To those who are struggling mentally during this pandemic - you're not alone

Murphy Obershaw, Copy Editor

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are staying quarantined in their houses, washing their hands and disinfecting everything.

And while there has been a lot of focus on doing things to keep people physically healthy, people are realizing that there needs to be focus on mental health as well.

It is hard staying quarantined because you don’t get to do the things you were looking forward to doing or spend time with your friends.

If I am being completely honest, I've been struggling mentally. I’m used to leaving my dorm in the mornings, bouncing around between classes and work, and still finding time to hang out with friends.

Then my life turned into going to Zoom classes or meetings, doing homework and occasionally getting called into work. The increased screen time and lack of diversity in activities has given me headaches and increased my anxiety.

Because I have been feeling this way, I have tried different things to help relieve my anxiety, and I also reached out to the Runway Learning Center to see if they had any extra tips.

Melody Head, who is the interim early intervention personnel for the Runway Learning Center, said that the two most important things you can do are to keep reaching out and to maintain structure in your life.

“Make sure that you are communicating with others through Zoom even though that’s not maybe your choice of communication, but it is so much better than being isolated,” she said.

Trying to stay connected with friends has definitely helped relieve a lot of my anxiety. I Zoom my friends, call them on the phone and participate in Campus Ministry’s Wednesday night Zoom hangouts to stay connected with people.

I don’t really have a set structure in my day. However, my alarm still rings at 7 a.m. so I can get up and do homework.

Taking time to not look at screens has also helped decrease my anxiety. During spring break, I stopped looking at screens at 9 p.m. every night to play Uno with my brother. We’ve also played Battleship, built a fort and made a movie.

Being in quarantine is also a great time to be artistic. I have been taking time to work on some short stories, poems and reflections. Writing provides an emotional release for me, so it definitely calms me down. I have also been considering going back to the crafts that I started this summer and finishing them.

Exercise can also help relieve some anxiety. I have not done a lot of exercising, but I have gone on walks with my family and played Just Dance on the Wii.

The three most simple things I do to relieve anxiety are praying, looking at motivational pictures and sleeping.

Spending some time in silence talking to God or just reflecting on life helps me, especially since I cannot go to mass because of the quarantine.

My favorite place to look at motivational artwork is I also have the chibird calendar, so I can look at the encouraging characters every time I walk into my room.

At the end of the day, sometimes I just feel like trash from my anxiety. If it’s 10 p.m., I’m not going to try to push myself to get more stuff done. I just pray and go to bed, so I can wake up feeling ready to start a new day.

If what you are feeling can’t be remedied by these tips, please reach out to someone. If you need to talk to a counselor about any mental struggles you have been having, Head can refer you to Stacey Rodriguez, the counselor who works with Newman students.

You can go to the Student Support tab at to schedule an appointment to talk with Head so she can get you in touch with Rodriguez. If you have any troubles making an appointment, you can also email Head at

The Runway will be posting more tips on its tab on the Newman website soon. If your struggles are more academic, you can still receive tutoring and meet with the academic advisors online.

Courtesy Photo provided by UnSplash