While campus reopening may be good news to most people, it may cause anxiety among a large group of students. If you’re one of them, know that it’s completely normal to feel anxious right now in these incredibly uncertain times. Here are a few methods for managing your anxiety before you arrive on your campus:
1. Recognize discomfort as you being anxious
Don’t run away from your emotions because they might come at you at the most inconvenient times. Instead, acknowledge them. Acknowledge that the discomfort you’re feeling is anxiety. This will help you validate your emotions which will ultimately help your mind to slow down and relax.
2. Connect with your counselor
Getting in touch with your school’s counselor can be a great way to decrease your anxiety levels in this new school year. Attend virtual events and workshops on relevant mental health topics and get assistance through virtual video appointments.
3. Join college groups, clubs, and societies
Social support is the key to dealing with your anxiety! Coordinate a time to meet with your classmates in person on the first week of campus even if it’s just to have a random chat or lunch in a nearby cafeteria. Create a WhatsApp group to keep everyone in the loop and to coordinate everything. Lastly, don’t forget to sign up for all the college clubs/societies to rejoin the campus life you’ve missed in the past year.
4. Practice self-care to cope with being anxious
Not properly dealing with anxiety can lead to even more complicated physical and mental health conditions. Whatever self-care means to you, try to make the most about yourself during these stressful times. Figure out a diet plan, eat healthy, invest in a skincare routine, or if nothing, go out for a walk and get some damn fresh air!
5. Meditation and exercise can help with being anxious
Indulge yourself with some exercises such as stretching, boxed breathing, and other mindful exercises. It is imperative that you take out some time to meditate. Connecting with your breath and focusing on the positives in your life can change your whole mood and could help in reducing feeling anxious to a large extent.
6. Accept that things are going to be different
After one and a half years of endless Zoom meetings, everything you see and feel on campus is going to be different. Learn to ‘re-train’ your brain to ‘re-humanize as suggested by Michelle Angika. Also, don’t forget your sanitizers and face masks in all this campus reopening excitement!
7. Journal your thoughts to cope with feeling anxious
Writing down your thoughts is the most effective way to hash out your feelings. It might help you to know when to slow down and pay attention to the things that are bothering you.
8. Surround yourself with positive energy
Life is too short to stick around people who bring out toxic energies. Try your best to be around those who are not only kind and happy but also who bring out the best in you.
9. Organize yourself to cope with being anxious
With chaos all around, focus on decluttering and organizing space where you used to sit and study. Nourish your body, mind, and soul. Buy a new calendar, sticky notes, your favorite colored pens, and a notebook! Lastly, make a daily to-do list.
10. Remind yourself education is a journey, not a destination
Know that you are going to college because you have decided to see the world differently. Do what you weren’t able to do in the online world. Seek opportunities, find internships, increase your social circle and learn from everyone around you be it be professors or your classmates. Remember, life isn’t about just a piece of paper you are going to get at the end of your degree, it’s the great experience of four years you need to take advantage of!
11. Prepare a pros/cons chart
Start by asking yourself, ‘What do I gain or lose once the on-campus classes start?’ While socializing, increased opportunities, higher communication skills and a chance to make more friends may come under the pros, waking up for 8 am classes are definitely a con! Whenever you get demotivated have a look at this list – it would definitely help and remind you what you missed in the past year during online classes.
Any of these helpful? Let us know!
Cover image via Yumna Zaidi/Instagram