When COVID-19 took our country, and the world, by storm at the beginning of 2020, no one knew exactly how long its effects would last. While that question still remains unanswered, we continue to go about our daily lives, living under a new set of norms. While COVID-19 has certainly taken its toll on physical health, it’s also left its mark on mental health.
From wearing face masks in public to social distancing and online learning, the coronavirus has left us doing things that many of us would never have chosen. It’s also affected us in ways we never dreamed of. Mental health is an area that is often overlooked, but it’s critical to realize the importance of mental wellness, especially in our school children.
Students struggling with stress and anxiety
With the onset of COVID-19, students of all ages have had to make changes to their schooling routines, environments, and even locations. While many students have started the new school year working under a hybrid system of in-person and remote learning, still others are still learning exclusively from home. Changes such as these can be stress and anxiety-provoking, leading to a decline in mental health and wellness in children.
I, along with experts in the field, firmly believe that mental health affects everything – self-esteem and confidence, the ability to juggle multiple responsibilities, learning how to handle stress, and the ability to focus, just to name a few. All of these factors affect a student’s learning experience, whether in kindergarten, college, or somewhere in between.
5 tips for coping with stress and anxiety
Whether you’re a young student or an older one, learning remotely or in-person at school, here are some tips for dealing with uncertainty and caring for your mental health:
- Take care of yourself! Yes, you’re in school to learn, but the best way you can set yourself up for doing that is by focusing on taking care of yourself first. This includes practicing healthy habits like exercising and eating foods that support both your mind and body.
- Establish healthy relationships. Whether you have a roommate at college, or you’re interacting with family members at home, set boundaries, and clear expectations.
- Manage what you consume mentally. Tip #1 included managing what you consume physically, but what you dwell on mentally is just as important to your mental wellness. If news and social media are too negative or overwhelming, put them aside, and choose to focus on positive things.
- Create your happy place. Take the time to establish and nurture the place where you’ll be doing most of your schoolwork. Fill it with things you love, including pictures of people who are important to you and healthy snacks that will fuel your mental fitness.
- Establish a healthy routine. While there are many things in the world today that you can’t control, you can limit your stress and anxiety by controlling the things you can. Your daily routine can include things like a healthy diet, exercise, at least 8 hours of sleep, and other things that empower you, fill you with positivity, and optimize your mental wellness.
How to improve your mental health
As a lover of great food and bringing people together, I have always appreciated the effect that social interactions centered around food have had on one’s mental wellbeing. In fact, this became the inspiration behind the unique grazing tables that are my passion. After all, what could be better than nourishing our bodies with healthy artisan foods while simultaneously feeding our minds and souls with the good company of friends or family?
Since COVID-19 and its accompanying social distancing guidelines have put a lot of social gatherings on hold for now, I encourage you to find other ways to feed your mind, body, and soul. With mental health affecting every part of our lives, I invite you to find your mental edge.
Start your very own mental fitness journey with Amare’s mental wellness products for children, and mental wellness programs for adults along with our special programs, and people. A happier, healthier you is waiting!