Ever since the COVID-19 Pandemic out-broke, the mental health of students has been on the rise. We must give equal importance to mental health as physical health.
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Why is mental health important for students?
As per a survey from the Indian Psychiatry Society –
This COVID-19 pandemic situation (which began at the end of March 2020) has led to a 20% rise in high school student(s)’ mental health!
Furthermore; The Chief People’s Officer from BYJU’S – Pravin Prakash opines –
Most students are not striking the perfect balance between their playtime and academic studies. Although not so much in the initial stages of the pandemic, their emotional effects of staying physically away from their classmates and friends eventually started to take its toll on their tender yet impressionable minds.
The reality of missing out on their playtime or jovially interacting with their mates potentially led to stress, anticipation and anxiety!
Pravin Prakash further opines –
The pandemic situation has been tough on everyone. But these little students experienced the worst of it. Students are breaking from their regular habits, being more circumspect about going out, and due to lack of play, they are stressing out too much, too often!
So, in a way; despite the correct preventative measures taken by schools in response to infection possibilities, those policies took an adverse role in the mental health of students all over.
We, Will, Try and Discuss More about This in Details. SO CONTINUE READING..!
Digging deeper – into understanding the cycles of stress!
Believe it or not…!
For most students, going to school is one important and comfortable constant! Not only in terms of their academic learning but in terms of how they learn to interact in a communal and intuitive environment- be it with their co-students and their teachers.
It helps them learn about real-world situations in their own enjoyable way. And become better individuals- be it in their surrounding society or in their chosen field of study/profession.
According to a professor at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas – attending school regularly and actively taking part in everyday classroom learning and activities aids in creating a sense of belonging and stability.
But with schools closing down during this pandemic outbreak, these students struggle as they are no more indulging in their usual routine. Moreover, with schools reopening and re-closing down, these students lose their crucial progression and even struggle to preserve what they’ve learned.
Not everyone can indeed adapt to online learning. This is simply because it comes with its own set of hurdles. For young-ins, their minds associate computers mainly as a means of entertainment and not as a way of academic learning.
But having to adapt (even force) their brains to this alternative avenue of learning, can prove very daunting for them. Eventually, it increases their stress levels and hampers their brain’s ability responsible for regulating attention and learning.
In fact, a clinical psychologist at the Center for Child & Family Health in Durham, North Carolina says –
The first part of the latest 2020-21 academic syllabus proved very difficult for students to focus. Surprisingly, after realising this, most respective tutors had to firstly help students retain their previous year’s information and then proceed with the new teaching curriculum.
But that wasn’t the only concern…!
Several Tutors and Field Experts’ State-
Going back to school and having to follow the revised rules also had negative effects on students. With the rising COVID-19 infection rates; social distancing and other preventative measures led to further disrupting their semblance of certainty. That resultantly led to an increase in their anxiety levels.
Some Common Mental Health Issues Which Were Seen In Students
During this pandemic, the effects of mental health in students’ learning varied greatly. That said, below indexes the commonest issues which were seen in students.
- Feeling irritable and experiencing sudden mood swings
- Increase in anxiety levels and suffering in low mood periods
- Over-dependence on video games
- Indulging in stress eating to cope up with their boredom, uncertainly, stress, frustration and fear
- Spending more time in social media platforms (which further aggravates a host of other ill-feelings like low self-confidence, comparisons and other inconsequential aspects)
- Experiencing episodes of anger, video fatigue, self-isolation and so on
- Lacking motivation and suffering from numbness
- Experiencing PTSD-post traumatic stress disorder in the event of any on-going intra-familial disputes/violence
- Indulging in risky and inappropriate practices such as sexting, masturbating, regularly watching porn; and so on
BESIDES THESE…; here are other adverse factors affecting the mental health of students during this Pandemic Situation!
- Not feeling comfortable and resultantly developing negative thoughts
- Feeling unhappy and deeply unsatisfied with their life habits during this pandemic
- Deteriorating physical fitness which contributes to depression, physical issues and other potential psychological consequences
- Unable to cope up to their life’s changes which further leads to hampering mental health in students during COVID 19 pandemic
Why is mental health important for students?
According to the WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO) –
“Mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which individuals realize their full potential and have the strength to cope up with the usual stresses of life both physically and mentally.”
This is particularly important in case of students; growth, productivity and their confidence and zeal to fruitfully make a meaningful contribution to their inhabiting society!
FURTHERMORE; the American College of Health Association explains Why Is Mental Health Important for Students?
- It is often seen that students who have psychological disorders struggle to get good grades.
- They also show a lack of interest in completing their usual practicum tasks
- Students with ill mental health will find it difficult to concentrate on their lesson or give in to distractions frequently
- Also, poor mental health associates with substandard interpersonal skills. This simply translates to students having difficulty in initiating conversations with their friends or asking questions to teachers about topics their struggle to grasp
How to improve mental health in students during this pandemic?
Depression, anxiety and stress are unbelievably high at this ongoing pandemic situation! In addition, the social isolation which many students continue to experience is only exacerbating their issues further.
However, there are some proven ways which may help students improve their mental health during this COVID 19 pandemic.
They Are As Follows –
- Sticking to a healthy diet; particularly which helps boost your energy levels, mood, brain functioning and memory retention. This is one apt way to improve the mental health of students during this pandemic.
- Getting a sufficient amount of sleep to eliminate any tiredness or overwhelming feelings! Also, remember to turn off the lights and not diddle with smartphones which force you to stay awake late
- Indulging in regular physical exercises like cycling, running- which are known to reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety and other mental health symptoms! An excellent 30-minute workout every day should do the trick nicely. That said, if you do step out, wear masks, headcovers and gloves to be safe from possible infection
- Limit exposure to televisions- especially the news channel which constantly cover dire information about COVID-19 or other equally disturbing occurrences. That too will help in bringing down their anxiety and stress levels
- Taking part in hobbies like painting, reading a book, learning a new language! If you are an avid bookworm; then you can even refresh up your so-far covered academic curriculum. The trick here to forget everything that’s going around you and read the text! Another mind-engaging activity which you can indulge in is solving mathematical equations.
When the chips are down and all around seems doom and gloom; it is important not to lose hope.
There’s an old saying – “After Every Cloud Comes a Silver Lining…” And with the tick of time and emerging news of potential COVID 19 vaccine testing trials; the good news is surely not far behind!
Students who are suffering from mental health; should look for new yet equally engaging ways to keep their minds off everything that’s going on! The afore-tips are a few cool ways to keep their mental health intact.
However, respective parents and even tutors need to play a supportive role to eliminate existing mental health of students and help resume their life with confidence!