To Those With Mental Health Problems: Let’s Walk Through Them

School, work, chores—I get it. We all have responsibilities; but consider a walk. Your mental health may thank you.

To Those With Mental Health Problems: Let’s Walk Through Them

Updated: October 12, 2022

October 05, 2022

The United States is going through a period of mental struggle as people worry about a sharply more violent and partisan society, how they will make it through financially, and their overall health. High school students throughout the country are struggling as well. From grades to potential new roles they assume to help their parents, high schoolers have struggled to maintain the social life they need to thrive during their critical periods of growth. As suicide rates increase dramatically, we have to look toward treatment. A CDC study shows that more than a third of high school students are experiencing poor mental health. In fact, 40 percent of Maine high schoolers reported mental health problems, according to a survey. America's healthcare system has been placed under immense pressure for years, and many who need such care often cannot obtain it. So, what should you consider?

Although many Americans have turned to exercise and new hobbies, it isn’t always accessible or practical on a consistent basis. I thought about exercising more, but I don't go to the gym very often, so then what's the use? Walking became something that made me feel small but showed significant improvements. Walking has just as many benefits as exercising; it allows you to feel more energetic and improves your mood. One of my struggles during my mental health problems was grasping for something to cling on to. My sense of melancholy derived from what I thought was the world ending. I didn't have time to do anything as working met school, and both met my personal life where I had to help at home. I never had more than 20 minutes to play games, and I didn't have anyone to talk to, so it felt like I began to fall into an abyss. When I did play games, I didn't truly communicate with anyone, so it too died on me eventually. Walking became my outlet, and I began to do it regularly. I not only began to think about my problems and how to change them but about some things that I might enjoy. Slowly as you explore, you can find new things to enjoy. Sometimes, I could walk for hours, but you don't have to. A simple walk to clear your mind across a park or just around your neighborhood will suffice. If you think you must study for school because you are struggling, I can say that walking can stimulate the mind.

As we enter the flu season, it is also important to note that exercising can reduce the possibility of infection. The British Journal of Sports Medicine conducted a study in which 60% of women and 40% of men were observed for 12 weeks. Over these 12 weeks, the researchers concluded that by performing some aerobic activity (5 or more days a week), there is a significant decrease in the likelihood of getting an upper respiratory tract infection, and if you do, it will not be as severe. Healthline lays out all the other benefits of walking in their article, which gives you daily health improvements that come from simply walking. Give it a try; simple things are sometimes just as important as the big ones.

There are always people available for you to talk to, such as the suicide prevention line, by calling 988. Remember: no matter the hardships you encounter—life goes on, and there will always be a better tomorrow. If you need help, you can reach out to me too through the social media in my bio.