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How to Maintain Your Mental Health While Balancing Virtual Learning and the Holidays

These are uncertain and anxious times, especially for students. As COVID-19 cases continue to increase, colleges are strongly discouraging students from returning to campus after Thanksgiving break, leaving many to finish the semester at home. The transition from being on campus to being home will not be easy. 

I know I will not have the same access to quiet study spaces or to library resources to complete my school work that I’ve enjoyed on campus. I will also have to create a new routine for a ‘new’ environment. I’ll be joining students across the country in finding ways to balance home environments, virtual learning, family responsibilities, and maintaining relationships with friends. 

Even though the holidays and the end of the semester will certainly feel different this year, there are still many ways to enjoy this time, finish your semester strong, AND prioritize your mental health: 

  1. Make yourself a priority. Continue showing up for yourself and being attentive to your emotional and physical needs. Finals season coupled with the holiday season can be stressful, so remember to check in with yourself when you don’t feel your best. 
  2. Continue getting out of the house regularly. It’s easy to want to stay indoors as the weather changes, but taking walks regularly will help you take a break from work and allow you to breathe. 
  3. Participate in holiday activities with family and friends. The holidays are meant to be fun, celebratory times with loved ones. Make time to do holiday activities like baking, decorating, or even just relaxing together while watching a movie. Destressing with family can be the best time to create a connection.
  4. Create a new routine that works for you. As students start to go back home, there will be a shift in environment and routine. Create a schedule that works best for you at home and reach out to your family about what you need. 
  5. Practice self-care in your downtime. Self-care is important at any time of the year, but during the holidays, it’s even more so. Use any downtime that you have to relax and do things that you love. 
  6. Don’t forget to sleep. On average, we spend about one-third of our time sleeping and recharging. Any opportunity to sleep is an important time and can help improve your mood. Make sure to get enough sleep so you can feel your best.

Sourced from Kamryn Prince on activeminds.org