Mental health is essential for people of all ages, including teenagers. During this period of the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone has to isolate themselves and do physical distancing to prevent the virus from spreading even more. However, despite the positive impact this preventive measure could do to this whole situation, it also has some negative impacts on mental health, especially for teens. They are not able to meet their friends at school like they used to, do outdoor activities like they used to, do sport, group study, and many other activities like they used to. Teenagers’ mental health might be greatly impacted by this whole situation.
The commentary above was shared in a webinar held by the Faculty of Psychology of Universitas Pelita Harapan (UPH) with the theme “How to Manage your Anxiety during a Pandemic” with 11th-grade students from SMA Atisa Dipamkara on May 6, 2020, through a Zoom Meeting. This webinar presented two experts as speakers, Wiwit Puspitasari Dewi, M.Psi., Psi. and Dicky Sugianto, M.Psi., Psi., both are lecturers and Adult Clinical Psychologist from UPH Psychology.
Upon starting the webinar, Wiwit explained the difference between fear and anxiety, the physical symptoms of human anxiety, and the right way to deal with it.
“Symptoms such as increased heart rate, headache, and digestive problem are the most common symptoms. So, try to stay focused on the things that we can do first like taking a deep breath using our diaphragm. Commonly, in deep diaphragmic breathing, we take a deep breath and let it out for 4 seconds each, and say calming things like, ‘Calm down, be calm, everything will be just fine.’ Keep doing this and you will eventually feel better,” Wiwit explained.
Furthermore, Dicky also shared some practical tips for students to care for their mental health during this online learning period. Here are 7 tips to look after our mental health:
- Have a daily schedule
Make sure that you have a daily schedule that you go through every day. Set the time when you will wake up, have breakfast, have lunch, learn, and even have fun. Trust me, if you can do all those things according to the schedule you have made, it would not feel like we are at home at all.
- Dress like you’re going to school
Some people might think the idea of using your uniform during online learning is not practical. On the contrary, this simple routine can really affect us psychologically because we can be more prepared to go through the day. Dicky also added that using the perfume and accessories we regularly use when going to school can also boost our mood. But, more importantly, don’t forget to shower before you start the day to make your day even better!
- Stay connected with your friends
Remember to stay connected with your friends. Make some time to do a video conference with them to simply chat, update on their condition, or even play some games with them. A virtual birthday celebration, why not? What matters most is to have interaction with other people.
- Spend time with your family
During quarantine, we get to do our hobbies which we might not be possible before due to school, assignments, and many more. Try cooking with your mom while trying new recipes! If you are bored at home, you can also try to do other activities such as painting, or crafting with your family.
- Don’t be lazy, start working out, and maintain a healthy diet!
Now, now, let’s not be lazy! This quarantine might have made out bodies a little bit stiff but we can fix this with some stretching and of course, workout. Make sure that you also have at least 8 hours of sleep to keep your body fit.
- Filter your information from inaccurate information and hoaxes
Don’t put any more stress to your mind with inaccurate news and information about this pandemic. Make sure that we obtain our information from the right sources so we don’t have to worry so much. Remember to filter the information you get before sharing it with everyone.
- Seek out for professional help if your anxiety does not get better
HIMPSI (Indonesian Psychological Association) and IPKI (Indonesian Clinical Psychologist Association) offer free online consultation for you who have any issue regarding psychological and mental health. Reach out for them if you need any help.
UPH Psychology hopes that through these tips, students are able to overcome their anxiety during the online learning period. In addition to that, through its Faculty of Medicine, UPH also tries to educate the public about the latest update regarding global health through a number of webinars and digital health campaigns, established by students from various programs for the public through social media.
Aside from that, UPH will still be opening online consultation to help prospective students in finding answers about scholarship programs and other interesting promos for 2021/2022 academic year through https://www.uph.edu/id/admission/. Don’t wait any longer if you have any inquiry because we’re just a click away!