams for the year. That being said, we as students have also managed to get lucky in some ways. While Keystones and AP exams will still be going on like they did pre-pandemic, local finals have been cancelled. But the end of the school year can still be tough for many. It feels like it should be summer, and we’re all still stuck inside a school building for six hours a day. It’s important to try to avoid that burnout feeling, as work will begin to pile up and school will only become more stressful. Seeing as May is mental health awareness month, I want to focus on what we can do to avoid burnout as one of the most volatile school years looks to be coming to a long-awaited close.

  1. Take small breaks
    1. It can be hard to sit down and work for hours, especially if the weather is good like it is right now. To avoid burnout, one key strategy is to just take small breaks. Go outside and rest for a few minutes, or go for a walk or run. This can serve two purposes if you also have pets who need exercise!
  2. Organize your work
    1. Feeling like you have a lot on your plate? I’ve always found that making a “game plan” can help. Try to schedule your work into slots, and it will often quickly seem more manageable. You can use the resources our school gives us for this too! Schoology has a calendar that can help to see when different assignments are due, and Skyward will show you what you have missed. The Google Suite also has a calendar that allows you to block out time for different activities and assignments.
  3. Use the end of the year for catch-up
    1. As has been mentioned by several teachers to me, after June 1st our amount of graded work should be dropping significantly. Many teachers will have stopped adding new assignments and materials, and while I’m unsure if this is on a case-by-case basis or if it is schoolwide, use this extra time to turn in late work or study for any final tests or Keystones you may have!
  4. Just try not to stress!
    1. I know this one seems kind of obvious, but stressing more about work you already have to do won’t actually help you get the work done. On top of this, remember that your mental health and well-being should always come before all else. It’s been a wild year, and sometimes all you need is a break to relax.

— Martin Heintzelman