Student life has come to a halt due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Calabasas High School students are facing constant change, including the closing of school,social distancing, the discontinuation of school sports and the change in almost all daily activities. Students are living a new reality, resulting in feelings of isolation, fear, stress and anxiety. These changes are detrimental to students already living with mental health conditions. However, there are many ways to navigate these challenges, maintain mental health, and continue living positively.
Frustration is a common result of the recent changes in students’ lives. One productive way to combat feelings of stress is to accept all of the feelings associated with this pandemic. Normalizing the anger or sadness associated with this pandemic is essential in preserving mental health. Talking to family and friends about these worries and concerns can help students overcome feeling alone and completely isolated .
Distraction is a great method to promote a positive mentality. There are several opportunities around the house to take advantage of, like cleaning and reorganizing. Spending too much time watching the news can be overwhelming, so limiting the amount of time spent focusing on negativity is better. Take a few minutes a day to check in on the latest news, but make sure to stick to a restricted time limit.
Following a daily routine as much as possible is critical for mental health stability. Right now is the time to create new routines with activities that are normally not possible with in-class schedules. Activities such as daily walks, preparing homemade dinners and gathering for nighttime family movies are just a few examples. Taking a break from technology and spending more time pursuing new interests and hobbies will help students during isolation. . While social distancing is required to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it is equally necessary that students do not isolate themselves emotionally. One should connect with friends and family on a regular basis. A focus on mental health should include eating healthy, exercising and getting plenty of sleep.
“With my busy schedule, I was never able to go on walks during the day with my dog,” said sophomore Mia Sher. “Now I use my breaks and extra time after school hours to walk him through my neighborhood.”
If students feel unable to cope on their own,, they should reach out to a professional healthcare provider or trusted adult. Mental health providers can support student’s needs even during this current crisis via telemedicine.
In this trying time, students should be mindful of their mental health and take measures to maintain a healthy attitude. There are many ways to be mindful and it is critical for one to find the steps that work for them. The situation is temporary and students will get through these trying times.