In recent months, students have faced adversities in their learning process. This happened due to governments’ restrictions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Isolation and abrupt changes can pose a significant threat to their mental health. The lack of appropriate use of coping mechanisms is not helpful either.
Adapting to the “New Normal”
Students are always going through transitions within their educational curriculums. That can be stressful enough by itself. Having a pandemic interrupt their process does not help either.
Online school can be problematic for students who have a hard time concentrating in places different from their regular workspace or prefer to have social contact in their learning environment. These situations can cause long term frustration, severely affecting the emotional and physical health of students.
The impact of the virus on our daily lives was unexpected. It left teachers and educators with a challenging task. They had to figure out how to adapt their teaching methods to a new virtual reality.
However, students’ negative emotional response led them to realize how important it is to include soft skills like empathy and self-care in academic lectures. But, how can they provide much needed emotional support through virtual education?
What can you do?
The best way to take care of yourself is by establishing healthy habits and making them part of your daily routine. Remember that physical well-being is equally as important as mental health. Ensure you are always in touch with your emotions. Acknowledge them and find activities to cope that will contribute to your emotional stability.
Having a calendar with a planned out schedule will help you keep track of your activities, including those not related to school. Establishing deadlines for your goals will encourage you to get them done faster. This will also help combat procrastination and give you better management of your time. Include periods of free time within your agenda.
Logging off the internet and dedicating some time to yourself is the perfect way to blow off steam. Participate in new activities that allow you to reconnect with your inner self. Some examples include painting, meditating, doing yoga, listening to music, writing a journal. Discover new hobbies that distract your mind from schoolwork.
Privacy and protection
To adapt to online teaching, schools have to use new apps that might not seem so trustworthy. If you are worried about your data being stolen online, then getting a VPN will be the best solution for you. What is a VPN? It is a Virtual Private Network that keeps your information encrypted and safe from potential hackers. Remember also to include antiviruses to protect your devices from malware. In this way, you will stay secure while studying online.
Exercise and diet
It might seem challenging to get out of bed, especially if your emotions are overwhelming. However, you must take care of your body by doing physical activity and eating balanced. If working out is not your thing, you can always look for alternative solutions, like dancing, walking, playing in your backyard, or doing yoga.
Exercising brings multiple benefits for your mental health because you release dopamine and serotonin, making you happier. Taking care of your diet will also benefit your general health. Ensure that you are consuming enough nutritious food and water to supply your body with the energy it needs to appropriately carry out its daily functions.
Getting Enough Sleep
Sleep plays a massive role in maintaining your brain healthy. A consistent sleep schedule is a key to processing information and making the right decisions. It is especially important for online lectures. Getting enough rest leaves you energized and ready to get the activities on your agenda done. Establish specific times to go to bed and wake up. Take power naps if necessary, but keep them short so your sleep schedule will not be disturbed.
Keeping your spaces organized for a class is essential to lower your anxiety. Leaving your workspace crowded with papers and textbooks will make you feel overwhelmed. Your brain will associate that image with the amount of work you have to get done. Tidying your workplace before online lessons will help you concentrate and stay proactive.
Also, make sure to distinguish your workplace from your resting spaces. Taking lectures from bed might seem like the most comfortable idea. Still, it will be counterproductive as your brain associates that space with sleep. It might be harder to comprehend the information appropriately.
Last but not least
Embrace your feelings and find helpful coping strategies. This will benefit your general well-being. Remember that taking care of your health should be your priority during these uncertain times.