Your own Sidekick: Learn to put yourself first


Srihari Yechangunja

Your Own Sidekick is a Sidekick series where staff members answer questions and offer advice on various topics. Stories will be posted weekly on Fridays. Graphic by Srihari Yechangunja

Nyah Rama, Staff Writer

Dear CHS,

The typical high schooler is inundated with massive amounts of work, especially if they are taking high level courses, and the result is often an abundance of stress and burnout.

Burnout is something that manifests both physically and mentally. If you don’t address the issue,  it can lead to bigger issues. Burnout usually occurs within the first semester of the school year and is always a result of a lack of self-care.

When we start high school, we aren’t used to this level of work and have never had to think about self-care, so we don’t even realize when we’ve started feeling more like zombies and less like people. 

What’s worse is when  teens talk about how burnt out they are as if it’s a competition. It’s become less of a shock and somehow it’s normal to hear in conversation. You can often walk the halls of CHS and hear numerous conversations that all sound the same.

I got four hours of sleep last night.

Girl, at least you slept. I didn’t even get that.

These conversations perpetuate our lack of self-care as they can cause students to feel like we aren’t trying hard enough if we slept more than two hours the night before or went to bed at a reasonable hour.

The first step in self-care should be steering away from these kinds of conversations. The need to one up your friend by saying they are lucky for sleeping, even if it is just for a couple of hours, is not doing either of you any good and only contributes to your shared emotional fatigue.

The next step is setting aside time for yourself outside of your social circles. In high school, there are so many social pressures and relationships can be complicated. Constantly forcing yourself to go out and engage with people can hurt more than it can help. Find time to be alone in your home and do something you love, watch your favorite Netflix series or take a long bath and listen to music.

Use these small moments to start a self care routine. Your routine can consist of anything from skincare that makes you feel glamorous to meditation, or even having an allotted time each day to do something that you love.

Getting started can be difficult, especially when you think of all the time that you’ll be losing studying for the SAT or that really tough AP test everyone has been talking about. But you have to remember that in the end, it will be worth it. You can’t be the best version of yourself and maintain this lifestyle forever. Eventually it will catch up to you, as a matter of fact it could have already consumed you.

Remind yourself that the time you’re losing is worth it as your health is more important than the extra two points that would’ve resulted in your late night studying (because let’s face it, nobody’s really absorbing anything when you do that) and that you are benefiting yourself in the long run when you establish healthy habits of self-care.

Make the choice every single day to take care of and remind yourself that self-care is as valuable to your future as good grades in that AP class are.

Learn to start choosing yourself everyday.

With love,

Your own Sidekick

Follow Nyah Rama (@nyah_rama) and @CHSCampusNews on Twitter.