Zoom + Depression? Oh, f…
Updated: Feb 25
Some of us must start online school again, and in addition to all the challenges that this brings, such as COVID, exams, essays, etc ... Some of us must do it while struggling with depression.
Studies show that a large portion of college students battle mental illness This is not a new problem, it's simply more visible now that mental health is on everyone's lips. As if trigonometry, statistics, and physics weren't already complicated enough, now must I go through them while struggling with my depression and anxiety? C'mon, give me a break! What time is the emotional meltdowns class? I think I'm late for that one.
I know there are many articles on the internet about how to take care of your mental health during the pandemic, but most of those who wrote that are not students. As someone who really dealt with mental health issues while taking classes online and survived, here are some tips to help you this way back to school (online at least).
Math At 3:00, End Of The World At 6:00
As we already know, depression does not wait for you to finish your exams, it can strike at any moment. In normal times, the stress of classes and terms can trigger a mental disorder, including personal problems. A large percentage of students who come to the university's therapist's office expressed suffering from family or extra-school problems, such as parental divorce or bullying.
Now let's imagine all those problems that have certainly not gone away, and add to that: a global pandemic, a downturn in the economy, not being able to visit your family and basically the world burning in front of our eyes.
Did I miss something?
It would not be absurd to think that these problems, far from improving, have worsened. Many students have lost their jobs, struggled to pay for school, debts, suffered the illness or death of a family member or friend. Among so many hellish things going on, I'd fully understand that your mental health is defined by the bald 2007 Britney being chased by paparazzi.
Taking online school with depression is a battle that not everyone overcomes, but with some of these tips, you may be able to at least get through this semester and stay (slightly) sane:
Stop With The Junk Food
I'm not going to tell you to have a completely healthy diet because:
A: you already know that you must and
B: I know how difficult it is to cook healthy in the middle of the semester.
Also, I know how easy it is to order pizza and eat ramen all week.
But I do have to tell you to eat as little junk as you can. A balanced diet can help you with your mood swings, as well as help you with your classes by promoting memory and concentration. If you are having trouble feeling good during online classes, avoid hamburgers and ice cream, they will only make you feel worse. They will even make you have less energy and make it harder for you to get out of bed, which is a favorite activity for depressed people.
Have a diet rich in vegetables, fruits and grains during E-learning, then on vacations you can indulge in junk food, just don't overdo it.
Organize Your Sleep Schedule
I can't stress enough how important it is that you sleep well. SLEEP. AT LEAST. EIGHT. HOURS.
Don't waste hours of sleep late in the niche by watching series on Netflix or playing video games, save it for the weekend. Getting enough sleep is vital for processing brain functions, which is directly related to depression and anxiety. Not only will you not perform well in online classes, but you will also be fatigued and irritable.
Do All The Exercise You Can
Including an hour or two of training in your day-to-day life would be like trying to get an elephant into an elevator. Although you do have to stay active, don't think that because you can't go to a gym, you've run out of options.
Take advantage of small daily tasks to do some activity. Go to the market instead of asking for groceries through a delivery app. Go up and down the stairs a few times while waiting to start a class. Take active breaks, do some squats when you have a lot of time sitting writing an essay.
With few actions a day without realizing it, you will achieve an active rhythm and a TIGHT butt. Physical activity promotes the reduction of symptoms of depression and fatigue will help you sleep better.
Do Not Isolate Yourself More Than You Already Are
I know what it's like to be depressed. I know that feeling of wanting to cut ties with everyone. Unfortunately, isolating ourselves is much easier when social distance is demanded of us.
You must stay connected to the world, to your loved ones, and to yourself. Keep in touch with your family, call them from time to time if you are not with them, the same with your friends. Make a watch party with classmates, maintain a good relationship with them, who surely need it too. Do not put your hobbies aside, set aside time a week to do things that make you feel fulfilled.
You may not be suffering from depression during online classes, but chances are that several in your class are. Help them not to isolate themselves and sink a mental illness. Sometimes the solution is just a phone call away.