You can listen to the audio version of this article.
The lockdown brought by COVID-19 pandemic drastically changed the daily routine: work arrangement, socialisation, and even the educational settings. These changes may bring anxiety to those who are directly affected.
Higher education institutions are continuously working to address the immediate academic concerns brought by the pandemic. They are in the process of establishing protocols to meet the needs of both the teachers and students. Many are now on work from home arrangements and engage in online learning. The lockdown and strict limitation to socialise bring worry, and online interaction is an additional factor for increased anxiety levels.
Several engagements on social media and digital communication may bring a feeling of shock and frustrations. Not only that, but online learning also brings anxiety for teacher’s lesson preparations and students’ engagement in online learning.
Anxiety is a normal emotion to a particular situation, a small level of anxiety can be considered normal, but severe anxiety can be a serious problem. Academic anxiety refers to performance related to academic tasks. Both the teachers and students may suffer from this kind of anxiety, especially for those who are now just engaging in online learning.
Here are a few tips on how to cope with academic anxiety:
Make daily plans
Keep a good track of your daily schedule – from your online class schedule, exercise, meals, and bedtime, but don’t forget to make time for doing things that lighten your mood – watch movies from Netflix, listen to music, and revisit old hobbies.
Establish a good connection with your family and friends
Self-isolation can bring a feeling of boredom and loneliness. Connect with your love ones through different messaging apps. This will give you a feeling of comfortability.
Social media is a powerful tool that connects on the go all the time and this is not often helpful. Only identify the most important social media communication to manage and engage with, this will help you manage your time too.
Set boundaries on too much media consumption
Information is overflowed through online, this is rapidly changing on constant time. Learn to be properly informed and updated, but not overwhelmed with too much information.
Manage negative feelings
The uncertainly of this time can bring negative feelings, take time to reflect and set your mood on your everyday experiences.
Connect with mental health service providers
Consider your mental health too, if there are existing mental health conditions that you may find brought by the pandemic, reach out to support providers.
The existing uncertainties that are happening now, may evoke the feelings of worry and frustration and the changes on usual routine may cause anxiety to many and despite all these, learning must continue, whatever learning modality that educational institutions implement, and moving towards the new normal, it is necessary to take precautionary measures on academic progress and mental health too.
Rona dela Rosa is the Content Manager of Psychreg. She is PhD student at Bulacan State University and is an Associate Professor at the Polytechnic College of the City of Meycauyan in the Philippines.