The COVID-19 pandemic has changed almost every aspect of our lives. One thing that has not changed is the necessary act of self-care. Now more than ever students should be focusing and maintaining self-care practices.
The pandemic gives people extended time at home. It can also create a sense of uncertainty, which unsettles people and leads to anxiety and depression. Young adults are reported to suffer from the highest level of anxiety and depression out of all other age groups, according to the New York Times.
The pandemic is new territory for everyone. People of all ages are grieving their shared feelings of helplessness, but these feelings are increased in the younger generations.
Young people seeking wisdom from older people might find that the older people are unable to give advice simply because they have not been through a pandemic before, according to the New York Times.
American students may feel the need to measure their self-worth from productivity. Not feeling productive during these emotionally taxing events leads to compensation for the time missed not doing enough, according to the New York Times. Students may wish to compensate for not doing enough by skipping out on self-care activities such as sleeping, which can eventually lead to burnout.
Everyone has a different style of coping, but the over-productive standards of America lead students to feel burnt out and overwhelmed, according to Psychology Today. It can feel like there’s not enough time to do tasks and assignments.
To avoid bad coping skills which may result from anxiety and depression students should incorporate self-care and health coping skills. Some healthy coping skills are calling a friend or going for a leisurely walk.
One of the first steps to begin self-care is to determine what your needs are. Sit down and evaluate how you are actually doing and what your specific needs are. The Center for Nonviolent Communication lists of needs that can be utilized on their website.
Acknowledge and validate your emotions and how you can move forward as you respect them. Giving yourself permission to have those emotions as well as being gentle with yourself in these times is crucial. Everyone is going through a major trauma right now and it is okay if some items on a to-do list do not get done immediately.
Students want that sense of normalcy so they distract themselves with tasks. People baking bread and trying out new hobbies with their extended time at home has become prevalent according to the American Industrial Hygiene Association. However, it is okay to not be doing as much because everyone is in a pandemic.
The pandemic coupled with the hustle culture of America can foster anxiety and depression. This is a new situation for everyone but affects younger people especially. The urge for a sense of normal can drive young people to adopt unhealthy ways of coping. To combat that younger people should look towards healthy coping skills in this time of need.