News

6 Ways to Relieve Post-Pandemic Anxiety

Following the recent Covid-19 pandemic, the transition of coming back to school in person after being online all year is going to be tricky for all students. After quarantining, staying inside, and avoiding people for over a year, some of us may have developed social or overall anxieties as a result. With such a sudden shift in how we functioned in society, returning to how things were will take some getting used to. If you are like me and other students returning to school this semester, then here are some tips I have found to help alleviate some anxieties about coming back to school.

Maintain Social Distancing

Holy Family has implemented campus policies requiring all vaccinated students and faculty to wear masks indoors and all unvaccinated to wear a cloth mask over a surgical mask always, except for when eating. Following the CDC’s social distance guidelines is another wonderful way to reassure yourself about your health and safety. Remember to wear your masks, wash your hands regularly, sanitize when needed, and avoid touching your, eyes, nose, and face to keep yourself and others as safe as possible. Personally, I like to carry extra masks and hand sanitizer around in my bookbag in case anybody needs some. There is no such thing as too careful when it comes to COVID.

Holy Family University COVID Updates:

https://www.holyfamily.edu/overview?j=999

The link below explains CDC guidelines further:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html

Maintain Boundaries

Do not be afraid to clearly communicate with others about how you are feeling. Manage your comfort levels by not forcing yourself to do things you may not be comfortable with; no, I do not mean your homework, you kind of have to do that. If you do not feel comfortable going to a huge party, or someone is not wearing a mask, or if there is anything making you feel unsafe, it is okay to speak up about it. At HFU, we strive for safety without politics. Unfortunately, people are not always receptive to communication, especially since masks and vaccinations have become highly politicized. If any aggression comes from others when they are overstepping your boundaries, I highly suggest removing yourself from the situation in order to stay as safe as possible.

Start Slow

Join a club and start socializing again! This a huge benefit of coming back to campus. Being around a limited amount of people for such a long time could be making you nervous about entering the classroom setting once again. Consider joining a club and introduce yourself to fellow students who share a common interest with you. Socializing and creating a familiar atmosphere will help us get used to things and alleviate anxieties over time.

Here is a link to some of HFU’s Student Engagement Office clubs and organizations:

https://www.holyfamily.edu/current-students/holy-family-student-life/student-engagement

Occupy Yourself

When it comes to anxiety, everyone knows that your mind is your own worst enemy. Keeping yourself occupied is a fun way to trick yourself into feeling better, especially in active anxiety. Finding a hobby is a fun and easy way to avoid anxiety. Some of my favorite things to do in these instances are painting, reading, watching my favorite movies and shows, talking to my friends, painting my nails, and the list goes on! Finding anything to do always helps me avoid an anxiety attack. The best part about finding a hobby is that you can have fun with it alone as well as with others on or off campus!

Find a Quiet Space

Some people prefer to be in silence or alone when facing their anxieties. Having a quiet area in which to escape allows those who struggle with overstimulation to calm down. HFU’s library is an excellent place to find some peace and quiet while on campus. The library has several areas throughout each floor that offer complete silence, including a designated silent computer lab on the main floor and two quiet rooms that can be used for groups or alone time in the basement. In my experience here at school, the basement is the most silent and is where I find myself able to focus on my work the most.

Speak with a Therapist

Sometimes, self-care includes asking for help. HFU has an awesome counseling center that is always here, in their words, “to assist you in making decisions about your mental health treatment.” What this means is that a counselor will meet with you and talk with you about how you are feeling and assist you in finding a long-term therapist to speak with based on your own personal needs. Our school’s Counseling Service Center is ready to help whoever seeks it, and their help, of course, is not just limited to anxiety! Consider meeting with a counselor, even if it is just to get some things off your mind.

Read more about our Counseling Services Center here:

https://www.holyfamily.edu/current-students/student-resources/counseling-center

Lydia Gibbon is a senior English major at Holy Family University. When she isn’t reading or writing, she likes to spend her time with the people she loves and spread positivity to those around her.