The Student News Site of Royal Oak High School

Acorn Newsmagazine

Acorn Newsmagazine

The Student News Site of Royal Oak High School

Acorn Newsmagazine

Coping in the Return to Normalcy

Recently, there has been an increase in mental illness, here are methods that can help.

Due to Covid, this is the first normal school year we’ve had since 2019. Because of that, many students have lost their sense of normalcy and have had to adjust back to how things used to be. The process of adjusting back can cause a lot of stress on students and can leave them feeling overwhelmed. This is why it’s important for students to have healthy coping mechanisms which allow them to relieve any stress they have. It’s also important for students to stay away from unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as isolation, avoidance, self-harm, over/under eating, and substance abuse.

Ms. McGrath, one of the ROHS social workers, was asked what coping mechanism she would recommend most for students and why? The coping mechanism she recommended was the ‘5-4-3-2-1 breathing exercise’. In this breathing exercise, you think of 5 things you can see, 4 things you can feel, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste. She recommended this coping mechanism because it’s a discreet method of coping that you can use in class, and it will utilize your senses and bring you to a calmer state. McGrath was also asked, what is the importance of having coping skills, to which she responded,

“there’s so much going on for students, and it’s hard to bring yourself back when you’re under stress, so having a set of coping skills could help manage that.”

This is why it’s important to have more than one coping skill, because different situations can require different methods. She also spoke on the importance of healthy coping mechanisms, when asked how unhealthy coping mechanisms can affect students, she responded,

“doing something that’s unhealthy for you at the end of the day wont better yourself, it’s like putting a bandaid on it but not actually fixing the wound.”

Really saying, by having unhealthy coping mechanisms, you aren’t improving the problem, you’re adding on to it.

In a survey taken by 16 ROHS students, they were asked what coping mechanisms they personally used. The results, which are shown by the graphic, state that the most common coping mechanism by these students was taking a nap. This mechanism is healthy because it can help to refresh your mind and provide some much needed rest. However, sleeping too much throughout the day can disrupt your sleep schedule and end up doing more harm to your mental health. The other most common coping mechanism was listening to music. This is a helpful coping mechanism because it can distract from stress, and calm down. There was a variety of answers, and there are many more coping mechanisms beyond what works for those surveyed. Although, it’s about what healthy mechanism works for you.

Mental health has so many aspects, so it can be hard maintaining stress and taking care of yourself. Out of the many different ways that students can cope with stress, it’s important to continue learning and exploring those methods as part of maintaining your mental health.

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About the Contributor
Liv Fox
Liv Fox, Publicity Manager
Hi!! My name is Liv Fox, I’m a senior at Royal Oak High School and the publicity manager of Acorn. Outside of school, I love listening to music, reading, and hanging out with my friends. My favorite movie is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and my favorite music artists are Taylor Swift, Fiona Apple, and Stevie Nicks. I’m really looking forward to working on and seeing the magazine thrive this year!

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