“I hope this email finds you and your family well during these unprecedented times...”
We’ve all read this email introduction one too many times over the past six months. Throughout the global pandemic, many college students, along with other members of society, have been affected by a rapidly growing virus that continues to claim lives each day.
College students were forced off campuses, had their graduations delayed by months, and overall lost a good chunk of their college experience. Many are still facing these hardships. It’s clear that many students are struggling with online classes and having to follow revamped learning styles. After all, most students are used to being in a classroom environment that creates a social experience and allows for hands-on learning.
It’s understandable as to why many students are struggling with the stress of online classes, but there are plenty of healthy ways to cope with the stress and attempt to find some normalcy.
For starters: create a routine.
Yes, I know how tedious and unnecessary it sounds, but just bear with me.
Creating a routine, such as waking up at around the same time each day and eating breakfast, creates a sense of control. Not only does creating a routine give a sense of control and structure, but it also allows for an increase in focus and productivity.
Finding a routine that worked for me included waking up around the same time each day, getting dressed and putting on makeup. I would eat my breakfast and attend my online classes throughout the day.
Creating a routine does not necessarily mean planning each day down to the minute and could be something as simple as doing a skincare routine at the same time each day for the same amount of time each time. Routine can improve one’s sense of structure in daily life.
Another way to try to find normalcy is by taking care of one’s self.
Self-care is usually something that gets brushed under the rug due to a busy schedule and sometimes tiredness.
Activities that would enhance one’s sense of self, as well as possibly improve mental health, includes exercise, a healthy diet, and proper sleep. Exercise doesn’t always mean a hardcore workout at the gym and could be as easy as going on a 20 minute walk each day. Or, if possible, taking a bike ride to a new neighborhood each day and explore different parts of town.
A healthy diet is sometimes hard, because usually it’s easier just to grab something pre-made on the way home because it’s cheaper and more convenient for most. However, now that we have much more time to spend at home, it is a good time to learn how to cook if you don’t already know how to do so. There are also plenty of healthy recipes that still taste good while being good for your body. They are all just one Google search away.
The proper amount of sleep each night is important because it’s how one’s body recharges and prepares for the next day. Now I know that it’s super common for college students to not get a decent amount of sleep and to chug coffee like it’s nobody’s business, but too much sleep deficiency can lead to long term health problems.
Overall, it’s important to take care of oneself to ease stress.
I know these tasks may sound a little intimidating to incorporate, but once you get the hang of things it feels that much better and more normal. It is also important to keep in close touch with friends, and to make new friends. Making new friends is a little more difficult with the lack of in-person classes, but there are always group chats, clubs, and social media pages to help with connecting with new people.
Hopefully, this semester treats everyone well!