Mental Health

Isabelle Kidd and Elle Pickering

November to March are cold and slow moving months, that most people despise.  At this time of year, our bodies lack a good amount of nutrients that we have in the warmer months. During the winter season, we tend to feel more tired and have low amounts of energy. In some cases, this can be known as Seasonal Affective Disorder. 

There are many different types of mental illnesses that people struggle with. They can all be treated or handled in many different ways depending on the situation. It’s a very sensitive topic to discuss for any child or adult. According to the Mayo Clinic, these illnesses can cause symptoms in your everyday life, including how you act towards others, or how you perform in school. They can be treated with a couple different medications and or therapy. Mental illnesses can affect anyone at any age. 

High school can be a rough time for some students who struggle with mental illness. Sometimes it can be difficult to find someone who will listen to what you have to say. The High Schools in Loudoun County have been making efforts to support kids with specific needs. One being an option to go online. 

Online school is used by a wide range of students. Another act that Loudoun Valley, apart of LCPS, has made was to add Wellness Wednesdays into the school schedule. Wellness Wednesday is a chunk of time taken out of every other Wednesday, that is filled with mood lifting activities. One of the most popular activities takes place during the warmer months of high school, which is a walk on the track with friends and peers. Though these efforts can definitely change a student’s mindset, it is quite impossible to make a difference for each and every single student. Allie French, a senior here at Loudoun Valley, enjoys running track, as well as playing soccer for the Varsity team.

“Being able to play multiple sports and having a good group of friends helps make me happy.”

It is especially important for teenagers to have a support system in their lives, whether that is in school or outside of it. Being able to put energy and commitment into a sport is also very healthy and leads to great mental effects.

Elise Bowen, a freshman at Loudoun Valley High School enjoys managing the Varsity Volleyball team and supporting others. She also thinks life can be hard but knows that she is loved and appreciated by many people in her life.

“My friends and family make me happy because I know they love me,” Bowen said.

While enduring these cold months, it’s important to find those who you trust, but to also take care of yourself mentally. We are often taught to ignore our mental needs in order to ‘push through’ the hardships of life. Many studies have shown that taking mental health days, or just caring for yourself  throughout the day can go as far as to having effects on your physical state too. Too much stress can lead to less sleep, which can cause someone to easily fall behind on their work, inducing more anxiety. 

Though it is great to have a strong mentality and ‘push through’ each and every day, it is more important to take care of your body as it needs. This includes eating, exercising and getting enough rest. Doing these three things will help with your physical, and mental appearance. 

Taken by Elle Pickering

There are many different forms of mental illness, and can cause many issues throughout your life. Always look to those who make you happy and safe, and love yourself for who you are!