Unfortunately, the lockdown has had many negative effects on the mental health of a lot of people, worldwide. This is likely to be because of the lack of freedom. Our choices have been ‘restricted’ and our freedom has been seemingly taken from us but that’s just not the case. We are still free to walk outside. For those of us who are lucky, we still have homes over our heads, food in our belly and heating to keep us warm during the cold months. However, we’ve been really feeling for students in particular during the pandemic. Mental health is so important for students during ‘normal’ times, let alone during a lockdown in 2020.
- Firstly, for those students who are entering their first year of their studies, they are not experiencing the ‘classic’ freshers’ experience. Clubs and bars are closed. Libraries are also closed. In fact, anything and everything with the exemption of healthcare practices and food stores, are closed. This leads to less socialising time and in turn, less opportunities to ‘bond’ with prospective course friends and newbies. As an introverted individual through the first years of university, these bonding times were crucial in order for me to make friends. Whilst universities have switched physical social interaction to virtual, it just isn’t the same.
- Seeing families is minimised so getting homesick is prolonged and the need for virtual connection is more needed than ever before. If students are not collecting to friends and families virtually, they aren’t seeing them at all.
- The difficulties of lockdown on students is more intense than many of us because at a time where they are meant to be feeling their most uplifted, excited and inspired, they are presented with restrictions, rules and regulations.
Why is it important for students to socialise?
Students are social creatures and when that’s cut off, it’s like a feeling of bereavement. We are humans that need to connect with people…Jessica Valentina, Online Therapy Helps founder and chartered Psychotherapist, 2020
Stay connected to loved ones and keep regular daily contact if possible. Jessica’s thoughts are published in this online article, which you can read by clicking here: https://kingstoncourier.co.uk/?p=12290
Let’s be mindful of the importance of wellbeing of individuals and be kind. World Kindness Day was marked last week in November and it is so important now more than ever before, to be kind to each other and to ourselves.