Spring is traditionally a time of hope and growth. For students, it’s time for the final push (final exams) before they graduate or set off to start their summer adventures or finally kick back and relax after a hectic school year. However, currently, almost everything has come to a stop. Schools of all levels have temporarily closed and moved online for the foreseeable future. But it is uncertain when campuses will reopen, how students will graduate, and how the school year will end. And with cities going into lockdown and non-essential services temporarily shutting down, students bear frustrations and anxiety at a higher-than-usual level.
We came up with useful tips below to help students of all ages to stay healthy – mentally and physically – during this challenging time.
Keep active, even when you’re staying at home
Once you’ve completed your online courses, commit some time to exercise. Many online fitness gurus have made their videos free of charge. 20-30 minutes of daily exercise can help generate “indoor-phins” (endorphins) that will help you stay positive and fit. Below are several channels with free and fun workout videos:
Sleep and rest well
A good night’s sleep is associated with good student mental health. Although it’s good to keep up-to-date with the latest development about COVID-19, it’s also wise to cut down screen time and media consumption – especially during the evening as it helps with sleep. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s a good idea to exercise during the daytime because it can help facilitate a good night’s sleep.
Healthy eating boosts the immune system
A lack of routine and anxiety about COVID-19 can lead to poor eating habits or binge-eating, which can affect mental health. Eating healthy snacks and meals to keep your energy level up and strengthen your immune system. This is a good time to try out new recipes and cooking or baking with your family can be very fun!
Engage in virtual social activities
While practicing social or physical distancing, you can still socialize – virtually – with peers and even make new friends. How about starting an online book or debate club? Or how about an online trivia club? Constant (virtual) interactions with others will keep you in a happy and engaged mood, and hence improving your mental health.
Access online counselling services
Don’t ever hesitate to reach out to a counsellor during this challenging and stressful time. Websites such as Keep.meSAFE provide students with 24/7 access to licensed counsellors by phone and online chat (you can also search by your school).
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself and don’t cut out the social networks and activities that keep your positive emotions high. Following the tips above and stay positive! We’re in this together, and we will get through this together.
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