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The Pandemic & Mental Health: How to Better Navigate Uncertainty

The pandemic has brought about significant disruptions to our daily lives, and especially in education, where students, from primary to university, are constantly going back and forth between home-based learning (HBL) and in-class lessons.

With such a monumental shift in how we work, play, and study, it’s no surprise that it has had an impact on our mental well-being.

How the Pandemic is Affecting Mental Health

The unprecedented changes have brought about a renewed focus on mental health. A number of studies have been conducted since the pandemic hit, showing how prevailing uncertainties can have a substantial negative impact. One study showed that 71% of students surveyed experienced stress and anxiety. Whether due to the job market and its volatility, decreased social interaction, or concerns with academic performance, it's been difficult for many to find normalcy and stability in the uncertainty of tomorrow.

Stress Symptoms to Watch Out For

There are several different symptoms of stress to keep an eye out for. These symptoms of stress can be both physical and behavioural:

  • Transcription services
  • Physical reactions such as headaches and stomach problems
  • Issues sleeping
  • Changes in appetite
  • Inability to relax
  • Inability to control emotions
  • Disinterest in activities

 

If you or your child is showing one or more of the above symptoms, it might be time to discuss stress management. Here are some lessons on ways to help you keep stress at bay:

How to Relieve Stress

Coping with stress can be done quite effectively in a few different healthy ways.

1. Limit Time on Social Media

Spending heaps of time scrolling through a social media app can be detrimental to your mental health and easily build up stress. From comparing your life with others online to the guilt from mindlessly scrolling instead of doing something you’re passionate about, it’s important to take a step back once in a while and disconnect from social media apps . One way to do this is to take a break and head out. Take a short walk in a park and get some fresh air, or hang out with friends - all while abiding by social distancing measures, of course.

2. Practice Self-care

Feel in control by exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, eating healthy meals, and practising meditation. It will positively impact your overall mood. Take some time to yourself, share your experiences and find freedom to express yourself .

3. Catch-up with Friends and Yourself

Study hard, but you also need to play hard. Take some time out each day to do things you enjoy, like hopping onto the latest mobile game or listening to your favourite tunes. If you’re missing friends or loved ones, maybe it's time to schedule a catch-up on Zoom.

4. Download Mindfulness Apps

When it comes to mental health, practising mindfulness can sometimes help. And when finding the right mindfulness apps, there are some wonderful options on both the App Store and Google Play Store. Consider some of these best mindfulness apps:

  • Headspace
    The Headspace mindfulness app offers a range of tools and services, from guided meditation, music for focus, and sleep sounds that can help with everything from winding down and falling asleep, to reducing stress and anxiety. Meditation and mindfulness are even taught by world-class experts, and sessions can be as short as 3 minutes, perfect for even the busiest individuals.

    Download the app on the App Store or Google Play Store.

  • Calm
    Calm is the number 1 app in the world for sleep, meditation, and relaxation. It has won a number of awards including Apple’s App of The Year in 2017 and Google Play Editor’s Choice 2018. Like Headspace, it offers guided meditation and audio that helps with sleep and reduces stress and anxiety.

    Download the app on the App Store or Google Play Store.

 

5. Play Stress Relief Games

If games are more your kind of thing, there are many stress relief games available. Some of our favourites include:

  • My Oasis
    My Oasis gives you a break from reality with its digitally delightful world. With simple and easy click-and-tap controls, collect different animals to complete your oasis. Accompanied by super-calming background music and sound effects, you’ve got something that can really help with stress management.

    Download the app on the App Store or Google Play Store.

  • Bubble Shooter: Panda Pop!

    That satisfying multi-pop. The accompanying sound effect. Pop, match, connect, swap, crush, and forget all your worries! Bubble Shooter: Panda Pop! is a great stress reliever and perfect for people of all ages.

    Download the app on the App Store or Google Play Store.

    Cope with Stress Wherever You Are

    Whether you’re out and about and need a bit of a de-stressor or at home and want a break from studying, it’s important to have a quality internet connection from a reliable internet service provider. M1 is here to make sure you’re always just a click or two away from stress relief and winding down using technology. You simply can’t go past our lightning-fast Fibre Broadband plans.

    And if you’re always on the go, we offer a range of deals for 5G compatible mobile phones. Sign up for our Bespoke Plans and get your favourite handset for $0 upfront, and pay the balance on a phone installment plan. Build your mobile plan and add the 5Go Plus Booster for a true 5G experience. Shop our 5G compatible phones here and start personalising your mobile plan today!