It's hard to believe we're doing this again. Whether it's your final year of high school or your first year of university or college, the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting you in some way.
Along with the usual butterflies you may experience when walking into a classroom for the first time or logging into an online lecture filled with virtual strangers, there is the added stress of following new safety protocols and getting good grades.
Before you get bogged down by assignments and activities, make sure you prioritize your mental health. It will make the difference between an anxiety-filled year and an enjoyable one! Here are some tips from Tyndale University:
1. Love yourself
Your physical and mental health are linked together. If you don't care for your body by eating right, getting some exercise, drinking enough water and sleeping well, it can impact your ability to focus and study.
Set goals for yourself, such as taking a 30-minute walk after lunch every day or moving up your bedtime by an hour. Your body will thank you.
2. Build your base
It's been easier than ever to be invisible and stay hidden behind a mask or a closed camera, but people weren't made to live in isolation. Find ways to stay accountable to your teachers and classmates.
The more engaged you are in your education, the better you will feel about yourself and what you are learning. This may mean stepping out of your comfort zone to connect with someone in your class or introducing yourself to your teacher. You will have to make yourself a little vulnerable, but it's worth it. Make your presence known, and let people get to know you!
3. Ask for help
There is no shame in seeking resources that will help you on your journey. Professional counsellors and therapists are available to help you deal with a wide range of emotions you may be experiencing, such as depression, anxiety, grief or loneliness.
Check in with your university or college to find out what resources they offer. You may also consider the Government of Canada's Wellness Together website, which provides free counselling services.
Don't neglect your mental health this school year. You're worth it!
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