Tips For Maintaining Good Mental Health

Maintaining good mental health is an integral component to a person’s overall health. There is often a negative stigma associated with mental health, but it is an incredibly important topic, especially in a stressful environment like observed in many high schools across the country.

Mental health includes a person’s psychological, emotional, and social well-being and can affect how someone acts and feels (What Is Mental Health?). Maintaining positive mental health allows a person to be productive and make positive contributions, big or small, to the world around them.

Here’s a list of ways to help you maintain good mental health:

1. Get Plenty of Sleep

Sleep plays a critical role in good mental health. Sleeping too little can impair one’s ability to think and can increase the risk for various mental health disorders. Studies have shown that when your body goes into REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, it helps with learning and can contribute positively to emotional health (Sleep and Mental Health). This makes sleep a crucial part of maintaining strong mental health.

2. Manage Your Stress

Stress is the feeling of being under pressure and can be detrimental to your mental well-being. While some stress is good and can help with motivation, too much stress can trigger a variety of symptoms (How to Manage and Reduce Stress). For these reasons, it is important to figure out what is causing the stress and take action. In a lot of situations for high schoolers, this stress can be caused by schoolwork. This can be managed by staying organized and finding a good way to manage your time.

3. Take Time For Yourself

Even when you’re busy, it is important to take some time for yourself. Find what makes you happy and relaxed—whether that be reading a book, drawing, or riding your bike—and make sure you have time set aside once in a while to do only that. Sometimes you just need time to take care of yourself and do something you enjoy.

4. Meditate

According to Mental Health America, “Meditation can benefit people who have mental health conditions, as well as those who do not. Studies show it can also reduce depression and anxiety, and help people manage chronic pain.” Meditation is greatly beneficial to relaxation and reducing stress, so this is a good way to improve your overall mental health

5. Exercise

Exercise can have positive effects on a person’s mood. Studies have shown that a person’s mood can be enhanced just five minutes after moderate exercise (The Exercise Effect). This helps improve a person’s overall mental health and specifically can alleviate stress.

 

References:

  1. “What Is Mental Health?” Depression | MentalHealth.gov, www.mentalhealth.gov/basics/ what-is-mental-health.
  2. Harvard Health Publishing. “Sleep and Mental Health – Harvard Health.” Harvard Health Blog, www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/sleep-and-mental-health.
  3. “How to Manage and Reduce Stress.” Mental Health Foundation, 4 May 2018, www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/how-manage-and-reduce-stress.
  4. “Meditation.” Mental Health America, 4 Oct. 2016, www.mentalhealthamerica.net/meditation.
  5. “The Exercise Effect” APA, American Psychological Association, www.apa.org/monitor/2011/12/exercise.aspx.

How Can Students Effectively Use Their Summers?

A common advice for underclassmen this time of year from seniors is, “Start preparing for it early.”

Take this advice to heart, underclassmen.

For students who seek experience in a specific field or the working field itself, there are many available opportunities that you cannot miss!

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For starters, students can take advantage of the Backpacks To Briefcases (B2B) meetings that are available during lunch periods, as they provide useful information for the many students who don’t have a good idea of what career or field they want to pursue and for students who may have a good idea of the major they intend to study. Asking questions and getting advice or a realistic idea of what the future holds for you is a great idea – especially with something as important as your career. B2Bs can also give you an idea of what type of schedule you may have as a clinical psychiatrist or established attorney. Perhaps you may find that being a teacher requires a lot more patience than you thought, or that you might not enjoy the lifestyle a typical dentist may live. It’s always a good idea to explore before tying yourself down to one career path. For more information on B2Bs, you can see Mr. Levine in the Room 139.

Secondly, summer is a great time to get involved in some activities without pressuring yourself to maintain academics and extracurricular activities. For example, many students take advantage of the school summer programs, the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) and Ladders for Leaders, that allow students to gain work experience. These opportunities are limited to a certain number of students via lottery, which means that a seat is not guaranteed. However, there are other external programs that students can apply to if they are not selected for the school programs.

Other great opportunities include extensive programs designed for students like you: involved and eager students wanting to learn and experience a specific field. There are an incredible amount of available programs, and a great source for finding some of these programs can be your teachers! Otherwise, a little internet research can also help you find a school or organization offering opportunities for students to get involved.

Another opportunity can be in research. By reaching out to school professors or even by talking to some of your school teachers, you can find places to gain experience through lab work, research, and other involvements. Of course, internships are also a great source for experience, even if the work involves simple shadowing or paperwork. Learning about the job by watching the experts work is a great source of information that confirms your passion for a specific line of work. SERP is also a notable opportunity for students interested in research during the school year.

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These experiences are clearly wonderful opportunities for learning, but they are also great for improving social skills or communication, which means the experience can go a long way to prepare you for your future as part of the workforce even if the working experience is not specifically in your line of future career interests. Networking is a great advantage of working as well, and having connections will never hurt, especially making connections with professors capable of giving you a recommendation for college.

