Nurturing Your Mental Health in Highschool
By: Princess Nina
(Rising Senior at Arundel High School)
Life can be a rollercoaster of
emotions, especially during these
formative years. Amidst the ups
and downs, one thing that can make
a world of difference is having strong
friendships. Friendships are not just
about having someone to sit with at
lunch or share secrets with; they play
a vital role in nurturing our mental health. In this article, let’s explore how friendships can positively I impact our well-being and discover some tips for building and maintaining meaningful connections.
1. A Shoulder to Lean On: High school can be overwhelming at times, with academic pressures, social drama, and personal challenges. Having friends who truly understand and empathize with what you’re going through can be incredibly comforting. A heartfelt conversation with a trusted friend can provide emotional support, allowing you to release stress and anxiety. Remember, you’re not alone in this journey!
2. Building Self-Esteem: True friends are those who accept and appreciate us for who we are. They celebrate our strengths and help us overcome our weaknesses. Surrounding yourself with positive influences who believe in your potential can boost your self-esteem. Through genuine compliments, encouragement, and constructive feedback, friends can help you develop a strong sense of self-worth and confidence.
3. Stress Relief and Laughter: Laughter truly is the best medicine! Engaging in light-hearted activities
and sharing laughter with friends can significantly reduce stress levels. Whether it’s watching funny movies, going for a walk together, or simply goofing around, these moments of joy can alleviate tension, improve your mood, and remind you to take a break from the demands of school life.
4. Supportive Social Network: Friends provide us with a network of social support, which is crucial for our mental well-being. Knowing that you have a group of friends who have your back can instill a sense of security. They can offer advice, provide different perspectives, and help you navigate challenging situations. Surrounding yourself with positive influences can also reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation.
5. Growth and Personal Development: Friendships offer valuable opportunities for personal growth.
Interacting with different personalities and backgrounds helps broaden your horizons, enhance your social skills, and develop empathy and understanding. Through shared experiences, you can learn from one another’s strengths and weaknesses, fostering personal development and self-awareness.
"True friends offer support, understanding, and a sense of belonging. They help us navigate the å of adolescence."
Tips for Building and Maintaining Friendships:
a. Be Yourself: Authenticity is key to building genuine connections. Embrace your uniqueness and allow
others to see the real you.
b. Show Empathy: Listen actively, be supportive, and show genuine interest in your friends’ lives. Empathy strengthens bonds and fosters deeper connections.
c. Communicate Openly: Honest and open communication is vital in any friendship. Express your feelings, needs, and concerns, and encourage your friends to do the same.
d. Invest Time and Effort: Nurture your friendships by spending quality time together, whether it’s through shared activities, outings, or simply catching up regularly.
e. Be Reliable: Being a dependable friend builds trust. Be there for your friends in both good times and bad, and they will be there for you too.
I know from personal experience as a now junior in high school, using these tips have made a significant wave in my friendships throughout my years in high school so far, as high school girls,
the friendships we cultivate can have a profound impact on our mental health.