It is an extraordinary and anxious time for TUD students, staff and their families. It’s essential to recognise the things we can do individually to slow the spread of the virus by wearing your mask if social distancing is not possible in the shops or outside, wash your hands regularly and use anti-bacterial hand gel and minding your mental health the next couples of months while we all continue to adjust our lives to studying and working from home.
Here are a couple of things you can do to look after yourself.
Limit your screen time which is very difficult with all lectures currently being delivered for the foreseeable future through online learning but once you finish for the day, go for a walk or read a book. It can be challenging when you’re exhausted and not feeling very motivated to do anything more than binging a series on Netflix but try to get out of the house and go for a walk or sit outside to breathe in fresh air for as much time you feel like as.
Take a break from eating meat a day or two during the week and have a plateful of veg for dinner, its helps keep the brain and body healthy during all the time we’re sitting down focusing on listening to our lecturers.
Going for a run even once a week helps to distract us from our worries and its free because if students love anything its free stuff, Am I wrong?
Get Enough Sleep
Coming up to Halloween, if you live in a large town or city, you might be getting very annoyed and bothered by all the fireworks going off which can make getting a full eight hours sleep tough for some people, especially if like me you live directly beside Dublin city centre which is a decision I am very much regretting right now. Some beneficial aids to getting a good night sleep would be the app headspace a free to use meditation app.
Talk About Something Else
A conversation that has nothing to do with the on-going pandemic can do you real good and do try to be mindful of how much news you interact with… always good to distract yourself. There’s no better way than staying away from the 6 O’clock news when all they report is about the covid-19 pandemic which can be hard when you’re trying to manage how much bad stuff you take in.
Keep In Touch
If you can keep in contact with your friends and family over social media or zoom because a conversation a day keeps the head clear of worry.
There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel, and this light is the news that in the announcement that in the Budget 2021, 50 million euro will be increased in the mental health budget to help with the demand for people reaching out for help and support. Thirty-eight million euro will be allocated towards the development of new mental health services, and Twelve million euro will be invested to support the already existing mental health support service infrastructure.
Fiona Coyle, CEO of Mental Health Reform, said,
“There is no doubt about the scale of the challenges facing our health services and within that our mental health services. The Government’s commitment of €50M in Budget 2021 acknowledges the deepening mental health impact of this current pandemic. While the investment falls short of the €80M we believe will be needed in 2021, we recognise that it is a positive step towards improving access to mental health services, in line with our new national mental health policy Sharing the Vision.
It is now imperative that this investment leads directly to increased capacity in our mental health services, and makes a meaningful difference to those who need support. It is therefore critical that the full €38M of development funding allocated to mental health is used exclusively for new developments. We understand that the cost to the HSE of maintaining existing levels of mental health services for 2021 may be well beyond the €12M set out by Government. Development funding cannot be used to shore up those gaps, as has happened consistently in the past.”
If you would like more information on taking care of your mental health during this challenging time, please visit the HSE looking after your mental health- Things you can do to support your mental wellbeing website.
The entire world has felt the effects of the covid-19 pandemic, so it is essential to reach out to the support services available to you as a student of TUD. If you are struggling with stress, anxiety or are feeling upset, please contact the support services available to you in the college here.
Remember, Self-care is not you being selfish; it is you prioritising what you need to do to keep a positive and healthy mindset during all your assignments and lectures.
It is easier to be nice to others when your nice to yourself first!