Opinion

Are Mental Health Days Essential?

With the constant stress placed on students, mental health days are not only beneficial but necessary.

It is obvious to students when they have become burnt out and struggle to continue going to school Monday through Friday. Despite knowing they need a break, it is not always so easy to actually take the break. Many school administrators and parents are hostile to the idea as they do not understand the pressure today’s students are under. The school system also makes it difficult to take time for personal benefit without the stress of missed work defeating the original purpose.

Most schools do not want their students taking mental health days because it can cause them to fall behind in their work. However, the long-term effects of bad mental health can cause students to fall behind much more than one day. Overwhelming stress reduces the effort students are willing to put into work. It is not easy to work under stress and anxiety, which can lead to lower quality work.

The easiest way to solve this is to plan for mental health days ahead of time. This way, anyone who is need of a break can ask for school work ahead of time. Any work can be done in the days before or at home. Working from home allows the individual to design their own work environment and go at their own pace.

On mental health days, students should do whatever they need to relax. This varies from student to student. For example, some might find it helpful to spend time with family, or some might want to just lay down and watch a movie. Generally, anything that is slower-paced and calm will be beneficial to relaxation. Taking time away from the stressful, fast-paced school environment will improve mental health and motivation.

Overall, taking a break from school occasionally is necessary for mental health. Today’s students are put under constant pressure to succeed and go at the pace of the school. Often, this does more harm to good. Allowing intermittent breaks reduces stress and improves quality of work by making it easier for the student to put in maximum effort.

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