By Elizabeth Scalzo
Anytime you ask a student on campus how they are doing, they all utter the same response: tired.
When we were in the depths of Zoom university, we desperately wanted to return to in-person classes and to see our friends and hang out on campus, but it seems that, when we came back, it exhausted us.
I’m not talking about the kind of tiredness that is solved by fixing your sleep schedule or taking a nap. I’m talking about the kind of tiredness that comes from burnout and emptying your social battery every day.
After not seeing a lot of people every day for over a year and a half, we weren’t really prepared for a return to social settings. I never realized how much energy it takes just to sit among a group of people for a few hours.
One thing the pandemic taught me is to set boundaries with everything I do.
Mental health is something we need to take seriously and we need to respect other’s mental health. I am no healthcare professional and do recommend going to Student Counseling and Psychological Services if you are struggling.
Through therapy and self-instilled coping mechanisms I have found some resources that have helped me check in on myself mentally and I would like to share them with you all.
The app My Calm Beat is what I use when my anxiety is spiraling. The app guides you to focus on your breathing and the current moment, rather than staying in your head. When your mind is running at 10-miles a minute, it’s important to ground yourself and focus on one thing.
You can type in “Meditation for…” on YouTube and find a long list of guided meditation videos. Daily meditation is something I have tried to implement in my life as a form of daily self-care and checking in. Just as we check-in on others, we must check-in on ourselves.
It’s important to express your emotions in healthy ways. I have a tendency to bottle up anger, so I take that anger and write it all down. Sometimes, if I’m really upset, I write everything down and then I tear up the pages to help me release the negativity.
This app helps with stress relief. You can set reminders to take a break from your work and listen to one of the 7- to 13-minute recordings. You can choose music or nature sounds. This will allow you to take a short break, even when you’re trying to be productive.
This app is a daily affirmations app. We all can use a pick-me-up every now and then and having a daily affirmation to focus on can help with this. This helps me keep a positive mindset when starting a new day.
Managing mental health isn’t easy and the conversation needs to continue to assure we are helping one another and ourselves.
Mental health apps and coping methods.
Art by Elizabeth Scalzo