In our current society, the worth of an individual is often thought to be rooted in one’s efficiency in academia, the workplace, or chosen career, whether we are consciously aware of this or not. With values like these, it is no wonder that stress seems to find us at every turn. The need to ace every test, impress every boss, attain every internship—the pressures we put on ourselves are enormous and seemingly never enough.

In recent years, “mental health days” have become more and more normalized among students and employees alike, and for good reason. They highlight the importance of your well-being in the face of labor-heavy late capitalism.

While it is perfectly normal and healthy to have goals, everything should be taken in moderation, and that includes the societally forced concept of “productivity.”

How Stress Can Harm Your Body

While we may think of stress and anxiety as strictly mental, they can very easily manifest into physical forms. From headaches and migraines to extreme cases like suicide and agoraphobia, living in consistently high-stress environments can take a serious toll on your well-being.

If you are really concerned about your performance at school or in the workplace, it is vital that you understand the significance that self-care has on functionality. You cannot perform optimally when you wear yourself out. We, as humans, were not built to sit and stare at a screen for eight hours a day without that taking an effect on our eyesight, lethargy, mental health, and more.

The body is one of balance, so if you are exposed to high-stress environments frequently, you should make an even stronger effort to exercise, read, meet friends, and get your mind off things.

No One Is Exempt from Stress

Stress can affect anyone, especially in moderate levels, but its strength and presence seem to only grow with time. Even eustress—a more positive form of stress, as opposed to distress—can be overwhelming if frequently occurring.

There is a terribly inaccurate notion that young people have no reason to be stressed—they have no bills, no children to be responsible for, et cetera. However, this is growing less and less true by the day. Younger generations are experiencing exponentially higher expectations when it comes to their performance in school, resulting in more stress-inducing environments that breed competition, mental illness, and unceasing fear and anxiety about the future.

Young people have every right to be stressed, but they are often not taken seriously when it’s brought up to older generations. This can only worsen feelings of anxiety and helplessness.

There Are Accessible Ways to Take Care of Yourself

Unfortunately, attendance is mandatory throughout grade school, middle school, high school, and even a large number of college classes. This can be cumbersome, as it means missing class can significantly impact your grade, unless, and only unless, you have a doctor’s note to prove your illness.

In the United States, a nation without universal healthcare, this method is not only frustrating but classist. It prevents students of less financially advantageous backgrounds from getting the absence allowance that other kids are entitled to. Thankfully, with websites like, you can take a day off without spending the time, energy, and money that it would take to go to the doctor’s office.

It is also wise to keep in mind that reaching out to your teachers is never a bad idea. Very often, they know where you’re coming from and can sympathize with your stress. Sometimes, they will even offer resources that can assist you in moving forward.

In Summation

Your worth as a person is not dependent on your success in work or school, and you deserve to take time to yourself to recuperate from those high-stress environments. Remember that if you cannot find time for yourself, make time. Then spend that time doing things that put you at ease and make you feel comfortable again.