This coronavirus pandemic is stressful for many of us. We are living in a time that is chaotic and dangerous, whether we are affected directly or indirectly. In this time of distress, we often forget what really matters to us. This is a situation that is impacting not only every person on the planet but also our politics and economy. Maybe your SATs were canceled or you lost your chance to boost your GPA in this final semester of school. There’s a lot of uncertainty, fear, and anxiety that lies ahead of us — when will this end? When will things become normal again?
The quarantine can hold different meanings for each of us. No matter what circumstance you are in, it is important to maintain your mental health. Here are five tips to help you manage your mental health during this pandemic.
1. It’s alright to just exist right now.
You may feel like you have to be doing something, whether it be studying for an AP test or catching up on schoolwork. Yet you can’t find the motivation to start working. I even put off this article for several days because I couldn’t bring myself to finish it. Don’t blame yourself for not checking off all the tasks on your To-Do list, because practically every student feels the same way.
One of the best ways to combat this slump is to call a friend and work on your own, individual tasks. They will keep you company as you study or work on personal projects. Even if you get sidetracked in a conversation, it’s better than avoiding the task altogether.
2. Maintain your normal routine.
It’s important to maintain some structure of your days before the quarantine. Instead of working from bed in your pajamas, dress in clothes you would wear to school and sit at a desk. If putting on makeup or wearing contacts is a part of your morning routine, continue those habits as well. It will create a sense of normalcy, and will hopefully allow you to be more productive.
3. Focus on what you can control.
There’s a lot of things you can’t control during this pandemic; you can’t control the future or the school system. However, the things you are able to control are just as plenty. You can control how you respond to events, whether it’s negative or positive. You can choose to do an action, whether it’s good or bad. You have the power to control your feelings and regulate your emotions. Anything outside of the “right now” is something you cannot control, so don’t waste time focusing on it.
4. Slow down and reflect.
Controlling your emotions takes practice, just like working a muscle. Start meditating. People that meditate establish the practice of centering and grounding themselves in any situation. In addition, express your emotions in a healthy way; don’t take them out on others. Recognize that these emotions don’t define you. If you understand that you are feeling bored or anxious, you will realize that your emotions are only what you’re feeling on the surface. You must control them without letting them control you. Instead of feeling trapped at home, use this time to focus on yourself.
5. Lastly, be kind.
You may feel impatient with your family because you’re indefinitely stuck with them. Choose kindness over resentment. On a larger scale, the number of hate crimes against Asian Americans has been surging due to the coronavirus. Asian Americans have experienced racial taunts on school grounds and are accused of triggering this chaos. Blaming people isn’t helping anyone right now. Taking out your bitterness against your family is not doing anything to make you feel more at ease, either. This post by Lavendaire, a personal growth influencer, depicts what love and fear look like. Reflect: do your actions have intentions of love or fear?
This time is all about living in the present. Try your best to avoid thinking about the future. As Lavendaire discusses in her video “Mental Health in the Coronavirus Pandemic,” she says that we all play a role in this interconnected global community. Whether it be communicating ideas across through a platform (like this blog), or just simply staying home, we can collectively combat this virus. Stay safe!