Add Mental Health Days

Mental health is very important for a person. It is what drives how we feel everyday. Some days it’s great, other times it’s not. Since school has begun, complete with homework and extracurriculars, students’ mental health is beginning to be affected.
Mental health can be affected by many things, but one that is extremely prevalent for students is homework. It can be stressful when homework builds up and students cannot see the light on the other side of the tunnel, but this is not the only option. Mental health days — days that you take to focus on yourself and catch up on your work — can help alleviate the stress of school.
Schools can implement mental health days to help students reenergize and restore. These days do not exist because people don’t want to go to school, but rather because they are necessary mental tools so that students don’t collapse under the mental pressures of homework.
“[Mental health days] would [make me] be less stressed,” an anonymous student said. “I would have more time, and if I had any questions, the teachers would answer them, so it would just be less stressful overall. I would also have much more time and just be more relaxed and less stressed out about deadlines and getting [assignments] in.”
Schools need to start being more open to mental health days. Every student thrives under different conditions, but everyone needs a break from time-to-time. It’s not healthy for a student to get in a cycle of waking up, going to school, going home and then going to sleep, over and over again. This kind of repetition can make students feel stressed and unhappy, which will make them perform badly at school. According to Forbes, “students who had the least amount of sleep had the lowest grades. Those who averaged 8.1 hours a night scored mostly As, while those averaging 7.3 hours a night scored mostly Cs.”
Students need to relax, recover and focus on themselves, or else they won’t be able to function as human beings in our society. No one ever wants to get to the point where they can’t function properly, or feel worse at the end of every day. Some students, like Christopher Mendez, a junior at Community High School (CHS), think that mental health days would help people feel better.
“I’ve lately been feeling kind of overwhelmed with homework.” Mendez said. “I think it would be nice to just have some extra days to de-stress and work out my homework situation. You know, school can be very stressful for a lot of people.”
You would think telling someone ‘you should take a break and do something else’ is the obvious solution to stress, but it’s not that simple. A lot of students have to meet deadlines and study for upcoming tests, so there’s no room for relaxation. Some people may even choose to not relax. According to Science Daily, “People who were more sensitive to shifts in negative emotion — quickly moving from a relaxed state to one of fear, for example — were more likely to feel anxious while being led through relaxation exercises.” This can be really stressful for them as they try to choose between their lives and work. Unfortunately, they often end up choosing work. This can be dangerous because if your mental health remains unchecked for a long period of time, serious health conditions may arise. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Stress can cause high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.”
By not giving students breaks, schools are putting their students’ health at risk. Students will not gain anything from doing work while stressed besides having one less assignment to do. It is imperative that they get these breaks so they can help prevent these illnesses from happening in the long run.
Students have a lot to prioritize:their social lives, families and academics — but schools can help make their lives easier. They can give them something beneficial in the form of mental health days. Schools may not be able to avoid giving out homework, but they can give more days for students to catch up and rejuvenate. Is going to school without a break worth risking students’ mental and physical health?