Prioritizing Mental Health at Year’s End


Photo by Davd Goff

As we move toward the end of the school year, ‘stressed’ is a common feeling around the Pingree campus. With capstones, projects and writing assignments coming up, it is important that we all take the time to pause and focus on our own mental health. But how does one even begin to balance work and their own mental health?

Ms. Murphy, Pingree school guidance counselor, says that we need to “prioritize the basics.” The basics include doing your best to get the amount of sleep your body needs to feel its best and also eating nutritious foods that will keep you feeling healthy and energized.

For some this may already pose a challenge due to it taking time away from work, but taking care of yourself doesn’t have to be considered an extra hassle factored into your day. The better you feel the more likely you are to get things done, making you more efficient.

When presented with a list of work to get done for the next day, a good approach is to acknowledge that it’s difficult! Then, start with the work you know you can get done quickly and without struggle. Following that you can start to move into your more challenging work. Keep in mind that during all this work it’s helpful to also include little breaks. This could involve taking a walk, moving, or talking with friends. No matter what, it is important to take a quick step back from whatever you are doing (if you are working on a computer take a tech break!). The same idea applies to studying. Ms. Murphy noted that it is important to spend your time both studying and also saving some time for fun, however that might look like for you personally.

Another thing to consider while trying to balance your mental wellbeing along with school is to develop positive self talk. Obviously this is a lot easier said than done, but some ways to create a good relationship with yourself is to think positively! Self-encouragement specifically is a great way to ease into creating positive self-talk. Even if this seems difficult, if you can catch yourself when you feel you are being hard on yourself and turn that around you have already turned into a more positive thinker. According to Ms. Murphy, “self-talk can be your best friend or the cause of all your problems,” which is why it’s a good idea to try and be kinder to yourself every day.

Another thing to keep in mind is that asking for help or even talking to someone about the way you feel should not be seen as a sign of weakness. If anything it shows that you were strong enough to reach out. Some ways you can seek help are talking to trusted advisors, friends or family who will take the time to listen to you and help you work things out. Also here at Pingree a great resource we can use is our school counselor, Ms. Murphy, or even the ERC to help us manage our academic challenges and plan our day.

If you don’t find yourself in the mood to have conversations, some amazing options include getting outside, meditating or doing an activity you really love. Some additional resources to consider are apps and websites like HeadSpace, Calm, Just Press Pause and even youtube (channels like Lavandaire, HINDZSIGHT, YogaWithBird.