Mental Health Struggles During the Pandemic- Am I Alone?

It’s morning, and the alarm sounds, but you snooze it and get back to sleep. Then it hits you: you have a day full of online classes and assessments which cannot be missed. You wake up, only to find yourself tired, as if those 7 hours of sleep weren’t enough, once again. You think it’s going to be yet another monotonous day filled with endless hours full of online classes. You recall how it used to be before the pandemonium set in. Even though you had a similar schedule, you would carry on. You would force yourself to walk to lecture halls, but you had the CBS chai and masala dosa to look forward to or the after-class hangout sessions at SP.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the mental health of people all across the globe. Let’s talk about people like us, though- students. Students in higher education institutions have a lot on their plate: loads of syllabus, unending assessments, and a transition to virtual classrooms. You can wake up just 2 minutes before for a class and still attend online classes without anyone knowing how groggy from sleep you still are. You can have breakfast while watching the course, can brush your teeth too. All this while, the professor explains the complexities and wonders of the human body in anatomy (yes, someone in my class was heard brushing his teeth when he accidentally turned his microphone on. Can’t blame him though; he was availing this luxury just like most of us do.)

However, there’s a loss of routine. For one, I don’t have a fixed time for sleeping or waking up despite the classes. Well, most of us don’t. How much ever we try, it’s the laziness that takes over. Excessive sleeping and eating, or not eating at all are some signs of anxiety or depression. Many students are experiencing a lack of control over their life which adds to the tension. For those away from home, it’s harder.

In these times of uncertainty and uncomfortable feelings, it helps to be living in your comfort zone, and thanks to social media, the stress escalates.

One survey reported that about 83% responders said they feel anxious and uncertain and that the pandemic has worsened their pre-existing mental health issues.

Of course, the closure of schools and colleges, loads of work with no or very little human interaction, increases the feeling of boredom and loneliness. This, combined with the uncertainty and anxiety of the disease’s consequences as shown in the news, agitates an already burdened student even more. 

Of course, the situation isn’t like before. However, we can still take care of ourselves with healthy discussions with friends, talk to our family, eat healthily, exercise regularly, and stick to a proper routine. If medical help is required for treating anxiety, online consultations can be taken. I know that pushing oneself to do all this isn’t easy, but it is possible.

As Marcus Aurelius once said, “You have power over your mind, not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”

Written by Archisha Kalra for MTTN

Edited by Andrea Xavier Gonsalves for MTTN

Featured Image by @pregs_spam

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