Students can also cope with their mental health by limiting their screen time and technology intake. Too much time on social media or with your phone can create a lot of stress for students who already have a lot to deal with. Practicing selfcare and time for yourself is always key to a healthy lifestyle, whether that is reading a book or watching a movie. Taking breaks for yourself can always be beneficial to your mental health.
Ralph McPherson, the University of Maine at Presque Isle’s campus counselor, has seen firsthand the difficulties students have faced this pandemic. Ralph has a few recommendations and tips for students who are currently struggling with their mental health.
“I always advise students to stick to the basics. Make sure that you are eating good meals and getting enough restful sleep. Sleep controls almost everything we do and how we act,” Ralph said. “It is also a good idea to get in as much physical activity as possible. Physical activity helps with feelings of anxiety and sadness. I also encourage students to reach out to peers and those that can be supportive to them.”
UMPI students have a big support system around campus, which includes Roger Getz. He is the director of library services and has spent this school year supporting students. Roger has done everything he can to make the library, the Center for Innovative Learning, a safe place for students to study. There have been many changes done to the CIL this year, but Roger has ensured that the building is always welcoming for students.
“The times are uncertain. However, UMPI is one of the few universities and colleges to be experiencing growth through the pandemic,” Roger said. “Our leadership has done a great job keeping our focus on the wellbeing of our students and not deterring from our mission.”
The Coronavirus brought a lot of devastation and stress to everyone’s life. It can be very difficult to complete a college degree if a student is not healthy or in a good headspace. Students can no longer depend on their social support system or extracurricular activities at school. Mental Health has never been more important. University staff and faculty members are also going through a stressful time, so it is crucial that everyone leans on one another. All should know how to cope with their mental health, especially in a college setting. Even with masks and social distancing, people can still play a positive role in someone’s life. The college experience looks very different right now and we should all lend a hand so that we make it out of this pandemic together.
“If you can take care of yourself during difficult moments, you will build healthy coping skills for future hardships and difficulties,” Ralph said. “We all face hardships in life. It’s good to be equipped with healthy coping because we will need it long after COVID.”