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Take a break

Gazette student columnist offers insight to managing in a pandemic

Student Life

By Emma Troake

The wide and fast spread of COVID-19 transformed our day-to-day lives completely.

Rapid change inevitably causes stress and anxiety, and now that the pandemic has gone global, we’re all facing these feelings together. 

Prioritize mental health

During a time like this, news and social media can be overwhelming.

Every day we face massive amounts of new information flooding our screens. For the most part, it consists of frightening and stressful numbers, statistics, projections, videos and photos.

Even though it’s good to stay informed and updated, and we all want to hear the news, it’s important to take breaks from the media.

“Absorbing unsettling and negative information day after day undoubtedly will take a toll on all of us.”

Our mental health should remain a priority – especially in this kind of situation. Each day we see the rising case and death tolls across the country and around the world.

Absorbing unsettling and negative information day after day undoubtedly will take a toll on all of us. It’s a good idea to turn off the television or put down your phone a part of the day.

Also, be sure to to check your news sources, read articles in their entirety and only share verifiable information. Even trustworthy news sites often twist headlines to grab your attention.

Unfortunately, this practice typically spreads more panic than necessary and results in readers sharing alarming headlines. Reading thoroughly may reveal that you were originally misled. 

Time warp

For some, especially us students who are finishing up an academic semester, the days may seem like they blend together.

Trying to stick to a daily routine can help keep a sense of normalcy in the large changes we’re facing.

This could simply include the basics of trying to stick to a regular wake-up time or eat at consistent times of the day.

Keeping connected with friends and family online is a great way to prevent feelings of detachment from our previous routines. 

Take the pressure off

There is a lot of pressure to keep busy during our extended time at home, like exploring new hobbies, learning new skills or keeping active and fit.

While these things aren’t necessarily bad, no one should be hard on themselves for not revolutionizing their lifestyle.

“A change of scenery can also be helpful, as long as it’s done safely.”

Living during a pandemic has completely altered how we live and behave. Taking the time to adjust to and process the situation as it changes is understandable and valid.

Again, it’s important to take breaks from the news and allow yourself the time to do things you can safely enjoy, whether it be a hobby or an activity you find relaxing or fun.

A change of scenery can also be helpful, as long as it’s done safely and according to the guidelines set in place by health authorities.

Enjoy simple things

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s FAQ page states that “You can go for a drive as long as you do not come in contact with others outside your household.”

Personally, I find that going for drives once in a while is an enjoyable and relaxing way to get out of the house and clear my mind.

Listening to music, whether in the car or in your home, is also uplifting. Getting fresh air, even if it’s just in your backyard or sitting on your front step, is also very helpful. 

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador website provides multiple mental health and wellness resources to use during this stressful time, and can be found here


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