Many students have had their expectations for the last year upended by COVID-19. An inability to travel, switching to online classes and limitations of on-campus social life are just some of the ways the pandemic may have impacted your educational experience.
So many changes at once may leave you feeling like you have little control over your life or decisions. If you’re struggling, try these tips for making change more manageable:
- Seek support. Your classmates are experiencing the same changes you are, and many of them may be frustrated, too. Talk to fellow classmates about what you are experiencing and share suggestions for making the situation easier.
- Focus on what you can do. Are there limits on what you can do during the pandemic? Yes. Now set those aside and take a fresh look at what opportunities are still open to you. Put your energy into tasks and activities that will improve your life right now and possibly pay dividends in the future.
- Practice self-care. Adapting to changes taxes your mental and emotional energy, and may sap your physical wellness, too. Practice self-care by eating regular, healthy meals, sleeping seven to nine hours a night and exercising for 30 minutes four to five times a week. Maintain a constant routine, with regular wake-up times and bedtimes, as often as your school and work schedule allows.
- Rebuild your resilience. Resilience is like a well; it has to be refilled periodically or it will run dry. Replenish your well with activities that help you relax and maintain perspective. For some people, that may be spending time in nature, while others may recharge from gaming online with friends. Schedule time for activities that rebuild your resilience each week.
- Monitor your mental health. Too much change too fast can be overwhelming. If you’re feeling sad, anxious or depressed, seek help from your school’s counseling services or student support program. Mood swings, frequent anger or frustration and increased use of alcohol or other drugs are other signs that you may need to reach out for help.
Knowing how to adapt to change is a skill you can develop over time.