Disclaimer: This blog is a mental health blog meant to provide peer advice and suggestions around maintaining your mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Everyone’s situation is different and by no means should any advice be seen as a perfect solution or without further context. Nor should any reader take this as medical or professional advice.
By Ashma Hamid
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased high rates of mental health factors such as: stress, anxiety and depression. In the case of students, this pandemic has made it hard for them to cope with life day by day. During the pandemic, this has caused a lot of stress among students as they are forced to stay at home due to public policies.
As a student at Ryerson, I have found it hard to cope with stress and anxiety last semester being at home. However, these simple mechanisms have helped me prioritize my mental health and wellbeing. The journey towards improving our mental health starts from within and if we don’t take care of ourselves from within, we will fall behind. Don’t let this pandemic be a barrier to living a healthy lifestyle. As students, we can use various coping mechanisms at home or at work to overall improve our mental health and wellbeing.
According to Michigan Medicine, we can cope through these strategies:
- “Knowing that it is okay to feel how you are feeling”– accepting the situation, pandemic and validating our emotions. Our feelings should never be ignored and it is okay to just sit or lay down in bed feeling upset.
- “Maintaining a routine”– write an agenda for an everyday routine. Set goals for every hour from morning until night and incorporate balancing healthy meals throughout the day and one workout routine such as: walking, running, bicycle rides. These exercises are important for our mental health. Getting fresh air out of the home is essential.
- “Practise good sleep hygiene”– getting a good night’s rest. Getting at least eight hours of sleep per night and limiting screen time.
- “Connecting with others”– although this is hard during a pandemic and with the “stay at home” order, we live in a society where technology has advanced. We should utilize technology by using Facetime, WhatsApp, Zoom or Google Meet to connect with others.
- “Taking a break”– as students, heavy course work, work and placement can consume a chunk of our time. However, at least 15-minute hourly breaks are essential to relax your mind, soul and body from the stress.
More about Ashma:
Ashma is a third-year placement student at CESAR studying Social Work at Ryerson University. She plans to pursue her Master of Social Work after graduation and focus on mainly mental health or child and youth in her social work profession. Her hobbies are to be with family, practicing self-care, and watching Netflix.
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