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How Students Can Manage Mental Health During Pandemic

News of a widespread pandemic resulted in a feeling of uncertainty and anxiety for a majority of people worldwide. Fear and anxiety about the disease and its impact proved to be overwhelming and cause strong emotions among adults and children alike. Moreover, the precautionary steps from government and public health organizations created a new world of isolation, loneliness and stress. Students across the world are dealing with a sudden change in their regular schedules, they are locked in home with almost no interaction with their colleagues and friends. Covid-19 has forced universities to suspend physical classrooms and shift to online platforms creating a completely new environment for students to manage their studies and spending most of their time in front of screen. 

New stressors including fear and worry for oneself and loved ones, constrained movement, financial losses, loss of support services and lack of social activities has brought a radical lifestyle change. Such changes have resulted in some significant impact on mental health of college students who are generally considered as a vulnerable population. There are several key stressors that affect mental health and well-being of college students like difficulty in concentrating on studies, disruptions in sleeping patterns, eating disorders, depression, decreased social interactions and increased concerns about academic performance, new study and teaching patterns, how to pay for college with the new financial conditions and worries about future career and job prospects when several internships are cancelled. Students are finding it difficult to complete their academic assignments and therefore relying on student assignment help providers or professional academic writing service that can prove to be a life saviour in these tough times.

It is a well-known fact that mental health issues are a leading impediment in academic success as such issues affect the motivation, morale, concentration and social interactions that are crucial factors for success of students in higher education. At the same time, it is completely expected and appropriate to develop such feelings of fear and experience the stress of coping up with such difficult situations making it important to understand the proper way of managing overwhelming anxiety and maintain a positive perspective. 

Some of the efficient ways for students to manage mental health are discussed below:

Knowing the facts about Covid-19

First and foremost, it is important to keep yourself updated with appropriate information and facts. Believing in rumors may result in stress as well as stigma that can be further detrimental for your mental health and overall wellbeing. You should connect with authentic sources of information like your university portal, public health services portal and announcements from public health authorities to understand the risk to yourself and people around you make it easy to connect with others and avoid any episodes of anxiety and depression due to wrong information. 

Taking self-care of your emotional health

Accept the fact that mental health is a key element of overall health and wellbeing as it has an impact on the way you think, feel and act. It also affects the way an individual handle stress, associate with people around the community and make choices during an emergency. If you are dealing with any pre-existing mental health issues or substance use disorders, you are categorized in a vulnerable group and should take care of issues like depression, anxiety, schizophrenia in a serious manner. Such conditions may be short-term or chronic and therefore you should take self-care of your emotional and mental health by being aware of new or worsening symptoms. 

Taking breaks from watching and reading

Another important step is to take regular breaks from watching, reading, listening, social media and focus more on healthy activities, meditation and relaxation techniques. It can be upsetting to hear and read about pandemic and associated cases repeatedly and students need to avoid such stressful stories. To improve your concentration and sleeping habits it is advised to spend time in meditation for few minutes of the day and 30 minutes before bedtime. You should ensure to eat healthy and well-balanced meals and exercise regularly to improve your immunity and avoid anxiety. Taking deep breaths and indulging in your hobbies to unwind helps in creating a positive outlook towards the tough situations and develop an attitude that strong feelings will fade. 

Connecting with your community-based organizations

Keeping the norms of social distancing in place, consider remain connected with your community and faith-based organizations through online sources, social media or via phone and email. Discussing with others will help you explore new areas of your feelings and concerns and find innovative ways to remain positive ensuring a strong mental health during the tough time of pandemic. Moreover, maintain a connection with community members and faith organizations build a strong support system where you can rely to seek help and divert your mind from news and discussions related to pandemic. You will explore the power of group therapy, will improve your faith in the power of a positive and strong mind thereby resulting in an overall mental wellbeing. 

Attending Group Therapy Sessions

A majority of universities are conducting group sessions for students to offer confidential help for those suffering from a mental health crisis. Students should remain connected with the support available from colleges and universities and discuss any of their concerns to ensure a positive mental health during the pandemic. Such sessions are focused on individual as well as group therapy and deal with topics like personal resilience, COVID-19 grief and loss and behavioral therapy through a video interaction. This will provide a quick access to support individually as well as a couple or family ensuring quick assessment, treatment and psychological assistance at any state of mental stress. 

Apart from taking care of yourself, it is equally important to understand that everyone reacts differently to a stressful situation like the current pandemic. Some of your friends may face the situation confidently with a positive attitude while some others may need a social and emotional support to manage the stressors. You are responsible for yourself as well as your family, friends and the community as a whole. However, taking care of your family and friends must be balanced with an equal care for yourself. During tough times of social distancing, you can ensure that you maintain social connections and care for mental health of your friends and family. Phone calls or video chats can help you and your loved ones to avoid the feeling of being lonely and isolated. Working along with the community ensures that you move in right direction and take care of yourself and others in through an approach where the interest of all parties are addressed. 

Stressors may through your nervous system out of balance that makes it necessary to focus on one’s mental health along with physical wellbeing and immunity. Students should set aside little time every day to generate the benefits of relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, yoga and not isolating themselves to maintain your state of equilibrium. 

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