Lastly, don’t forget to check your school email, because any available opportunities may be shared with students by email. Activities like Science Olympiad, MakerSpace, Newspaper Committee, and Literary Magazine can also help develop interests during the school year, so check them out!

 

Crocs Are the Only Shoes You Should Be Wearing

Crocs started off as boat shoes in 2002 but quickly became an international phenomenon. The foam clog design was iconic in the late 2000s — one might even call it the Yeezys of 2008. Since then, there has been debate as to whether these shoes are cool or really just ugly. Some refer to it as “plastic hooves,”and even worse, people have named it the “world’s ugliest shoes — hands down.” However, others have embraced the shoe’s “ultra hip” style. It’s a simple fact that crocs are comfortable. Big C for Comfy!

The plethora of holes across the shoe provide for optimal ventilation — gone are the days of sweaty and smelly feet. A Utah teen recently ran a half marathon in Crocs and described the experience as “having a fan in your shoe.” Ample space in the shoe creates an inviting environment for toes that have been crushed by “trendier” shoes such as Converses or Vans. As someone who made the mistake of running in Vans, I can confirm that it is not a pleasant experience.Thinking back, Crocs would have been better running shoes. Excellent arch support paired with slip resistance only adds to the appeal of these clogs. Wearing any other shoe is simply just unhygienic and irresponsible.

Not only do they have medical benefits, but it has made appearances in New York Fashion Week, London Fashion Week, and on the feet of several celebrities. During London Fashion week, models from Christopher Kane’s runway weren’t wearing the typical stilettos but customized crocs. Embellished with pins called Jibbitz, the Crocs made the models look chic and surprisingly stylish. Afterall, why try to bust into painfully high heels when you can wear spacious Crocs? Moreover, celebrities such as Michelle Obama, Mario Batali, George W. Bush, and Kate Middleton were seen sporting Crocs. Who knew George W. Bush was so fashion forward?

Anyone can look as hip as Michelle Obama in Crocs. With its affordable price points and availability in Walmarts nationwide, it’s hard to NOT buy Crocs. Crocs come in a variety of colors, making it a breeze to style with. They come in gorgeous prints and patterns. Wear camo crocs with your distressed Urban Outfitters jeans! Wear tropical crocs on your vacation to the Bahamas! Going to Norway to look at the Northern Lights? Wear the fur-lined crocs, which of course, come in camo or tropical prints. The possibilities are simply endless.

“CROCS. WILL. CHANGE. YOUR.LIFE.”

In recent years, Von Dutch and Juicy Couture have made comebacks at Urban Outfitters stores all across the nation. And obviously, it’s a known fact that Urban Outfitters is the breeding ground for the newest trends. So grab your pair of crocs before they become popular and unoriginal. Haters will mock your shoes, but deep down, they will admire your boldness and courage to style it with your outfit. Be a trendsetter and own the hip Crocs look! CROCS. WILL. CHANGE. YOUR.LIFE. You won’t have to sacrifice style for comfort with crocs. Like Hannah Montana, you can have the best of both worlds.

However, if Crocs are not your thing, you can always settle for joots as an alternative! Joots may be the next big thing!

Sip and Shop at SIPS + MAKER

Estera P. Alvarado had the idea to open up a coffee shop for more than five years before setting her plan into motion. The result is SIPS + MAKER, a unique cafe located on New Dorp Lane. This shop has the laidback coffee shop aura, as well as a gift shop to purchase trinkets for amazing causes. This business is the embodiment of quality over quantity, as all of the coffee beans are organic and aged, carefully measured and timed for each drink. The espresso shots are taste tested throughout the day to ensure this quality. The coffee is sourced from Joe Coffee, a family business from Red Hook, Brooklyn, where quality is also a part of their marketing as they meticulously grind beans to perfection. The business has served all of NYC, and finally hit Staten Island with SIPS + Maker. Starbucks doesn’t even compare; with the large corporate company, quality is definitely not one of their main concerns.

The unparalleled gift shop in the back of the cafe is very inspirational. The market area has handmade items that support amazing causes such as jewelry made by human trafficking survivors from India, hand-knit items to support women in Bangladesh, and items from other various countries of the world such as Germany and Madagascar. All of the items are Fair Trade Certified, meaning that the craftsmen of the products all have safe and fair working conditions.

The whole concept for this store came from Estera’s observation that “Staten Island lacked many new and innovative shops compared to other boroughs.” By utilizing her 10 years of interior design/freelance experience, she can do many things other entrepreneurs cannot do themselves. For example, she doesn’t need her own contractor because she has usable knowledge about plumbing due to her previous employment. It was also while she worked as a freelancer that she realized that sometimes you don’t want to work at home, and because she often traveled to Manhattan for work, she saw the stark contrast between the coffee shops you could go in the city compared to Staten Island.

Estera put over 100 hours per week when she first opened her business, but even now after the struggle of trying to find employees with shared morals, she still works 70+ hours per week. Estera is also ambitiously hoping to open up 2 more locations, one on the North Shore and one on the South Shore. Make sure to stop by and #showyoursips!