Students need time to rest and relax


Credit: Foster Neve-Jones

Freshmen Kaitlyn Hamilton shows off a jewelry piece to Junior Riley Ketchum. Jewely Design is one class at Norrix that allows for more creative activities within school.

Foster Neve-Jones, Assistant Web Editor and Knights Speak

You might remember being a kid and running around on a playground and imagining that you’re a knight in shining armor. You might even look back on those days fondly and feel like those days are too long gone.

Leisure activities and playing have numerous effects on children from a young age. It is such a necessity that the United Nations even recognized “That every child has the right to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities.”

Playing is important because it helps children develop dexterity and motor skills as well as social and mental skills through creativity, empathy and teamwork. However finding rest and relaxation in new ways, as you continue to grow up, is often ignored.

“There are huge amounts of stress [on teens],” said LN counselor Pamela Robinson. “I’ve always told students that they need to balance academics with their personal things.”

According to the Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, scientists Girija Kaimal, Kendra Ray, and Juan Muniz showed that creative activities like art reduces anxiety and is linked with building authentic relationships with others, as bonding over a shared hobby is incredibly effective towards building friendships.

Opportunities like this are provided at Loy Norrix, but students have to search out for these classes and clubs where they can express themselves. One example of a class that encourages a fun hobby is Jewelry Design.

“I’m using a different set of skills in that class, instead of analytical skills, I’m using more creative skills which aren’t offered in school typically,” said senior Zoe Bierema. “Creativity is a form of self-expression, and it’s a good coping mechanism to work through stuff.”

Art is an especially great creative outlet, helping with stress relief, focus and creative problem solving according to the mental health foundation for the UK, but even outside of art, activities like board games and even video games, when played casually, have similar benefits.

In a 2020 study from the Games for Health Journal, scientists Russell Pine, Theresa Fleming, Simon McCallum, and Kylie Sutcliffeon the mental effects of casual video games (CVGs), researchers “found that some studies reported a reduction in anxiety and depressive symptoms after a single session of CVG play lasting 30 minutes.”

Video games are often a great way to unwind after a long day according to Emerson Edwards, a sophomore at Loy Norrix. 

“It’s relaxing,” said Emerson, “like you can kinda just get lost in it and not think about anything else.”

Activities that give you rest are incredibly important, not only to feel mentally prepared when you get back to work, but these types of activities have also been proven to improve mood, which is essential to teenagers whose moods change wildly. There’s a multitude of opportunities to find relaxation in.

Leisure includes a wide array of activities, such as walking, reading, playing games, or art, anything that brings you away from your everyday responsibilities and gives you time to process daily life.

Leisure is something that’s often lost nowadays, so much of life is go, go, go, and rest and relaxation is a part of life that’s often left behind. Next time you finish a long period of work, school, or sports, don’t feel bad to just sit down and read a good book.