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As we trickle in from summer's ending, the spread of COVID-19 has ultimately altered the way normal is considered and has potentially heightened the emotions of feeling stressed and/or anxious. While many across the nation are being advised to partake in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, pertaining to the social distancing and facial covering measures for their well-being, this barrier of social isolation can perhaps take a toll on one’s mental state. Therefore, this will serve as a brief survival guide to maintaining a healthy mental state this semester.

With the start of the semester, it is extremely vital to create a routine schedule that consists of structure and balance. As of recent, The Collegian has alluded to the fact that studies have shown that a structured routine has a positive impact on mental health. This structured routine could be applied with the support of an agenda, a sticky note, and even a Google Calendar. To break this down, being able to create a balance within life can make one feel more at ease and to possibly have enough room in the day to dedicate to self-care.

According to the gateway to mental health services, RTOR.org, “It might be weeks or longer before things can return to normal, so the best thing we can do today is to take things one day at a time and remember that this, too, shall pass. Remember to be patient, prioritize your health and still focus on your studies during this time.”

Following up with self-care, comes the small treatment of getting fresh air. Yes, that’s correct, going outside and enjoying the natural environment is quite therapeutic in ways that could benefit a healthy state of mind. This could be through a light jog, watching the sunrise or even getting something to eat.

Another way to stay on the right track is to stay connected with the outside world. The Collegian has also assured that though physical interaction may be limited, emotional and mental interaction should not. That said, social media platforms, content creating outlets and online chat services have made it simple for family, friends and colleagues to stay connected with each other at a distance on any device.

Lastly, utilize your resources. Longwood University, like many universities, has created an outlet of trained professionals to provide the necessary support for and to students. In terms of accessible services, the university provides confidential counseling and psychological services (CAPS), aimed to improve the personal growth and development of the campus community.

The support is here and is accessible.

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