Written by Step Above Stigma's Social Media Director, Riley Chang
Hearing that the first half of this semester was going to be fully online was completely disappointing and discouraging for me. I know a lot of students feel the same. I thought this would be a good time to talk about mental health related to the pandemic and online school.
I know COVID-19 has affected everyone's mental health in different ways, but today I wanted to list a couple things that have helped my mental health so far throughout the pandemic, from 2019 to today!
1. Get Outside
Online classes means it is super easy to stay in your house for multiple days in a row, and Kingston weather doesn’t make it any easier! Last semester, I definitely had streaks of multiple days where I didn’t leave my apartment because with all my classes online, I had no reason to! This was tricky for me because it wasn’t super obvious or sudden, but it definitely started to affect my mental health. Since then, I have started to go for daily walks, even if it is just for 10 minutes, and it has really helped. Fresh air and a bit of exercise always makes me feel more awake and alert!
2. Take a Break
For me, the biggest thing with online classes is that I feel like I never have a break. Right now, I am studying from home in BC, and I think the combination of being home and fully online classes makes me less productive, so I feel like I have to be working non-stop to get all my schoolwork done for the week and not fall behind! Compared to a “regular” school semester, where I would have weekend plans to look forward to, at home it sometimes feels like I have school 7 days a week! This is obviously draining and not great for my mental health, so I have been trying to take some time off during weekends to relax and spend time with family or friends who are also home in BC due to online school. I definitely don’t take as much time off as I would want, but I am trying to do better and put my mental health first!
3. Ask for Help
A lot of people who maybe hadn't struggled with mental health in the past started struggling during the pandemic. I definitely saw this in myself and in a lot of people I am close to. It can be scary when you don't know how to deal with or understand new feelings or emotions. I want to remind everyone reading this that there are always people who want to support you! PLEASE reach out to family, friends, or other mental health services! These are new and scary times, and you deserve to have the support you need!
These are just three things that have personally helped me a lot, but for more tips and resources you can take a look at our Linktree and Instagram.
Read our blog posts about personal experiences and stories with regards to mental health. Posts written by our team or those passionate about mental health.