ART BY: TIFFANY CHAN
By ADRIAN HERNANDEZ
Is procrastinating on a project really worth the stress and harm to your mental health?
In our hectic high school lives, we often sacrifice our sleep in order to put forth a last-minute effort the night before a project is due, ignorant to the negative facets it has on mental health. But, what is mental health? Mental health is our emotional, psychological and social well-being and for better or worse, it affects our every action from talking to sleeping.
However, throughout the world, many individuals disregard mental health. To them, mental illness only happens to those “other” people, completely ignoring that mental health and illness affect all. In 2010, the National Institute of Mental Health assessed that 40% of adults did not receive treatment the previous year.
Therefore, the prioritization of mental health is paramount, because having a great outlook on life can alter how well you tackle everyday struggles and challenges.
In a recent study, the American Institute of Stress reported that around 80% of workers have very high stress levels and 65% of those workers say that their jobs are the root cause. For these workers, the everyday struggles of work exacerbated their stress and diminished their ability to function properly. Therefore, by letting our problems dictate our mental stability, we ultimately undermine the stability of our lives.
Additionally, we need to take care of our mental health, in order to boost our confidence and self-worth. According to the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention, over 50% of suicide victims had major major depression in 2015. Evidently, individuals with depression may lose motivation and determination to carry out their everyday tasks and overcome their obstacles. This is why maintaining our happiness is crucial; without dedicating time to protect our mental well-being, life becomes a never-ending struggle, and we begin to have difficulty seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
Moreover, ignoring your mental health could have detrimental effects on your physical well-being. According to Psycom, an online publication on mental health, about 94% of females diagnosed with an eating disorder have poor mental health, revealing that mental illnesses such as eating disorders can significantly harm one’s physical well-being.
While most high schoolers will not reach a problem of this severity, many can still harm themselves if they ignore their mental health. To illustrate, you may be working long and hard on a seemingly impossible projects. Before you know it, the sun is rising and you just skipped hours much-needed sleep. This ultimately, makes it harder to function the next day. By continuing this vicious cycle your work may suffer in quality and your own grade will reflect that. Considering these far-reaching consequences on our academic and mental stability, this is not a good tradeoff.
In the long run, a poor mental health will lead to more serious health ailments that can further worsen one’s outlook on life. In fact, a study conducted by Psych Central concluded that people with life-threatening illnesses in addition to depression can have a double reduction in social interaction. Ultimately, the accumulation of health problems perpetuates a nonchalant attitude toward their well-being, as they grow more unwilling to care for themselves.
Most people can start improving their mental health just by taking breaks. Just leaving your work for a few minutes can improve your focus and efficiency. So, next time you procrastinate on your project, think back to this article and remember how much you are hurting your mental health.