It is impossible to avoid the impending effects of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic to everyone. One of these impacts includes the abrupt migration of educational systems to online platforms which has been stressful to many students worldwide. Online learning has placed a strain on the mental health of people, but there are ways to cope with this and maintain a healthy mind.
Acknowledge Possible Anxiety
The spread of the virus since it started in Wuhan, China, has left populations worried about their safety. For this reason, schools have devised plans to protect their constituents from contracting the disease (Sahu, 2020). Unfortunately, the anxiety caused by the pandemic may never fade just as quickly.
Recognize Signs of Mental Strain
Sometimes, it can be challenging for people to accept the reality that they worry or are anxious about something. COVID-19 is a present threat and is sure to cause some kind of anxiety or depressed feelings. Accepting this reality and acknowledging the new fact can ease the stress and become a step for better things.
Discover Ways to Cope
The pandemic forced changes in the schedules of many events and not just classes in schools. Plans have been broken, and psychological pain and suffering have been evident (Araújo, de Lima, Cidade, Nobre & Neto, 2020). Discovering the ways to cope, including learning new skills or hobbies, can be helpful.
Quantify the Impact of the Pandemic
More than just acknowledging the problem, knowing the pandemic’s future ramifications could prepare any person for whatever happens. While modern-day students are expected to be aware of technology-savvy patterns, the drastic change could still leave them unprepared (Waters, 2020). Discovering the extent of the damage that it could give can be a defense against severe psychological impact.
Never Stop the Learning Process
It would be easy just to leave it be and give up citing the hardships of the setup as the reason. This stressful scenario is quite reasonable given the fact that students were found to find it hard concentrating on virtual activities (Carey, 2020). But stopping the learning process is never the answer.
Learn More About the Educational Migration
This so-called educational migration is not limited to specific regions but, by far, has been evident in many countries. Knowing this transition’s intricacies can help ease the overwhelming fact of this change (Schaffhauser, 2020). It is imperative to identify the right tools to have, the correct mindset in preparation, and the expectations of the classes (Sandars et al., 2020).
Find Ways to Adapt to the New Environment
With online classes, travel to school is eliminated, together with person-to-person interaction and, often, the use of physical materials like books and paper. These changes can result in plenty of adjustments to some people. Establishing routines or other activities that would make the new environment conducive for learning can be the best way to go (Wiles, 2020).
Follow Instructions Required
There is an excellent chance that the cadence and way teachers approach online teaching will differ from their usual teaching strategies. Sometimes, personal issues might come in the course of their practical approach. Following instructions can lessen the distractions and could improve the two-way communication needed in this setup (Murphy, 2020).
Connect with Peers and Friends
A great way to overcome the possible mental health repercussions caused by online learning is to connect with peers and friends (Jones, 2020). The pandemic has left people to feel disconnected and the conversion of usual routines into distance activities far different from the former.
Thankfully, social media websites have been around even before the closures and lockdowns. They are great tools to connect with friends, even when they are located far away. The constant conversations and connections could help ease the burden that is being felt with the distance.
Connecting even with those in the same household or neighborhood could also help. Telling them personal struggles can bring a feeling of acceptance that could aid in the recovery and the living in the ‘new normal.’
Reach Out to Persons Who Can Help
At the end of the day, if the new setup’s weight becomes unbearable, students should know that there are people who can help. Here are some ways to call on others and maintain a healthy mind:
- Communicating the difficulty with mentors or teachers. The school is expected to be ready to address mental health matters related to online classes. Informing them about the problems will be helpful.
- Relay the mental strain being felt to close friends and family members. Letting some close people know about the problem is an easy way to ease the burden.
- Seek therapy from a counselor or mental health advocate. It is never wrong to call for an expert’s help. Online platforms are also made available to address concerns.
- Call to hotlines available if a conversation is needed. Talking to someone has been repeatedly proven to help people in mental crisis. Hotlines are provided by both private and government organizations to help those who are struggling.
Transitioning into the virtual-reliant scenario in this pandemic is often hopeless and chaotic. Yet, there are ways to keep mental health and go on in this pandemic. Soon enough, this ‘new normal’ might answer the problem, and everything can be okay again.
- Araújo, F., de Lima, L., Cidade, P., Nobre, C., & Neto, M. (2020). Impact Of Sars-Cov-2 And Its Reverberation In Global Higher Education And Mental Health. Psychiatry Research, 288, 112977. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2020.112977. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165178120307009
- Carey, B. (2020). What We’re Learning About Online Learning. Retrieved 28 August 2020, from https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/13/health/school-learning-online-education.html
- Jones, C. (2020). Students speak out: ‘Distance learning has challenged me incredibly’. Retrieved 28 August 2020, from https://edsource.org/2020/students-speak-out-distance-learning-has-challenged-me-incredibly/632248
- Murphy, B. (2020). Online learning during COVID-19: Tips to help med students succeed. Retrieved 28 August 2020, from http://ama-assn.org/residents-students/medical-school-life/online-learning-during-covid-19-tips-help-med-students
- Sahu, P. (2020). Closure of Universities Due to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Impact on Education and Mental Health of Students and Academic Staff. Cureus. doi: 10.7759/cureus.7541. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7198094/
- Sandars, J., Correia, R., Dankbaar, M., de Jong, P., Goh, P., & Hege, I. et al. (2020). Twelve tips for rapidly migrating to online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mededpublish, 9(1). doi: 10.15694/mep.2020.000082.1. https://www.mededpublish.org/manuscripts/3068
- Schaffhauser, D. (2020). Educators Feeling Stressed, Anxious, Overwhelmed and Capable — THE Journal. Retrieved 28 August 2020, from https://thejournal.com/articles/2020/06/02/survey-teachers-feeling-stressed-anxious-overwhelmed-and-capable.aspx
- Waters, L. (2020). How do we teach students about their wellbeing online?. Retrieved 28 August 2020, from https://pursuit.unimelb.edu.au/articles/how-do-we-teach-students-about-their-wellbeing-online
- Wiles, G. (2020). Students share impact of online classes on their mental health. Retrieved 28 August 2020, from https://statenews.com/article/2020/07/students-share-impact-of-online-classes-on-their-mental-health?ct=content_open&cv=cbox_latest
Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended or recommended for patients or other lay persons or as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Patients must always consult a qualified health care professional regarding their diagnosis and treatment. Mental health conditions are complex, people differ widely in their conditions and responses, and interactions with other conditions and treatments are best evaluated by a physical examination and consultation with a qualified clinician.