May 24, 2021, by School of Medicine
50 at 50: Covid-19: Looking after your mental health
Modern medicine is growing exponentially and has consistently showcased how we are becoming capable of combating both mental and physical health. In a vocation where irregularities are persistent and intense challenges become the norm, I think I speak for us all when I say that no one could have predicted the devasting impact COVID-19 has had on our daily lives, and will continue to have, for years to come. From socially isolating from our loved ones, to studying from home, we have all had to embrace a new reality in order to stay safe. This has undoubtedly had a negative impact on mental health, which itself can be challenging to maintain at university where other factors such as upcoming examinations may already be adversely impacting mental health.
However, there are things that you can do to help look after your mental health. If you are struggling with your mental health, one of the hardest things to do is asking for help. However, it is extremely important that you realise that you are not alone, and that help is always at hand. There is no shame in asking for help, it is the first step that will help you overcome the challenges that are negatively affecting your mental health.
Here are a few things that I have found have helped me look after my mental health and wellbeing during COVID-19. I hope that this will help some of you in some way, shape or form too!
- Staying connected
With social distancing and many national lockdowns in place, utilising social media where possible to stay connected, facilitates the maintenance of healthy relationships with your loved ones, which is extremely important for your mental health. From virtual pub quizzes to group movie nights, the possibilities of staying in touch with friends and family are endless! This may also be the perfect time to reach out to someone old or new!
- Finding a new hobby
As I am sure you are aware, there is a tutorial on YouTube for practically everything! Whether it is learning how to bake banana bread with the rest of the country or learning how to play chess after watching The Queen’s Gambit, investing your energy into a new hobby brings many rewards with it!
Physical health has a direct impact on our mental health. By drinking plenty of water and exercising regularly (I’m sure we are all familiar with a Chloe Ting workout over lockdown), you can directly improve your mental well-being and make you feel physically fitter too!
With the chaos that is life, it is important to take time away to fully rest and relax. Whether that is catching up on sleep, or simply taking a break away from studying, it is imperative that you take these steps in order to look after your mental health.
- Talk to others
It is important to remember that there is always someone to talk to when things are getting tough. From family and friends, to your GP, there is plenty of support available to help you if you are struggling with your mental health, so do not be afraid to use it!
Despite all of the adversities that COVID-19 has brought with itself, there is hope. Slowly but surely, life will resume back to as we know it, but in the meantime, it is important that you look after your mental health and wellbeing so that you can enjoy what tomorrow brings!
By Krishna Savadia, 3rd Year Medical Student
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