Mental Health Tips

Nicole Soong, Staff Writer

The U.S. just experienced a tragic school shooting in Florida, while AHS just had Wellness Week to let students focus more on their own physical and emotional wellness. It is very important for students to acknowledge that mental health is as important as physical health and to realize the importance of mental health because it can definitely affect one’s physical health as well. In order to help our fellow Apaches take care of their mental health and understand more about it, here are some mental health tips on how to relax and reevaluate emotions.

Mental health is a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, copes with the normal stresses of life, works productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community. It emphasizes self-realization, stress-management, and optimal functioning. If mental health is such an important part of our lives, why is it so under-addressed when more than 40 million adults and 17 million children in America are coping with mental health challenges, and more than $200 billion is spent annually to address these issues? One of the reasons is that people today are too afraid to even mention it because of the stigma, which worsens the condition. People are simply avoiding the problem when it can certainly be fixed, and many patients are unwilling to seek help until their conditions get to a degree that it severely influences their daily lives. Additionally, the government is not actively trying to fund or help the organization or the patients, and people are just too overwhelmed with their daily lives. In fact, the Florida shooting case serves as a great reminder for all Americans to take care of their own mental health. Here are some tips for us to reevaluate our mental state and just relax.

  1. There’s no “wrong” way to feel, and you shouldn’t feel guilty for having an emotional reaction, even if you weren’t directly affected. Every emotion has its purpose, and we can’t just shun one emotion just because it is “bad” or it makes you look weak. It’s natural for people to feel anxious, stressed, terrified, or negative when they see a tragedy, and it is definitely okay.
  2. As shootings become a more common occurrence, and we are growing up in an era when tragedy constantly appears on the news, you don’t need personal experience to feel vulnerable or triggered by the emotions. Everyone has the right to feel just as desperate as the people who experienced it.
  3. Don’t feel bad about turning off the news. In fact, you should really consider stepping back from it if you need to. We all need a break at a certain point in life, just like how we take breaks when we are doing work. So, disconnecting can be a necessary act of self-care.
  4. Self-care looks different for everyone, but try to figure out what things make you feel better and take the time to do them. I know at AHS, many of us don’t have the time to take care of ourselves with all our classes and extracurriculars, but a personalized way for you to manage your stress and shut off your negative thoughts is absolutely going to help with your mental health!
  5. No matter what you’re feeling, it could help to talk to someone else about it. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or alone, reach out. That can mean processing your feelings with a loved one or talking to a professional. Everyone needs to express their feelings in order to release some stress; just the act of talking to someone can do wonders!

Here are five tips that I found helpful and there are surely more tips online that you can use to release stress. Just remember one thing: there is no right or wrong method to deal with your emotions and mental health. Find a way that works for you, whether that means writing in a journal or talking to a friend, and know that you are definitely not in this alone. You have a whole community supporting you.