Mentally fit to stay on track

By Joanne P. Cabangon

The impacts of the pandemic on education grow worse for educators and learners in these unstable times. Quickly adjusting to online schooling uncovered how the teachers and students experienced challenges to carry on.

Learning online and finishing one’s studies are expensive, and the global health crisis made them more costly. Students struggle to attain education, yet they believe that it will guarantee their success in life. Worse, they are affected by the mental health problems brought by the pandemic.

Mental health influences people’s outlook and focus to achieve a goal. In a May 2020 survey conducted by the U.S. National 4‑H Council, seven out of 10 teens reported mental health issues, which can hinder academic success. Moreover, a study by the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center shows that mental health problems can decrease a student’s energy level, concentration, dependability, and optimism. Hence, it is crucial to be mentally fit to stay on track and thrive.

According to studies, making time for one’s self is significant to maintain good mental health. But some people ignore this because having a me-time feels egocentric or unnecessary to them. On the contrary, Sherrie Bourg Carter, PsyD said that taking time for oneself gives the brain a chance to reboot, improves concentration, and increases productivity. We should not be guilty about making time for ourselves. Understanding the mind-body connection also helps maintain mental fitness. According to Erica Roth, PsyD, “the more you help your body, the more you help your mind.” Scientifically, physical activity increases the flow of oxygen to the brain. It can improve brain function and protect memory and thinking skills.

In these unprecedented times, staying mentally fit is crucial. Uncertainties challenge our plans in the future and make it harder for us to keep on track. But if we are mentally fit, we will be ready to face anything with hope and resilience.