Readjusting to “normal life” has been difficult for all of us, especially with many students coming back to school in person for the first time in months. It’s difficult to be thrown into an environment which is unfamiliar, and with no time to readjust to your surroundings. Giving students the time to get back on their feet and find stable ground will give them a better opportunity to succeed and to develop a healthy routine. In order to obtain this much-needed time, I think that Frontier should dedicate specific days throughout the year to student mental health. This does not mean that we give students constant days off, but instead means that schools allow students a day to catch their breath. This could be in the form of a period to catch up on school work, or limited homework in classes on certain days. It could even involve optional after school activities that help eliminate stress and keep students connected with each other. The options are endless, and each one has its own benefits. If these designated days were to be proven effective, it is possible that they could be spread to other schools, and help students who may be struggling to readjust to their normal routine.
Speaking from personal experience, there have been days in which I feel very overwhelmed. Days where I feel like the tasks I’ve been given are impossible to accomplish. By allowing these designated days for readjustment, students will be given the opportunity to catch up and possibly improve their academic performance. An article from EducationWeek discusses three main arguments developed by students to support their fight for mental health days. The article explains how mental health days “allow students a way to support themselves outside school.” Considering how stressful school can be, it is important to take the time that you need to focus on yourself. The article also explains how these days can, “decrease stigma and allow more open conversation about mental health…they also decrease stigma and allow more open conversation about mental health.” Initiating these days can allow schools to become more aware of the issue of mental health, and allow themselves to help those affected by it. Stress not only affects your mental health, but can manifest in physical ways. It can be presented as fatigue, or an inability to focus, which can have drastic effects on students academic performance.
Considering all of the positive effects of incorporating mental health days, it is important that schools consider building them into their schedule. It could not only improve a student’s life in school, but out of school as well. By prioritizing our mental health, we open up the opportunity to improve in all aspects of life, both inside and outside of school.