Whether you’re in high school, college, or a graduate-level program, being a student can be highly demanding at the best of times. With the additional challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, having to shuffle between remote and in-person learning while dealing with the pressures of the virus, can be downright overwhelming.

It’s no surprise that the rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide among teens and young adults have been on the rise as students have found managing stress increasingly difficult. That’s why it’s important to practice stress management techniques, such as exercise, healthy eating, and meditation. It’s also why the idea of taking a mental health day has become increasingly popular among students.

What is a Mental Health Day?
A mental health day is a chance to step away and recharge. During a mental health day, you excuse yourself from your classes or other academic obligations and focus on your emotional and psychological well-being. It is above all a chance to reset your school-life balance.

What Should I Do on a Mental Health Day?
A mental health day is a day for yourself, but it is not a good idea to spend the day simply vegging out in front of the TV or on your computer. These activities have been shown to negatively impact your mood and may make you feel more anxious. Some recommended activities to perform that are effective at managing stress include:

    • Meditation
    • Exercise
    • Catching up on sleep
    • Preparing and eating healthy meals
    • Make a list of the things causing you stress and come up with ways to eliminate them
    • Getting a massage
    • Spending time in nature
    • Performing other stress management techniques such as yoga or deep breathing

Remember, a mental health day is all about you, so pick the activities that you think will best help you recharge.

If, after a day spent working on your emotional and psychological health, you still feel overwhelmed, it may be a good idea to speak with a mental health professional. A good therapist can help you manage your anxiety or depression and help you succeed in both your academic and personal life.

About the Author

Kimberly Sandberg Aloha Integrative Health
Kim Sandberg is the owner and founder of Aloha Integrative Health and a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. She has two advanced degrees: a Masters of Science in Nursing as a Nurse Anesthetist and a Doctor of Nursing Practice. She has worked in a variety of settings, though the biggest impact on Kim and her work came from her 28 years of service in the Navy Reserve.

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