Are you Okay?

Nimrah Khan, Staff Reporter

Being cooped up alone in a room, stuck with a laptop, your parents nagging you for being lazy and forgetting to do your chores even though you had twenty assignments due that night…yeah, this is not the ideal school year.

It can be difficult to follow a healthy routine without a regular school schedule, and this can affect one’s mental health. The lack of interaction with friends may contribute to loneliness, lack of motivation, and depression. Essentially, your well-being ties to your academic success, hence it is crucial to maintain a healthy mind and body in turn.

One of the most significant causes of the declining motivation, mental, and physical health is the lack of routine. Distance learning has completely eradicated the usual bell schedule that kept students on some form of routine, promoting procrastination.

Maya Abdaljawwad, a sophomore at RCHS, said, “everyone will get distracted and start procrastinating [because] no one can really tell you what to do anymore. Online school really does affect my mental health because I…mainly [forget] to do so much work [and it] can get very stressful, especially when [teachers] post too many assignments.”

Also, in an article from Psychology Today, child psychologist and mental health writer Mariana Plata wrote, “[S]lowly and almost imperceptibly, I started to fall into what I like to call a ‘procrastination vortex.’ One in which I was quickly losing contact with myself, my passions, and motivations.” Clearly, broken routines can cause procrastination, causing stress and motive loss, leading to more serious mental conditions.

However, not only does this harm mental health, but it also takes a physical toll on the body. In another article, Psychology Today explains that people who are “habitual procrastinators can experience reduced well-being in the form of insomnia or immune system and gastrointestinal disturbance.” While hindering one’s ability to perform academically, procrastination caused by the lack of a routine also negatively impacts the body.

Another factor contributing to mental health issues is loneliness. According to a recent study, referenced in an article from HCPlive, led by clinical psychologist Dr. Maria Loades, “investigators found that social isolation and loneliness increased the risk of depression” and that “young people were as much as 3 times more likely to develop depression in the future due to social isolation, with the impact of loneliness on mental health lasting up to 9 years later.” This finding demonstrates how social interaction is the foundation that secures one’s mental health. Taking that away influences the development of severe mental health conditions.

These are just a few examples that affect adolescents’ mental health. It is crucial to know the importance of identifying these causes, yet how do we prevent long-term mental health issues from developing? The best thing to do is to set up a routine.

A great way to set up a routine is to list the tasks you want to achieve that day. This provides structure and boosts your motivation. Plata said, “make sure you take the time to nurture yourself (whether it’s physically, mentally, or emotionally) on a daily basis.” This will also prevent you from feeling overwhelmed.

You should also keep in contact with your friends, whether through call, facetime, or I playing a few rounds of Among Us. It is always good to find a friend or an adult you trust and confide in, as expressing yourself helps tremendously. If you feel overwhelmed, talk to your counselors and teachers. Communication is key. Lastly, ask yourself this question: Are you ok?

Resources for Reaching Out
National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255
Guidance Counselor
Peer Counseling Zoom
Meeting ID – 99205975211
Passcode: 958173