Students and lockdown: how to cope with your mental health

With the advent of the Coronavirus pandemic, the country has been plunged into a lockdown since march, with many areas still in the red zone, there is no definitive idea on when this lockdown will end. The lockdown is currently the best option to break the chain of transmission in the country, but something which shouldn’t be ignored is the effect the lockdown and isolation can have on the mental health of students.

One thing that is incredibly important to remember and acknowledge is that the lockdown is not a productivity contest. The human race is collectively facing one of the biggest challenges the younger generation might have seen, and it is okay to not be productive even though more free time is available. Everyone is facing a myriad of emotions being locked up and away from the outside world and its interactions in a very unstable time in human history, and shouldn’t have to burden themselves with the need to be productive.

Universities and colleges might still be piling on assignments and tests, with no clarity about whether semester exams will be conducted, it is the bare minimum to complete these assignments but do not hold it against yourself if you are not able to do your best. In times like these, it is the worst thing possible to compare your performance and productivity with your friends and classmates.

One idea to keep in mind are active distractions, do activities which will keep your mind off the situation for a few hours. Play video games, catch up on your Netflix, read, write, help around in the house, and do things that make you happy. Monitoring the situation constantly wont be helpful to anyone, least of all to your mental health.

In relation to active distractions, try taking breaks from your social media or phone in general. During the lockdown, social media has become filled with fake news or with people trying to communalise the issue, sometimes seeing all of this can adversely affect one’s mental condition, and as such it is better to take breaks from social media to mentally refresh and rejuvenate from the fake news.

Another option is working out and fitness at home. Either following western exercises or following yoga is a great way to take this lockdown as an opportunity to improve your health and fitness, also exercises have the capability to release endorphins which will make you feel better.

Lastly, remember to stay positive in the face of this crisis. The most important factor in getting through this crisis is the belief that the human race, all of us collectively will be able to fight through this crisis. The pandemic seems like a steep mountain but throughout history the human spirit has faced and conquered greater challenges and it will triumph in the face of this pandemic too.

Written by : Prabhanu K Das

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