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Thursday, June 4, 2020

Will California Colleges Reopen This Fall? The Impact of Uncertainty on Mental Health

America’s COVID-19 outbreak caused an abrupt shutdown of most of the country in mid-March. In what represented a sea change for the nation, schools sent students home, major sports leagues suspended their seasons and businesses deemed “non-essential” closed their doors.

Though many cities and states have now slowly started to reopen restaurants, shops, churches and entertainment venues, it’s too soon to tell what the impact of this gradual reopening might be. Some experts have warned that opening back up is premature because it will encourage people to congregate in large groups and ignore the need for social distancing, resulting in another spike in cases. Top epidemiologists have already predicted a second wave of coronavirus infections in the fall that will closely resemble the first.

Is It Safe to Resume On-Campus Classes?

At least one major California university has already announced plans to reopen its campus for an abbreviated fall semester, after implementing several proactive safety measures for the health of their students, faculty and staff. Other schools are taking a more cautious approach. For example, California State University Chancellor Timothy White recently released a statement that the school would continue to operate primarily virtually this fall.

Many other colleges across the Golden State and around the nation are still debating the merits and the risks involved in allowing students to come back to in-person classes. Responsible reopening would require additional equipment and supplies to ensure students, staff members and faculty can get frequent testing, along with the associated contact tracing and the potential for life-saving quarantines. Not all colleges have the budget and resources to fulfill these obligations, which remains a source of uncertainty.

How to Manage Your Mental Well-Being Amid Uncertain Times

Life has always been unpredictable. Even before the emergence of a global pandemic, people got caught off-guard by unexpected circumstances. However, the future seems murkier than ever with coronavirus complicating nearly everything. If your college hastily suspended in-person classes in response to the outbreak, being away from the friends you love seeing and the environment you enjoy spending time in may have been a significant setback in your life.

Times like these can take a toll on your mental health. Perhaps the daily headlines overwhelm you with feelings of anger, sadness or helplessness. If mental health is already a challenge for you, you may notice yourself struggling more than usual. If that’s the case for you, here are some ways to take care of your mental health in the face of uncertainty.
  1. Focus on the things you can keep under control. Even when the world seems turned upside down, there are still things within your reach. Wash your hands frequently and wear a facemask, and remind others to do the same. Take breaks for self-care. Step away from the news if it’s making you too anxious.
  2. Get outside in nature – even if you are avoiding crowds. Being outdoors is essential for your mental and physical health. It’s an excellent way to reduce stress, lower your blood pressure and help you adjust your mindset. Taking a walk outside, or even just sitting in the sunshine for a few minutes, will make you feel better.
  3. Ask for help. There’s no shame in reaching out to others when you need extra support. Call understanding friends and family members, or find a therapist online. It’s OK to admit you can’t shoulder all your burdens alone, and we’re all in this together.

California Young Adult Addiction Rehab

Young men and women who are living with addiction and need to hit the reset button on their lives can find their healing haven at Hope Academy. We have designed our peer-based treatment program specifically for younger people. Reach out to us today to discover more.
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