Mental health is connected to our social, psychological and emotional wellbeing. Every culture has a different perspective on how mental health impacts daily life and around the world perceptions surrounding this topic vary. Often, women specifically are ignored when it comes to their mental well being. Women often find themselves juggling multiple roles and responsibilities which can exact a significant toll on them. 

It’s crucial for women to prioritize their well being and seek support when needed. Stress management is truly important as everyday pressures build up quickly. Common mental health issues include; Anxiety disorder, Depression, Bipolar disorder, Eating disorders, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Schizophrenia and Self-harm. All ages may experience any of the problems listed and they are relatively common in society. Every day we cope with our own difficulties however some face them more frequently or more seriously than others. Mental health issues focus on a spectrum of illnesses impacting mind, mood, and behavior, ranging from moderate to severe.

Relevancy to AISB

In Romania, women often face stigmas surrounding mental health barriers between what they are feeling and what they can express.  According to data from 2019, over 2 million Romanians suffer from mental disorders, with nearly 650,000 of those experiencing depressive disorders. This data doesn’t take into account the more recent impacts caused by COVID-19. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a 25% increase in the prevalence of anxiety and depression worldwide. Younger age groups and women were all impacted. Students, particularly in recent years, have been more prone to have mental health issues due to influences and challenges with school, friends and family, among others.

Many mental health issues can be separated into three categories; genetic factors, environmental influences and neurochemistry. When it comes to mental health it is important to recognise that every person, man or woman, has unique experiences.

One challenging mental health issue identified by many within the AISB community is stress. Simple practices such as mindfulness techniques, effective time management, and setting boundaries can help eliminate stress and maintain balance. Several high school students, primarily female, were informally polled by The Bite to discover some ways to combat stress.

Cooking and Baking

This was by far one of the most popular strategies and many students said they really enjoy baking when they are stressed. When feeling angry, sad or defeated by social pressures many said baking their favorite treat helps them to refocus and destress.

Cooking has proven to be one of the most effective ways of handling emotions and provides numerous mental health benefits. Expressing creativity while cooking can boost mood and reduce stress. Sharing food with others fosters a sense of community while focusing on cooking tasks provides distraction from daily stress, allowing for a moment of relaxation.

(Photo by Rai Vidanes on Unsplash.)

Baking is my way of handling all the stress I’m going through, especially when I feel overwhelmed with school work. 

Grade 11 student

Journaling

Another popular strategy is journaling, a simple activity done with various media including, but not limited to digital, paper and print. This simple hobby can be a very powerful device for handling any build up of emotions when you are unable to verbally communicate what you are feeling. It is also great for exploring your creativity and developing skills. (Photo by Hannah Olinger on Unsplash.)

I like journaling, it’s quite fun. A lot of the time I spend writing or sketching I think about channeling all my feelings on paper.

Grade 10 student

Social Media and Electronic Devices

While social media, and technology in general, comes with a host of challenges, it can serve as an effective stress-buster when used safely and in moderation. Messaging friends, playing games or browsing social media can offer connection and distraction.


Though these are useful activities and tips that women may implement in their daily life to prevent stress, it may not solve all problems. Discussing mental health openly remains a challenge; breaking this silence is essential. Encouraging women to initiate conversations about mental health with trusted adults or friends can help develop understanding and support networks. Self-care is equally valuable. Incorporating activities like self awareness exercises, creative explorations, sufficient sleep and social connections into daily routines can significantly improve mental wellness.

AISB Director, Rachel Caldwell, has a final piece of advice for anyone seeking tips on how to deal with a busy schedule and stress. “Having a really good network of of people around you is crucial. I have a wonderful husband who takes really good care of me. I have a lovely friends and I know what makes me feel better. I know that having a bath at the end of the day and reading a good book will get me to sleep so I can recuperate for the next morning.”

Small acts can truly make a big difference to your state of mind. What are your favorite de-stressing activities?