Let's face it. I think all students, high school and college, can agree that this semester has truly been like no other. Many high schoolers have been trapped in their room attending online school and many college students have moved back to their parent's house to do the same. From a first-hand experience, I'll tell you that practically spending the entire day in my childhood bedroom has driven me to the brink of insanity!
According to The University of Michigan's department of psychiatry, the COVID pandemic has resulted in increased loneliness, stress, anxiety and depression among Americans, including students.
Here's a variety of coping strategies while at home to improve your mental health.
1. Maintain a routineDo It Work GIF by peppii Giphy
Start your day at about the same time each day. Set a goal for classwork to be completed each day. Maintain good nutrition habits by eating three meals per day. Try to get in at least one physical activity each day. It's great for your mental health to get some fresh air and go on a walk, run or bike ride.
2. Get some good sleep!spongebob squarepants sleeping GIF Giphy
Maintain a consistent sleep schedule. The goal should be 7-9 hours per night. Limit phone, computer and tv screen time in the evening and avoid caffeine starting in the afternoon.
3. Connect with others.United Friends GIF by YouTube Giphy
Zoom fatigue is very real, but make that effort to stay socially connected by engaging in regular video or phone calls with friends.
4. Take a break!Stay Home Mental Health GIF by YouTube Giphy
Take time for yourself each day. Step away from the news and from your coursework to do something you enjoy and that you find relaxing or rejuvenating.
5. Know that it IS okay to feel how you're feeling.The Simpsons Bart GIF by moodman Giphy
It's TOTALLY normal during these crazy times to experience feelings of sadness, anger, frustration, anxiety, stress or all of the above. You are allowed to feel this way and to communicate with others how you are feeling. It is also okay to sit with these emotions. But, if these feelings worsen to the extent that you are no longer able to function like your normal self, reach out to a family member, friend or mental health professional that you trust to talk to!