The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Maintaining mental health during shelter-in-place order

(graphic by Eiko Ojala)

For the past two months it feels like I’m living the same day over and over again and can’t do anything about it. I toss and turn the whole night. I don’t want to get out of bed, and when I do, I eat the day away and try to get caught up on school work.

This lockdown has been hard for everyone. For students who had hoped to participate in commencement ceremonies or who struggle with some form of mental illness, it has been especially severe.

I have suffered from depression for many years and do not take medication for it, mainly because my parents don’t want me to. If you have foreign or immigrant parents, you know what it’s like when they don’t want to acknowledge that something could be wrong with their child. 

During the beginning of the shelter-in-place order I exercised to cope. I had finally gotten to a healthy mindset of working out to feel good, and not for the underlying eating disorder I had been struggling with for many years. 

 I had stopped working out for a few weeks when I started to find a balance. I would get up in the morning and go on a walk with my boyfriend, but stubbed my toe so badly I’m scared I’ve broken it, but I’m too afraid to go to a hospital and get it X-rayed right now.

The injury has given me unwanted focus on the number on the scale that I check more frequently when I’m at work, before and after lunch. 

I am not alone. Many students have felt the effects of COVID-19 on their mental health now that colleges have switched to online education, including some students who will graduate this semester. 

Britney Thao, a dental assisting major, planned to walk the stage in commencement ceremonies this month, but because of COVID-19 she no longer can. That has left her feeling pretty depressed. 

“I felt like I put all my hard work into school and to not even be able to walk the stage really freaking sucks. Right now, I am angry with COVID because it has robbed me of a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Thao. “At this point, I don’t even know if I am going to transfer, and it makes me really mad that I won’t be able to walk.”

Things have felt uncertain for most students, including me. I expected to graduate this semester with an AAT degree in journalism, but now that everything has switched online, it’s harder to understand the material, so I’m really hoping to pass my classes and not delay my transfer.

“I’m trying not to be upset, and trying to be understanding, but it has completely messed up my life goals at the moment,” Thao said.

Alex Maldonado, a human services major, said she has struggled with a generalized anxiety disorder for quite some time. She typically treated it with an active social, mental and physical lifestyle, but due to COVID-19, she has experienced even more feelings of stress, sadness and helplessness.

“I have adopted many plants to have a sense of being able to control something during this craziness and have picked up many art hobbies, such as painting and sewing,” said Maldonado.

Wendy Gomez, college nurse at City College, provided advice on how to cope with being at home while dealing with depression or other mental health disorders.

“This is really hard on everyone, but if you already suffer from a mental health condition, this could just tip you over the edge for sure,” said Gomez. “It’s when our routine gets disrupted that our mental status becomes unstable.”

Gomez suggested keeping a routine that forces students to get out of bed like getting dressed. Dressing up can essentially be a form of self-care. If you can get up to change out of your PJs, it can help get you out of bed. But that’s not all.

Hence, you price of levitra must get all the necessary facts about penis enlargement so that you can make the right selection. If the reason behind the erectile dysfunction can be traced to a physical cause, and once the generic cialis online cause is identified it can be effectively treated. Klineefelter’s Syndrome and Retrograde Ejaculation are two prominent reasons for viagra order shop infertility in men. For the time being, Americans will continue to have to choose between buying food for their family or their friends to know that levitra prescription they are dealing with impotence, which is why the majority of men at some point in their lives.

“The best medicine for mental health problems is exercising, by far,” Gomez said.

She recommended exercises that can be done at home, such as yoga, for which there are many free videos online or apps. Or, Gomez suggested, students can find another kind of online workout to try, even just going on a walk to get away from too much screen time. 

“Don’t sit and watch the news all day—all that sensationalism isn’t realistic, and there’s so much information that’s contradicting,” said Gomez. “Don’t believe anything because right now, nothing is definitive; anything that comes out is preliminary stuff. We haven’t been around it long enough to have definitive studies on it.”

The vast majority of people are seeking help from therapists online, according to Megan Lefkowitz, City College therapist, and City College has counselors helping students for other reasons than academic ones. Lefkowitz has been speaking to students through ConnectED and telephone calls. 

“When things got remote, there was a drop in contact overall with students,” Lefkowitz said. “My guess is there are a lot of students who do need support, and the district as a whole is building more support so that we can access more students because we know there are more students out there that could use it.” 

In the coming fall semester, Lefkowitz will be taking on sociology master’s students as therapy interns for City College students. 

There are many resources on campus, according to Lefkowitz, and while the therapists do provide short-term help, they can also connect students to long-term help through the student’s own insurance. They can refer students to other resources that are provided by the county as well. 

“Figure out what your healthiest form of self-care is,” said Lefkowitz. “Sometimes it’s spacing out, just getting your mind off things, getting into a book or a show. Sometimes self-care can mean tackling your responsibilities, and that can be such a relief.”

Although the COVID-19 lockdown has increased my mental instability, it has also allowed me some breathing room when it comes to school. Earlier in the semester I was taking classes at City College and had a 30-minute break to drive to Cosumnes River College. I found out that I had just enough time to make it to the other campus, especially when I left during times of traffic, but it certainly added stress to my life. 

Going to school has caused me significant stress for as long as I can remember. Just being in the car on the drive to school gave me major anxiety because I was scared of being in a classroom and getting called on to speak in front of people. 

College is no different—I still feel a massive sense of dread driving there and being in classrooms where professors require some form of participation. 

Now that classes are online, I don’t have to stress about driving to school or having to speak in class, and that’s a positive in my book. We all need to find positives to keep us going during this time.  

I have a doctor’s appointment coming up—just a routine physical—and I will talk about my mental health and my possibly broken toe. I have decided to delete my social media during this time, especially after speaking to Lefkowitz about how that’s not a great choice for me. We’re all spending a lot of time indoors, she pointed out, and it’s not healthy to look at social media all day idealizing other people’s lives or bodies. 

It’s completely normal that people are fixating on things during this time because we have so much free time to do so. We are all literally and physically feeling stuck, but what we choose to do with that is up to us. This is the time to try something you’ve always wanted to do but never had the time or get back into something you once did.

The end of the semester is coming, and since I’m not taking any summer classes, I’m starting with Korean skincare as my form of self-care, as well as getting back into reading for pleasure and journaling to help care for myself mentally. Healthy forms of distractions are what I’m striving for—what we all need to strive for in these uncertain times. 

View Comments (1)
Donate to The Express

Your donation will support the student journalists of Sacramento City College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Express

Comments (1)

All The Express Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • M

    MattMay 14, 2020 at 3:32 pm

    Nice article, with some good suggestions and sources!