Teen and College Mental Health tips: Mind and Body Covid 19.

Over thirty percent of college students state their mental health has worsened since COVID 19. Anxiety, depression, PTSD, substance use and abuse are on the rise. This is true for most parents and adults as well.

College students are encountering huge adjustments to their College experiences. Social isolation has shown negative impacts on mental health as well as depression. There are financial stressors due to the economy and financial institutions as well as the job outlook during these times of record unemployment.

The school structure has radically changed with online classes and most students not living in the dorms and back at home or in their apartments. Many have a new environment for studying some are used to studying in a library or a quiet coffee shop. This has all been changed and a new environment must be created for studies.

Students are watching movies while chatting on the phone to maintain social interactions , however, social interactions have shown a reduction of over 92 percent.

Here a few important tips to stay healthy mentally during COVID insanity.

Make sure you get up off the couch and move. Movement releases endorphins that boost mood and reduce stress. Serotonin , dopamine and norepinephrine are released during exercise. This gives you an overall good feeling as well it allows you to feel you have a sense of control. Do not let a gym or yoga class closure stop you from exercising. There are many apps as well as you tube videos for exercise. Taking a walk is a great start as well as stretching.

Stay connected daily to your family and friends. You can pick up the phone and talk and video chat for free on many apps or you might have an i-phone and be able to do face time etc. 

Eat healthy foods like vegetable and fruits and low calorie foods. It is easy to find comfort in sugary foods ,however, this can negatively impact your mental health so do a

80/20 balance and make sure you are exercising as well . Of course you can have food you enjoy just make sure you are balancing it with healthy foods and exercise. Foods that have: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, as well as lean proteins help your boost immune system health. Many research papers state that Vit D ( sun) is vital for healthy immune systems. There are also supplements a Physician can prescribe for you.

Take time to take care of yourself  and your feelings via counseling or journaling or meditation. Take time for yourself each day to relax and de stress.  Practice “belly breathing” daily. It will lower stress as well as build the strength of your lungs.  Sit in a comfortable position with your shoulders back . Inhale slowly through the nose for the count of four. Allow your stomach to balloon out. Exhale all stress through your mouth for the count of four slowly. Pause for two seconds and repeat the process.

Practice good posture when you are working at the computer. The top of your computer should be horizontal with your eyes. Your back should be supported and if it is not get a pillow to support it.

Keep a regular routine for sleep. If you have a routine your sleep will be better and you will find yourself more rested and your mental health will improve as well. Turn off electronics at least an hour before bed because the blue light has a negative impact on the hormone melatonin and this will negatively impact your sleep. Take a warm shower or bath or drink a relaxing non caffeinated tea.Take this time to set goals that you have not done in relation to : self, school, family, work, health and more. Take time to reconnect with quality friends .

David with www.lifeworksaz.com provides counseling and therapy services to teens, adults, and families to create balance in behavior and mental health as well as emotional health. David Abrams MAPC , LPC has been working w expertise in these areas for over 18 years.

Articles are not to be taken as a substitute for professional advice or counseling.