The overwhelming feeling of stress is not a foreign concept to most students. The stress from life activities, family, homework, extracurriculars, sports, or pretty much anything you might be doing in your life can get to be a lot. It is hard to balance out-of-school activities and school requirements, but the time of frequent mental breakdowns, procrastination, and “honestly I don’t even care anymore if I get this wrong, I get this wrong because I am so tired and stressed” assignments (I think we’ve all been there) is over. The balancing of school and life might seem like an impossible feat, but with new habits it can be done.
One of the first steps is to evaluate the activities and commitments that you are currently a part of. Being involved in too much can bring your stress levels up way too high. By carefully looking at each activity and your feelings about each one, you can decide what you can let go of and stop doing. Self-health is extremely important and wearing yourself too thin by trying to put in maximum effort into everything is unhealthy. You can only fake it ’til you make it for so long and you will get to a point where you mentally, emotionally, and physically cannot go on doing all of these things. Ms. Dellisanti taught me an important lesson last year in Honors English that pertains to the importance of mental health. She explained to my class that most kids are taught to put their mental health last. We are taught that school, chores, homework, extracurriculars, sports, or any commitments are more important than focusing on self-health. We put everyone and everything before ourselves, which is good to put effort into the things we do, but too much effort for too many pursuits can be detrimental to health. It is good to challenge yourself a healthy amount and take on only as much as you can handle.
Procrastination plagues so many students, including myself, and leads to lots of stress. Although it is extremely hard, especially for procrastinators, going home and starting on homework right away and just getting it done is important. Staying on top of homework as you’re trying to balance all extracurriculars is critical to managing stress and life. Working on an assignment that is due in a few days on the day it is assigned is a good idea if you know you’ll be busy with other engagements.
School and out-of-school life takes up the majority of our time and it can be really stressful. Staying on top of your to-do list is extremely important, but adding in some time for yourself is vital. Doing whatever “recharges your battery” helps you to be able to have the energy to give to your commitments. Leaving specific time once a day or once a week, depending on what it is that makes you happy, will better prepare you mentally and physically to take on daily challenges and activities.
Mental health is no joke and all of the activities and family commitments and school expectations and trying to keep friends and significant others happy can all take a toll on your energy to continue forward. Making sure you’re okay mentally, emotionally, and physically is something you should check for and evaluate when taking on new challenges in life. Finding a limit and knowing what you can handle will help this. Having a balanced life will lead to less stress and more happiness.