Angelika Hillios

Take mental health days when needed

March 21, 2022

An alarm blares at 8:30 a.m. sharp, starting a typical day on campus.

Yet, as I roll over to hit snooze, I realize I don’t feel like my usual self.

I’m sluggish, overwhelmed and in need of a break.

Mental health days help to recharge students so they can perform at their peak ability.

A mental health day is a day to oneself, whether it be cuddling up on the couch and watching a movie or going out into nature, it’s a day dedicated to mental healing.

Anxiety and depression symptoms were seen in 44% of college students and 30% of students reporting feeling depressed in the past year, according to Sept. 7, 2021 Mayo Clinic Health System article.

With the burdening responsibility of maintaining good grades, obtaining internships and taking care of oneself, college students are often swamped with tasks.

Throughout college, students learn how to manage their time.

Understanding when it’s time to recharge is part of that process.

COVID-19 brought online learning to college campuses, which makes it easier to stay at home.

However, I implore students to actually take the day off when they need a break, instead of sitting through class online.

When I continue to work through poor mental health I create bad quality work, because I can’t focus on my assignments.

After taking a day to focus on myself, I find that I can come back to my work with a fresh slate and thrive.

Simone Biles, a gold-winning gymnast, opted out of the Olympics citing mental health concerns, according to a July 29, 2021 CNN article.

Society often pushes people to their limit, which leads to guilt over missing important events, but Biles’ case exemplifies the necessity of saying no.

If Biles can opt out of the Olympics because she is not in the right mental state, it is okay for me to skip my lecture.

Missing the Olympics does not deduct from the fact that Biles is a top-tier athlete, and missing class does not diminish my care for my work.

After spring recess, there are no more scheduled breaks, according to the 2021-22 UVM Academic Calendar.

I encourage all students to evaluate their needs and understand it is okay to take a mental health day.

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