The overwhelm of uncertainty, the crashing of technology when we need it the most and roommates being sent home with little to no notice are just a few of the challenges we students are experiencing on the daily. The new health facts and ever-changing social distance guidelines coming out weekly just add to the confusion. A lot of things look different than they used to and are changing rapidly.
Being in the midst of a global pandemic, it is no surprise that our mental health might need a bit more attention right now. It is completely normal if you feel overwhelmed or anxious about the unknown future and it only makes sense if social distancing is making it even harder. The college scene looks different than it ever has before and no one is really sure what lies ahead. With that being said, self-care must be prioritized and utilized during this time. Give your mind and body what it needs in such a stressful time. Learn how to cope during a pandemic and identify what is going to help you feel your best.
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Self-care strategies are good for your mental and physical health and can help you take charge of your life.”
Your reality is based on how you perceive the world, good or bad. If all you ever do is fill your mind with negative thoughts and toxic beliefs, that’s exactly how you’ll view the world around you. When creating a reality that you love living in, it all starts within you. You have the power to decide the lens you want to look through. Acknowledge whatever you may be feeling and allow yourself to grieve over the things lost in the past, but at the end of the day, you have the power to change your mindset.
Although cucumber face masks are a peaceful way to unwind, self-care goes beyond that. During COVID-19, self-care may look like taking something off of your plate in order to feel more balanced or creating a solid sleep schedule to ensure you are getting enough rest. During this time, self-care might also look like calling a loved one more often than usual and being intentional with scheduling in some downtime. Caring for yourself goes beyond just your physical appearance. It means taking care of yourself mentally and emotionally as well.
If quarantine taught me anything, it would be the value of slowing down and taking time for myself. When I came into college last year I filled my plate with responsibilities so high I didn’t know how to handle myself. I was stressed to the max and was unable to show up to anything with my fullest potential. Being forced home was a surprising breath of fresh air as I didn’t realize how much I was doing until I was forced to do nothing.
The crazy busy life is unfortunately one that most of us heavily relate to at Baker. The solution is not dropping everything you’re involved in, as being a part of different organizations and clubs is one of the best ways to meet people and grow on a small campus. However, it is important to know your limits. Your plate can only hold so much before it all comes crashing down.
In fact, according to this article from Southern New Hampshire University, “taking some time out to engage in self-care, you may relieve the pressures of everyday life and reset yourself to get back to a healthy point where productivity is once again maximized.”
If you’re anything like me, this semester has not been what was envisioned. But that doesn’t make it any less great; only different. Adaptation is vital and seeing life as “different” instead of “bad” right now is so important. It’s no doubt that COVID-19 has impacted our lives and it’s time we give ourselves a little grace.
Counseling center: https://www.bakeru.edu/healthcenter/
Self care suggestions: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/mental-health-covid-19/art-20482731
Meditation and mindfulness apps: https://www.developgoodhabits.com/best-mindfulness-apps/