Returning to University? A Mindful Mental Health Guide to Coping With COVID-19 Stress

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Oct 1, 2020
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As the situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve, feelings of uncertainty, anxiety, and fear can be overwhelming, especially as you prepare to go back to university. Dealing with sudden changes to your regular schedules and worry about what comes next for the upcoming academic year can cause strong emotions, including feeling helpless and unsure of what to do as well as social withdrawal and isolation.

These challenging times fuelled by the latest news updates can be very unsettling. We wanted to try and help with some mindful tips and suggestions on how to cope with pandemic stress now and ongoing, as we continue to recover over the next few months. Read through and share with anyone else in need…

Take a Break From the News.

Repeatedly hearing about the pandemic or seeing COVID-19 news as you scroll through social media can give you information overload and can often be very upsetting. So making an effort to switch off your screens once in a while, will not only help you be more productive but also help reduce news induced stress.

Maintain a Mindful Routine.

Life right now can seem a little messy and unexpected, so creating a mindful routine, will help your mental focus, reduce procrastination, improve time management, and goal accomplishment. Try to start your day at about the same time each day and begin with your academic goals in mind. Also, find time for some physical activity, as it is very good for your mental health, perhaps try a virtual yoga class or get some fresh air by going on a walk, run, or bike ride.

Take Care of Your Body and Mind.

Aside from staying safe, through the WHO guidelines for dealing with the coronavirus, it is particularly important to remember self-care. Eating a well-balanced diet and incorporating supportive supplements into your daily life, will ensure you get all the essential nutrients you need. Also, adopting a meditation practice helps manage and alleviate anxiety, which at this time is often caused by being in the middle of a pandemic.

And if meditating isn’t something that comes easily to you or you have difficulty focusing on your breathing, you can deal with COVID-19 stress and stay calm in your busy daily life using Melo, our guided breathing exercise device. Melo uses both light and haptic feedback to focus you on the ebb and flow of your breath bringing more clarity and control to your daily tasks.

Make Time to Unwind.

As easy as it is to get caught up in your coursework, take some time out of your day to do something that you enjoy so you’ll be able to better handle life’s stresses. Even if it's just 15 to 20 minutes of trying out a new hobby, perhaps sketching to express yourself creatively or listening to a “feel good” playlist.

Connect with others.

Although, this time can feel somewhat isolated, don’t forget that there are still ways to connect socially. Making friends virtually via your universities’ forums, classes, and online events, sharing experiences can help bring some solidarity and build new relationships. Additionally, keeping in touch with your family and friends can help keep some familiarity within your new environment.

Get a Good Night's Sleep.

Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule is very important as the less sleep you get, your body increases its levels of stress hormones.simple and mindful night-time routine will help you let go of the day’s tensions and get a good night’s sleep.

Regardless of whether you are worried about returning to university in a pandemic or not, notice how you feel and be mindful of your emotional health. Feel free to use our suggestions and do whatever you can to take care of yourself, and to protect your current and long-term mental and physical wellbeing.

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TheaWellbeing and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. All material on is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or a qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health-related programs.