“It is when we act freely for the sake of the action itself rather than for ulterior motives, that we learn to become more than what we were.”
- Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
These moments where I felt like a completely and entirely different person were moments that I felt mental distress. Mental distress is between “Wellness" and "Mental Illness" on the continuum of mental distress. I’ve observed that this occurs with plenty of people in our society and, even more importantly, our school, Episcopal. Why? With investigation, I've found an answer: the enablement of technology.
American culture has always supported hard work ethic with ideals such as the American dream. Our culture has also generalized feelings of dissatisfaction or unhappiness with sayings such as, “Welcome to the real world.” Then, technology has broadened our abilities of completing work anywhere with wifi. With the combination of our cultural pushes and the enablement of technology, we complete a lot of work within the given day and it is perceived as “ok” when we start to suffer because of it.
Work is a factor of our everyday lives that we need in order to be mentally healthy, but somewhere along the way, we lost the balance between work and all the other aspects of our life. When people take breaks during their day and do something they enjoy they can majorly influence their mental health for the better.
When we start taking breaks we start feeling better and our brains begin to make connections to learn those feelings. When these connections build, it becomes easier and easier to remember those feelings. Basically, as we learn how to live well, we become used to having wellness.
Wellness is said to increase test scores and work productivity. Not only do we need to feel better, but feeling better gives us better futures full of ability and productivity. Instilling time in our everyday lives to focus on our mental health is basically building better experiences for our futures.
A lot of the time, breaks can be seen as a disadvantage. In reality, they give you the advantage. So, we created wellness week. Wellness Week is a time for the students to take these breaks with purposeful activities planned out for them. These activities were planned out in the hopes that although the students have plenty of work to be doing, they get the chance to have some fun along the way. By practicing wellness skills, we can incorporate them into our everyday lives adding to our sense of well being, our productivity, and the betterment of all our relationships. We hope students discover some skills that help them create better lives.