The importance of self-care

Angela Greggs, Staff Writer

According to the National Association on Mental Illness, about 20% of adolescents in America have at least one mental illness; the most common mental illness being anxiety, which the Anxiety and Depression Association of America says affects 18% of Americans. Taking care of your body physically is a good way of keeping your mind healthy.
As a PE teacher, Kelsey Foote thinks that drinking enough water is the most important and beneficial way to take care of your health.
“Water is good for your skin, and your muscles, and your digestive system. Water helps athletes avoid injury and muscles getting too fatigued,” Foote said.
However, as a high school teacher, it has allowed her to see how students take care of themselves in their own way aside from drinking water.
“People draw, write stories and poems, or read as a way to self-help or express themselves,” Foote said. “I also think that a lot of them have positive relationships around them, they’ll spend time with those friends who are good influences on them, and will listen to them, and will understand everything they’re going through.”
Liberty mental health counselor Cecelia Oxford has worked with many students on their mental health and has found other ways students keep themselves healthy.
“I hear a lot that music is really helpful, as well as exercising, staying connected with friends, reading, journaling, having a creative outlet, whether its music or art, as long as it’s not academic, just having that outlet helps,” Oxford said. “Something that I talk to people a lot about is taking care of your basic needs. If you’re not sleeping, eating, exercising, that’s going to impact your mental health significantly.”
Senior Talia Gustin agrees with Oxford’s findings.
“I think it puts you in the right mind set, and gives you a way to decompress after a stressful day,” Gustin said. “You can put yourself in a better state of mind which leads to feeling better and keeping yourself healthy.”