Article written by Patricia Ann Baylon
“It’s the hard times that leave us doubting ourselves, can leave us feeling isolated. But staying connected can keep us well, both emotionally and psychologically.”- Adam Greiner, Psychosocial Manager of the British Red Cross
As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, students from preschool to college continue on with their lives stuck indoors, perhaps seeing their laptops and cellphones as their only bits of hope. Crammed into these tiny gadgets that serve as windows to the outside world, are far-away friends, online classes that take up hours of one’s time, and hobbies that serve as momentary distractions. This new lifestyle is unusual, but it is bearable for a while. However as the workload from online classes continues to increase, so do anxiety levels. Interactions with friends are put off in order to review for upcoming exams; and eventually, sleeping schedules start to get erratic. Some have dealt with loss and for others, financial problems. Little by little, these problems start to take a toll on one’s mental health.
With all these thoughts constantly boggling the mind, everything starts to get a little bit harder. The problems may not easily go away, but having a little bit of psychosocial support can help in overcoming these hurdles. Every action that addresses one’s psychological and social needs, like having long talks with friends or watching movies with classmates and relatives, can greatly help in one’s mental wellbeing. Academic responsibilities may be important, but learning to disconnect and letting oneself experience a little bit of happiness can go a long way as well as providing support to loved ones by helping them fulfill their basic needs. Referring them to peer counseling can also be a good option for those who are struggling to make time for their activities.
Continue to look out for yourself, but don’t forget to also look out for others. Inspire hope to students and children alike, just as The Hope Project continues to do so through online means. For a list of services that offer psychosocial support, please visit: https://www.rappler.com/moveph/list-groups-providing-free-online-counseling-during-the-pandemic or http://www.silakbo.ph/help/