Make Winter Break A Mental Break

Why Winter Break Can Be A Worrying Time and How To Fix It

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As Winter Break peeks right around the corner, students become antsy. Sleeping in with no school seems tantalizing during finals week at El Modena. However, there are a significant number of students who express some anxiety with the coming break even if the break can offer periods of mental relaxation and physical renewal. After the lockdown of 2020, 76% of students opted to learn remotely for the 2020-2021 school year as many did not feel safe returning. As a result of remote learning, many youth suffered from mental ailments with 1 in 6 adolescents experiencing a mental illness. After being brought back to in-person learning, interaction with friends and teachers provided more stability to students who previously felt isolated. But now that the Winter break approaches, the old feeling of isolation creeps back. Couple this 2020 era feeling with pre-existing seasonal depression and there is a prevalent chance of mental health issues. Seasonal depression has always existed and was only discovered in 1984. This disorder occurs as a result of reduced daylight and a drop in serotonin which all contributes to an increased likelihood of depression. To prevent and combat these illnesses, there are few things that you can do. One of the best things to do when preventing or coping with depression is to talk to a trusted individual about your emotions. Just taking the time to have someone to vent to can alleviate emotional stress (if your emotions are life threatening seek immediate help by calling: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or by texting START to 741741). Additionally, self-care is a nice practice to combat mental illness. By setting aside time to do activities such as: doing an at home spa day or writing your emotions out are amazing ways to put your mind at ease. Another great way to combat mental illness is by exercising. Aerobic exercises are especially effective at improving mental well-being whether it’s going for a run or even embarking on a quick walk, exercise is a great tool for overall health. By preparing ahead of time for isolation during the break you can prevent mental illness and have a great break.