Regardless of how your mental health was’ pre-Covid’, isolation and social distancing can have adverse effects on even the most easy-going individuals. When people are used to structure and routines, it can be jarring to stop in your tracks and create new routines and habits. Consciously or unconsciously, the current health crisis is wearing on all of us. This burden can show up in a multitude of ways from anxiety and stress to feeling lethargic, unmotivated, and depressed.
James Rubin, Division Chair of Paradise Valley Community College’s Counseling Department, recommended several ways students and staff can keep their mental health in check during this unprecedented time.
- Take breaks from the news. Consciously decide if you are in the right space to hear the news. Then, limit your contact to avoid feeling overwhelmed or disheartened.
- Connect with others. Make it a goal each day to connect in some way with someone. You can create an online study group, set up time to cook a meal together with a friend, or play a game together online.
- Set goals and priorities. Set short-term goals for the day and week; mid-term goals for the next six months to one year; and long-terms goals for the next couple of years.
- Focus on what you can control, as opposed to what you cannot. You cannot control when the stay-at-home order will be lifted but you can control much of your life, including making and sticking to a schedule, working out to a YouTube video, or practicing a new dance from TikTok!
- Manage stress through mindful meditation, deep breathing, exercising daily, maintaining a healthy sleep schedule, and eating properly.
PVCC Counselors are still available to meet with students via phone. Call to schedule an appointment at 602-787-6540. Also, check out PVCC’s summer stress management class as well – CPD102AH. The three-credit class will review sources of stress and the physiological effects and psychological impact of stress on an individual. Students will learn stress reduction techniques, such as increasing mindfulness, building positive coping skills, practicing breathing techniques, and increasing resiliency. The class runs June 1 through July 2.