Social, Emotional, and Mental Wellness
Being a college student during a pandemic is no picnic. There are many reports of students having increased struggles with mental health and wellness. Here are some tips to assist you with maximizing your well-being in these challenging circumstances.
CONNECT WITH CLASSMATES
Try to acquaint yourself with a few of your classmates. Compare notes, discuss class materials, study together – either in-person or virtually -- to keep each other accountable. This kind of engagement can not only be an antidote to a sense of isolation but can also be a strategic way to boost your academic success.
CONNECT WITH THOSE WHO MATTER TO YOU
During a pandemic, you may have significantly decreased opportunities for in-person interactions, or you may feel overwhelmed by how much you're interacting with a smaller group of peers. Consider setting up dinner-by-video with friends or relatives. Schedule weekly times to connect with those important to you. In whatever way you can, reinforce those positive connections that help to keep your spirits up (and aim to lift theirs, too!).
FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL
There are a number of daily activities that we now have limited control over. Focus on what you can control: when you choose to study, what you opt to eat, how and with whom you spend your time... Making good choices and engaging in “just for you” activities can be an empowering way to assert your agency in otherwise challenging circumstances.
PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR PHYSICAL HEALTH
Exercise, get plenty of fresh air, eat a well-balanced diet, get plenty of sleep, and engage in self-care. All of these will improve your immune system as well as help you feel more emotionally and mentally balanced. That can translate into becoming better at coping with whatever is taking place around you.
Check out Totara and EngageD for a list of activities to support your well-being.
Access guided yoga anytime on YouTube, with Yoga with Adriene.
BE AWARE OF MEDIA CONSUMPTION
It can become easy to excessively expose oneself to information about the current crisis. While it is important to stay aware of current conditions, be sure to rely on accurate and credible sources such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to avoid the fear and anxiety that misinformation can cause. Too much social media can exacerbate negative feelings. You might consider spending a set (and limited) time each day to consume social and news media in order to better control the overwhelm that overconsumption can cause.
FOCUS ON AND DO THINGS THAT ARE UPLIFTING
You might find that you have an excessive amount of unstructured time. Productivity is a great antidote to negativity. And so is having fun! Find positive ways to de-stress, including watching shows, reading for fun, listening to podcasts, playing games, or talking with friends. Find the joy in engaging in these activities and try to make it your mission to uplift everyone you encounter near and far. Focus on those practices that fill you with positive energy.
ACCESS RESOURCES TO SUPPORT YOUR WELLNESS
The Wellness Center has created this excellent Online Wellness Resources page that includes a breathing and mindfulness podcast, information from the CDC, mental health apps, and practical tips on self-care, coping, and managing your well-being during COVID-19. Check it out!
Two free meditation and mindfulness apps recommended by Professor Kirk Anderson are Healthy Minds and Smiling Mind.
If you've found a tool or an app that you think we should pass on, let us know by emailing SOAR@dickinson.edu.