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A Letter to Every Reader: Mental Health in Unprecedented Times

Dear reader,

As the school year begins, many students may feel stressed due to pandemic restrictions or academic demands. However, although it is challenging to live during these unprecedented times, everyone should feel they have the tools to maintain their mental health. Here is some advice for anyone who may need help throughout the school year:

I want you to imagine. Imagine if you had to spend the rest of your life with the same person. Would you want them to treat you with love? With care? With kindness and respect? If this is true, then you must first realize that you are that person. It is up to you to show yourself compassion, and treat both your mind and body with kindness. Instead of scrutinizing over perceived imperfections, you should compliment yourself about what you most appreciate. Even if you do not yet believe it, positive affirmations may change your outlook on the world around you.

A fulfilling lifestyle necessitates both a healthy mind and body. As the sole owner of your body, you must work to care for it. Although you may wish to consume fewer calories, they are essential for providing energy and powering your body throughout the day. A consistent source of food is necessary to keep your heart beating, your brain working, and your lungs pumping. You should always value your food intake and consult a professional if you notice any abnormal eating habits.

You should also never dislike yourself for not adhering to societal beauty standards. Whether you feel embarrassed about your weight, skin, or any other traits, you must remember that life is too short to live for the validation of others. Dress in whatever you feel most comfortable, from sweats and a hoodie to a sparkly dress to neon crocs and low-waisted jeans.

Do you remember when someone last lent you a pencil or a hair elastic, offered you a high five or a pep talk, or helped you with that one homework problem? Be that person for someone else, and the world will be a little bit kinder. We are all in this together on our planet, and we are going to make it through this year. And the next, and the next: I promise.

If you have any struggles, they are not a burden to the people around you, so do not be afraid to reach out for help when you need it. Countless teachers, friends, and parents or guardians will be there to listen and provide their support.

There are so many people on your side, whether you know it or not. Neither your grades nor your body nor your number of friends determine your worth. Let us make the world a better place, regardless of what these unprecedented times may bring. We are always here for one another.


Nidhi Rao

About the Author:

Nidhi Rao is a rising high school sophomore and the current secretary of her class. Since childhood, Nidhi has been passionate about gaining new perspectives on political issues and hopes to inform and inspire others by writing in The Alcott Youth Magazine. Additionally, she is interested in painting, hiking, kayaking, reading, and listening to music.

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