Mental health must be a pandemic priority

At the risk of sounding too vulnerable, this stay-at-home order has been a bit of a seesaw game for me. There are a lot of ups and downs, back-and-forths, ebbs and flows; it’s beginning to get a little out of hand.

(Eduardo Rangel | The Poly Post)

I don’t think I’m the only one who feels this vulnerable right now. My inbox is full of emails, sometimes more than one a day, from the Student Health Center on campus with tips on how to stay healthy and information on supportive resources for those nervous about getting sick.

I understand the anxiety. Most of us haven’t experienced a state of panic to this scale. Sure, we remember Ebola and maybe the severe acute respiratory syndrome  pandemic, but COVID-19 is the biggest pandemic most Cal Poly Pomona students have seen in their lifetimes.

It’s important that while everyone is at home, we are looking into taking care of our mental health. That includes both anxiety and depression.

I know it’s almost impossible to get proper treatment for mental health issues right now. I don’t even want to risk going to a doctor’s office or hospital. While at-home remedies for dealing with depression and anxiety are temporary and have to be worked on diligently, they can make a difference.

Practicing deep breathing and grounding exercises, listening to calming music and journaling are all things that can seriously improve your reaction to your mental health.

Now, I know writing out how you feel in a journal won’t cure your depression, but it will help you understand your feelings. Understanding what you’re going through is a critical step in managing it on your own.

I haven’t been doing a very good job at managing my own mental health, particularly my depression. We can all work at the same time to manage our individual experiences and maybe make staying at home a little bit easier.

I have a history of depression and I was OK for a long time. Then, around November 2019, I wasn’t OK anymore. By February 2020, I was worse. Then, Cal Poly Pomona transitioned to online classes, and I was a bit excited.

I thought, “Hey, I’m a homebody and a night owl. I feel my best when I’m in my room and it’s dark outside. This should be fine.”

But then it wasn’t.

As the depression became increasingly worse, my ability to perform well in my now-online classes seemed to reduce. I don’t have the motivation to do anything and I know I’m not the only one.

Over the last few days, my timelines on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr have been flooded with posts about how difficult online classes are for students across the country. Students are using social media to cope with the uncertainty the nation is experiencing. It lets me feel some solidarity with my fellow students who are struggling to find the energy to finish the school year.

One post that stood out to me was on Twitter. The user praised people who were finishing college this semester because if there had been a pandemic to this scale when the person was in their last semester of college, the person would have dropped out. I don’t think CPP students who are graduating this semester are looking to drop out; most seem to just be worried about passing their classes.

We all have responsibilities that need to be taken care of, whether it is schoolwork or family. These things can be difficult to handle during a pandemic. We need to acknowledge that and understand that not being OK is OK right now. Go easy on yourself.

  • Show Comments (0)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

You May Also Like

How to navigate campus parking

By Tevin Voong Just like death and taxes, you can’t escape the parking situation ...

After Manchester, stay safe and stay united

By Jaylene Guevara The senseless terror attack at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, ...

Community art needs more appreciation

By Jocelyn Oceguera The importance of art is an integral part in the development ...