This time last year, Maryland was put in lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Mount had to close campus and send students home. Professors and students alike had to shift to having their courses virtually. Initially it was only supposed to be a temporary situation, but a year later, COVID-19 has not disappeared and we are still wearing face masks and maintaining social distance.
College students have had to quickly adapt to their new normal by shifting to fully virtual or hybrid classes. This has been a drastic change and it has been very overwhelming, especially since our week-long breaks from classes have been taken away and replaced with wellness days.
The stress of school and the onslaught of negative news on the pandemic have made students feel exhausted and anxious. Between attending classes, studying, working and the uncertainty of the pandemic, students feel fatigued and burned out. Students have had to deal with increased feelings of loneliness and restlessness because of social distancing and isolation.
Mental health and self care is essential to protect the wellbeing of all students. Here are some tips and tricks to help students relax and rejuvenate.
Go outside. It is best to stretch after sitting down for Zoom classes and meetings all day. Exercise, get fresh air, try yoga, go on a brisk walk. Being physically active and getting your blood flowing will make you feel better.
Stay hydrated and eat something new. Trying new foods is fun and exciting. You can try to cook or bake something new or order from a restaurant you have not tried before.
Avoid drinking too much caffeine or alcohol. They are diuretic; they cause you to dehydrate and increase your blood pressure and heart rate. Stick to water or try something new like a fruit smoothie or juice!
Spend time away from your digital devices. Constantly checking the news or your email can make you more anxious and stressful. When you unplug, you can rest your eyes and your mind by reading a book instead.
Take naps or short breaks during the day. Get plenty of sleep; your body needs time to rest, relax and recharge. Try to set up a sleep schedule and a daily routine and stick to it.
Pamper yourself with self-care days--use a bath bomb, do a facial mask, get your nails done or watch your favorite movie on Netflix.
Reach out to your friends and family through video calls, phone calls or social media to check up on one another. Seeing the face of a loved one will make you feel better.
Try meditation or music therapy to boost your mood.
Clean up! Decluttering your workspace and your bedroom can help you focus better because you won’t be distracted by your surroundings.
The suggestions above can aid students in lowering their levels of stress and fatigue in a safe and healthy manner. Students can also use the mental health support and resources offered by the Mount by visiting Counseling Services in Lower McGowan or calling them at 301-447-5003.