As college students, we face a lot of adversity during the four years we're in school. But never in a million years did any of us think COVID-19 would change our everyday lives as it has. There are no more hugs on campus with your friends. There's no more face-to-face interaction with professors in class. There's no more seeing smiles on your peers' faces. These changes have impacted some of my closest friends and family's mental health in ways that I could not imagine myself. So here I am writing this post, not as an expert, but as a person that has seen it affect the people I love most.
So how do we, as college students, stay positive while testing negative? I have been intrigued about learning how students, like myself, cope with the impacts of COVID-19 on our mental health. Here are some ways that I have found benefit myself and my friends that you can use in your everyday life!
First, stick to a routine/structure. This can include things like going to bed at a certain time and waking up at a certain time. Having the same skincare routine, making healthy food choices, learning who those people are that help you through the lows, etc. This will be beneficial to stress levels and give us more time to relax!
Secondly, practice some stress-management. Goodness, this one hits home with me. I've always tried to find my "niche" to reduce stress. For myself, it could be a relaxing bath, a quick jog around town, or a night where I put all my books aside and watch a favorite movie ("Legally Blonde," duh). Other ways that I have seen people manage stress is yoga, breathing exercises, and music. Do you know that one song that can give you an instant serotonin boost? Play it.
Lastly, maintaining social connections is extremely important. We can still talk and listen to one another while maintaining a physical distance. For myself, friendships are what keep me going. I have been lucky to be surrounded by some of the best people — I encourage you to talk, listen, or even just grab a cup of coffee with yours.
As college students, many curveballs are thrown our way. It is important to know that the tiniest things in your daily life can make such a huge impact on your mental health. I am hopeful that this craziness in the world will end soon, but it may make us stronger while we're in the middle of it.
We must grow stronger together, whether it be with the help of family, friends, professionals, or strangers. We are all put on earth for a purpose, even in the midst of a global pandemic. I encourage you to know your resources, go get that cup of coffee with a friend, and watch your all-time favorite movie (all while managing social distancing guidelines, of course!). So, as we continue to face the adversities of COVID-19 in this crazy college life, keep that positive mentality, and keep that COVID-19 test negative. We're all in this together.