Mental Health During a Pandemic

Mental Health is an important part of our everyday lives. I define being healthy by having balance, physically and mentally. I want to go over different things we can do as students and just people to protect and ensure our mental wellbeing. 

Anxiety: Anxiety is one of the worst feelings to have. The feeling of anxiety can come from many different places. Personally, I feel the most anxious when I’m thinking about things in the future. As a student, there are always upcoming assignments, and tasks to finish. This can lead to unnecessary anxiety. The best way to combat this anxiety is to take action. 

For example, if I have a test coming up, I usually get anxious about the exam. This anxiety can be sparked by fear of failing the test. To stop the anxiety, I study and prepare for my tests, to increase my confidence. This strategy calms me down and gives me more confidence in my ability. In turn, I feel more prepared and I don’t worry about this upcoming exam.

The way to fight anxiety is to take action in my opinion. 

Sleep, Diet, and Physical Activity: During the start of the pandemic, I noticed I was getting too comfortable. I was staying up late, eating a lot more junk food and I wasn’t moving around as much. It got to the point that it was affecting my everyday school work. Being inside can make it easier to procrastinate on our work and take it easy with other aspects of our lives. These three elements of sleep, diet, and physical activity are very important to establish and maintain mental wellbeing. All three of these things took some sacrifice and disciple, but in the long run, I was happier and overall felt better. 

Sleep: Sleep is a very underrated factor when it comes to mental health. I believe maintaining a strict sleeping pattern is important for your overall mood and energy. Getting 7-8 hours of sleep can help you function at a high standard. I recommend finding the perfect sleep schedule for yourself. I like to wake up around 8:30 am, so I go to sleep by 12:30 am. That’s the easy part, the hard part is to maintain this pattern no matter what obstacle. It can be a struggle but never give up. 

Diet: Diet is very important for your energy throughout the day. I believing having a poor diet can translate to your mental health. I recommend eating a balanced diet. Eating your protein, carbs, and healthy fats while also getting in your fruits and veggies. Having a more balanced diet can really affect your mood. I wouldn’t recommend cutting out junk food altogether but enjoy it every now and then to keep yourself going. 

Physical Activity: This was one aspect of me that I struggled with the most. At first, I hated exercise but exercise is very important. It took me a while to appreciate the benefits of working out but now I love every second of it. For me, working out allowed me to develop mental toughness and become an outlet for when I wasn’t feeling the happiest. Physical activity can vary in many ways, so I would find something you enjoy and do it every day. If you get bored (which I did from time to time) then change it up. Some of my favorite things to do are: Running, weightlifting, or just doing bodyweight exercises. Anything to push me and get my heart rate going. What I noticed the most from consistently working out was my sharpness and willingness to be more productive. Working out uses different skills and parts of your brain. It can be refreshing and clear any emotions you were feeling. 

Try some of these tips and incorporate them into your daily schedule. Adding a little change day by day can protect and preserve your mental wellbeing. 

~Sneh Shah