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Your mental health matters

Throughout middle school and high school my friends, family members, and myself have struggled to stay in a healthy mindset. Not until recently did I fully realize and understand the importance of one's mental health.

“Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being.” (Source A) A person's mental health is dependent on many different aspects of a person's routines, social life, and everyday habits. For me I’ve always been so set on having the best grades, taking the hardest classes, and being involved in every club. When I went to high school I realized that doing all that might be too much. I initially kept myself busy, being involved in a high school sport, participating in every club I could, and keeping the perfect GPA. When my sophomore year of high school came around I finally realized that I was starting to burnout. I overwhelmed myself with extracurricular activities, took too many elevated classes, and stopped thinking about what was best for my mental health. I started to have really bad anxiety, panic attacks before school, and the worst part of it all, was that I didn’t tell anyone. I thought that I shouldn't be stressed or feel sad because I thought I had no reason to. For months I felt alone even though I was surrounded by people who loved me. Until my junior year of high school I felt alone and I stopped being myself because I was so focused on getting good grades and making sure I had anything and everything to put on my college applications. I never took the time to take care of myself. Now, to keep myself in a healthy mindset, I color, run, and talk to my friends and parents about what's going on in my head. I no longer stress about getting a perfect score on my math test, or try to be in every club as school, because I’ve realized that I need time for myself and I need time to make sure my mind is healthy. I know it’s hard to talk about your feelings because to me, when I did, I felt weak and vulnerable. I’ve learned that it’s okay to talk about your feelings because it doesn't make you weak or vulnerable. It makes you brave and strong. The sooner you realise you can talk about your feelings and what's going on in your head, the sooner your mind will be healthy and you will finally be able to breathe. Remember to take care of yourself and take care of your mind, because if you don’t… I hope you don’t.

If you feel alone or are just in a bad place, know that you are not alone. I know that sounds cliche, but it's true. You are surrounded by so many people everyday and in most situations at least one person is willing to listen to your story. Don’t be afraid to take a step back and make sure that YOU are OKAY. Because if you are not at your best, the work you do won’t be the best either.

Source A

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