My deepest apologies that it has been so long, I am currently in the midst of taking my final A-Level exams, so as you can probably imagine, life is busy, busy, busy! However, I will be posting much more regularly and there is some very exciting stuff on it’s way. On that note, I thought I would write a post on education and mental health, whilst also giving tips on how to look after yourself, especially through stressful periods, like exam seasons.
We have all been there, or are currently going through it. Do not get me wrong, I am very appreciative to have had a free, wonderful education that has helped me to develop into the young lady I am today, especially as I love learning, but I would be lying if I said that it has not been a factor that has been intertwined in my mental health situation. As I become a University student in September, I feel that education and mental health do share factors that need to be discussed. Especially in recent years, education has become more challenging for students and in many cases, detrimental to young people’s mental health. Why is that? In my opinion, it is because students are working extremely hard, yet with not much mental health support available. It has only been a recent development that mental health is being discussed in places of education and students are starting to be taken seriously. Further to this, teachers/ lectures are defintely not receiving enough training on how to support young people to high standards when it comes to mental health and that is an issue I am very passionate about. I am from a generation that is seeing the highest ever figures of mental health issues in young people and without significant support and advise from those in education, how the hell are young people supposed to make the most of their education without stable, reliable support?!
I have a large amount of love and kindness for teachers, some of whom have been so important in helping me through issues, but I do believe that there is so much more that needs to be done to protect students!
There have been many times that I have had breakdowns, due to the intensity of schoolwork and not wanting to let people down; I know that many other people that surround me have also had very similar situations, and in the longterm, has been one of many factors that lead to poor mental health. More funding in schools and knowledge about the issues that young people face today are so important, especially in a time where the world needs to be sharing much more love and peace to others and themselves. I thought I would leave some suggestions on how can you can help your mental health whilst in education:
- Confide in those you trust- Friends, family, your doctor, your teachers. The worst thing that you can do for your mental health is to suffer in your silence. By speaking out, you are not battling your mind alone, and you will be also helping others who are going through a similar situation. Speaking out will be an influence in getting schools to educate themselves on how to support their students. You also have to take care of yourself, and by confiding in those around you, you are facing the issue, instead of hiding, before your mental health has the chance to escalate.
2. Sleep, food, and water- Your mind will be under a large amount of strain, please try to not allow your physical health to also be taken under.- I know that is difficult when you’re mental health is in a bad place, but even attempting to look after yourself physically will help. Self care is extremely important, as I have preached before and undeniably, if you are taking exams, being physically healthy will make going into them a much bearable experience, allowing you to perform at your best.
3. Do not over work yourself- There have been many times when I will overwork myself because I feel that there is more to be done or what I have done is not at its highest standard; give yourself breaks. You are doing wonderfully and working yourself into the ground will do you no favours. Yes, it is important to work hard for what you want, but it is also important to have fun and enjoy yourself too! To everyone, student or not, finding a positive balance can lift a large pressure from your mental health.
4. Praise yourself- Being in education can sometimes have negative effects on your self-esteem. Please do not allow that to get in your way. Give yourself praise and some reassurance that you are doing your best and that you shall reach your aspirations and dreams. Try and distract yourself with things that you enjoy to allow yourself to block negative thoughts.
I hope that this post has been of interest to you all, please let me know what your views are of education and mental health!
A little side note; the mental health organisation ‘Time To Change’ recently published a blog post that I wrote for them in regards to their latest mental health campaign; you can read it here!
Until next time!