Mental and Emotional well-being for Students Amidst the Pandemic

2020 has been a whirlwind of chaos, stress, and confusion. With the year coming to an end, it is important to realize that the restrictions and social distancing will continue for several months. With that in mind, it is vital that we take care of our mental health and well-being.  This is even more crucial for students that are away from home and already busy and stressed with their day to day schedules. It is important for students to take time out from their daily routine and allocate some time for relaxation. Here are some suggestions for students to ensure they put their mental health first which in turn will help with productivity and wellbeing.

#1 Take Breaks

Yes, we know that taking time out of your busy schedule is tough—you are either busy doing homework, attending classes, attending club meetings, or recruiting. With everything online, screen time naturally increases. During the normal times, Netflix used to provide a break. However, given the restrictions and need to be inside, you need to consciously put all technology aside for at least 30 minutes and spend time rejuvenating yourself.

#2 Make Plans

It is tough to meet people when you are observing social distancing and trying to keep yourself and others around you safe. Try and make plans to meet friends outside where you can maintain distance. Call your friends and do virtual check-ins to stay connected. You can even try and plan an online game night to change things up a bit! You might not realize but just talking to them, laughing with them, and reminiscing with them about better times will help you relax and stay happy.

#3 Spend Time Outdoors

Covid-19 has forced everyone to stay indoors for most of the day. Instead of walking to class, going to dining halls, and going out at night to hang out with a large group of friends, you stay in your dorm for most of the time. Make it a point to step out once every day—enjoy the weather and the nature. Go eat outside with friends or just go for a stroll to destress and clear your head. Explore your campus!

#4 Workout or Yoga

Sitting in front of their computer screens all day has made students feel more lethargic. It is important that one does some physical activities as well and set a routine. Social distancing and facility closure do not help. However, try to find an online workout program to get moving or get a friend to workout with you and keep you motivated. Exercise can also be in the form of dance classes or even yoga for that matter. The internet has a plethora of videos and channels to help you be on track and find a routine—this is extremely essential to your physical and mental wellness.

#5 Get Enough Sleep

Every college student has a very disheveled sleep schedule. Quality sleep ensures that your brain is active enough to meet your daily work demands, which has a huge impact on your mental health. For most college students, getting enough sleep is not a top priority. Late nights playing video games and watching movies are common. However, sitting in front of electronic devices only adds to that stress. If you are one who struggles to sleep on time then try playing soothing music, get regular exercise, or just close your eyes and lay in bed.

Finally, please keep in mind that globally people are dealing with the same restrictions. Its tough for everyone, whether they are school children, parents, working professionals or college students. While there is a lot of positive news about the vaccines in the last few weeks, it will take several months for life to return to normal. Please stay safe and observe the precautions recommended by your institution.

About the Author: 

Lavanya Agarwal is a sophomore at the University of Virginia. She is planning to major either in Commerce or Economics with a minor in Psychology. At UVA, she is involved with Profit with Purpose, Student Council, Bharatiya Council, and Salsa Club. She loves to explore different places and travel. You can find her on LinkedIn.

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