It’s okay to not be ok | Taking care of your mental health

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The world is going through a tough time and it hasn’t been easy on anybody, teachers and students included. During such times, when everybody is locked indoors, surrounded by unpredictable situations, scary headlines and asked to step out with a list of precautions, it becomes extremely important to take care of yourself. In times like these, young students can get affected too, due a lack of a social life, abundance of social media, and exam pressure. All this undue stress often leads to possible mental health problems. Therefore, looking after your mental health during this time is as important as looking after physical health. Here are a few ways to cope with mental health problems and be at peace with yourself:

1. Acknowledging: The first step is to acknowledge the existence of mental health problems. Mental health isn’t restricted to any age, anyone from a 5-year-old to a 90-year-old could be suffering from trauma, anxiety, or depression. So rather than dismissing your child’s problem, learn that it is okay to not be okay!

2. Have your own corner: It can be hard being indoors with the same people, day in day out. While there isn’t a choice, try creating your own corner to cool off and be yourself. Instead of getting into arguments learn to develop patience, distract yourself or find friends you can talk to and catch up with.

3. Look after yourself: Relax! Breathe! Meditate! Do something exciting such as learning a new skill or choose to simply relax! Spend a whole day pampering yourself without feeling guilty because you cannot be a superhero all the time. Do anything that makes you happy. You can only love others when you love yourself.

4. Socialise: Call your friends, have Netflix parties, catch up with old buddies, look at old pictures together….Nostalgia is the best gift you can give yourself and your friends this lockdown, so go ahead and dial those numbers!

5. Say Grace: Everyday while going to bed, write down 5 things you are grateful for. We guarantee you that this will make you feel better instantly and give you a good night’s sleep.

6. A note to teachers: As hard as it sounds, try to engage with every student in the online classroom, and notice changes in their behaviour if any. Try and talk to them, keep them in high spirits while also ensuring that you take care of yourself too. Your mental health translates to what your students feel, as your emotions are highly contagious. So, choose what you want to impart to the little ones.

7. Don’t let the line between work and life blur out: Try creating strict boundaries regarding work/school hours and make sure your employer/ teacher is aware of this. The lockdown and absence of a physical workplace has led to a blurry boundary. It has become more like living at work than working from home.

8. Ease up: You might be okay but it is also important to know that others might not be. So, don’t put undue pressure on the students, kids or your teacher for any task.

9. Have a routine: During school days, you had fixed timings for everything. Same way try to fix timings for schoolwork, homework or even playing. Take time out to play or do an activity that invigorates you.

10. There is light at the end of the tunnel: It can be pressurising creating an engaging digital lesson plan and setting up the environment. Some of you might not even know your way around technology, but that is okay. You’ll get through this just like you did with every other problem. Know that there are others out there facing the same problems, and just do your part in fighting this evil pandemic and then pat yourself on the shoulder for doing that.

11. You aren’t alone: Look around! The world is together in this, while it might not feel like it, you aren’t alone.

These were a few ways to take care of your mental health as a teacher, student or a parent. It sure is a trying time, but remember, nothing is permanent except for change. So, stay happy, stay safe!

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