No matter how you’re feeling during this time, you aren’t alone.
The coronavirus outbreak has caused a lot of uncertainty, and we’re all treading in uncharted waters right now. There’s no one right or wrong way to deal with everything (other than maintaining physical distancing!)—but we wanted to share some strategies we’ve been using to cope with everything that’s going on.
1. Greet the sun & get some vitamin D
Jordan: I’ve been going outside every day, and it’s something I really look forward to. It’s easy to get stuck inside, but I’ve found that going for walks and runs really helps boost my mental health. Just stay away from busy areas as much as you can—keeping physical distance from others is important!
Shawn: Oh yes, that is very true! I live behind a bunch of trees and they’re inhibiting my daily dose of vitamin D. I’ve got to head out more to ramp up my health and clear my head. I did go shopping for groceries the other day. It felt emotionally liberating to see people (in person)!
2. Get some exercise
Jordan: I’ve never been a big gym-goer, but it’s funny how not being able to go has suddenly made me crave having a six-pack. There’s tons of good workout videos on YouTube I’ve been trying out, and UBC Rec has lots of ideas about how to stay active at home!
Shawn: Oooh, thanks for the idea, dude! I saw this meme the other day where you can put your furniture to good use, and I’ve always wanted to bench press using my detachable shelf.
3. Schedule social time, like you would normally
Shawn: I schedule Messenger calls with my buddies, which kind of shows how tech-basic I am. Nevertheless, doing so helps me feel less alone and even lets me cheer on my friends (and myself)! Plus, I’ll confess: I feel so happily reassured when I hear the words, “I haven’t started yet either.”
Jordan: I’ve been journalling more recently, which has helped a lot, but giving friends a call as often as you need is important too! Scheduling a FaceTime or Zoom call like I would a normal social event has definitely helped provide a sense of normalcy for me.
4. Allocate time to do something that makes you happy
Shawn: I finished a 52-episode drama last week, went through some wholesome Reddit content—and did some online shopping for legacy items as a House President! Buuuut then I start to see myself getting lost in all that euphoria. It sure takes a whole barrel of grit to keep myself motivated to get work done at the moment.
Jordan: Motivation is hard to come by right now for sure, I keep getting distracted reading the news. It’s good to keep up to date, but spending the whole day obsessively following everything really takes a toll on my mental health. I’m trying to read more books instead—that really helps me escape and concentrate on something that feels more positive.
5. Try something new
Shawn: Changing up my routine a bit and making time to learn something new have helped to ease my mind off of what’s been happening. For instance, I’ve been trying new K-pop dance tutorials. (I suppose I’m rather butchering them...but that’s okay, lol.)
Jordan: I’ve been sticking with familiar things because they’re comforting (like re-rewatching all of 30 Rock) but trying out a new hobby sounds like a good way to help liven things up if I start to feel too bored. Maybe I’ll try to learn German…again.
These are just some of the things we’ve been doing to get through this challenging time. There's lots of resources online that can help, including:
The Thrive 5
The Thrive 5—moving more, eating well, sleeping enough, staying social, and giving back when you can—are always helpful in supporting your mental health and wellbeing, and can be particularly mood-boosting right now.
Wellness Centre: Online
It’s a great way to stay connected while we’re away from campus and offers online events, workshops, and videos to help you study, get active, or just check in with other students. Explore the “What’s Happening Now” section regularly for upcoming events that can help you find your study groove during exam season!
Remember: We’ll get through this together! Be kind to one another, follow the advice of your local public health authority, and don’t forget that physical distancing doesn’t have to mean being socially distant.
Header photo credit: Paul H. Joseph / UBC Brand & Marketing