How to Combat Online School: Mental Health Edition

I promise we all feel it, the burden of our messy world, the low motivation, the uncertainty for the future. I know you are itching to see your friends, talk to your favorite teachers… but that looks like it’s a little far off. Here are some tips and reassurances from your peers and myself on how to survive the coming months.

When I asked around, lots of people said the biggest thing to worry about is time management. Inesse Chun tells us to “avoid doing your homework last minute, especially projects. Contribute in group projects and make sure you keep yourself accountable for your work.”

Easier said than done? Here are some tips on how to do this from Alisha Shahpurwala.

“Use your free periods to get work done. Don’t just sit on your phone for an hour and say you will do it later.” Hannah Lee agrees, and says that “All the distractions should be away when you’re doing your work.” 

An important suggestion was to plan out your day. Have your reminders app, a random journal, or piece of paper, and write down everything you need to do each day, whether it is academic or not. Check it off throughout the day to feel accomplished. Just try it for one day!

Your morning routine can decide your whole day, and how you plan it can either give you motivation to learn math at 7:45 AM, or to email your teacher faking wifi issues so you can sleep in. Yes, we have all been there. In the morning, Sanaaia Joseph says to “give yourself more than enough time to get ready in the morning because time slips away quickly and waking up can be a struggle.” Charlotte Ran says “Get up, get dressed, make your bed, open your curtains, and eat a good breakfast.” Sam Karas agrees, suggesting to “set an alarm to Pursuit of Happiness by Kid Cudi at 7:30 in the morning and drink a glass of water when you wake up.” 

Now for some advice to somehow keep your sanity staying in the house all day. Charlotte Ran says to “Challenge yourself to find a different spot in your house for every period.” Don’t keep yourself stuffed in your room all day, it will be horrible for you. And, I know it seems unnecessary, but try getting dressed in the morning. Even if it’s just sweatpants, get out of your pajamas. Put some perfume or jewelry on to remind yourself that you are important. Light a candle, make your bed, wipe off your desk. Brightening up your space makes a difference. I recommend trying some of these things for a day.

Sleep (and the lack of it) is also a very prominent issue among students. Megan says “don’t do your homework in your bed because your mind has already associated your bed with comfort/sleep.” Alisha agrees, advising people to have “a separate workspace other than your bed.” 

Finally, mental health. All of us have been struggling, whether it looks like it or not. We all feel it. The pressure of solving the conflicts of the world around us, wanting so badly to see our friends, talk to our teachers… it’s going to be okay. I promise. 

It might be daunting to talk to someone, but just try. You don’t have to open up all the way at first, take it slow. You don’t have to be at your lowest point to reach out, and you are never a burden, no matter how much your brain tries to convince yourself that you are. Megan reminds us that “everyone is going through the same pandemic, so don’t be too hard on yourself.” 

As always, stay home, keep your mask over your nose, and we will get through this. 

Michelle Hashem
staff writer

Graphic: Bronwyn Spencer

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