Students, Struggles and Self-Care

WE asked our interns at KO, some of whom are still students, what they do to take care of their mental health. Here’s what they said. 

Saadia Peerzada 

 With rise in division between classes, inflation, job scarcity after covid and scant funding towards education, high stress is a common phenomenon. While multiple aspects of a person’s life can help anchor them, symptoms of mental illness are best addressed by a professional. After a person has had a chance to do that, other things can help them further.

When I feel stressed as a student, I review whether I am being disciplined in my practice of Islam or not. Focusing on salat is therapeutic for both spiritual and mental health. Prayer removes stress and desolation and gears me towards hope and action.

Spending quality time with friends is a wholesome way to de-stress for me as well. Watching a TV show together, making a cup of tea and just talking, helps me enter a shared space where I don’t have to carry my worries alone.

Similarly, speaking to my family and listening to how their day went helps me get outside my own head and lend an ear to those I care about. Thinking about how to fulfill my duties to someone else allows me to draw a line between self-reflection and an individualist focus.

Mehnaz Rashid

It’s always emphasised that being both physically and mentally fit is a key to a healthier and successful life. Being mentally healthy enables a person to work effectively, recognise his/her capabilities, helps to deal with daily stress and to develop a defence mechanism to cope up with ill-health symptoms. Mental Health influences everything we do, it affects the way we think, feel, interact, and work. To top it off, it impacts every aspect of one’s life. A great number of people are experiencing psychological distress, symptoms of  depression, and some are experiencing anxiety attacks as well. Among them, the students have also faced an onslaught of new challenges which has made them vulnerable to many mental health issues.

Attending universities and colleges with extra burden of work, challenges and new policies of the education system, anxiety related to future plans – trigger feelings of depression in us. We all deal with mental health issues at some point but they aren’t permanent. We can address them and work on them to change our circumstances.

What I do when I feel stressed is talk to my friends which has really helped me. The most relieving factor for me to cope up with stress is to read. I read books, listen to music and sometimes watch movies. That actually helps. I do everything that piques my interest. I go out on strolls, spend time with my family that ultimately helps me to get out of it. That’s how I control my period of distress and never let it affect me badly.

Najmusaqib Mir

I have been witnessing lows for a long time because of my academic workload and lately, I have realised how disastrously I used to cope with them. When the low used to be at its lowest, I always used to eat a lot, but it would only help for a short time. I used to feel more hungry after, which is why I gained some weight. That was grimmer.

Today, after this realisation, I avoid stress eating and try to engage in other activities. Though I used to listen to music constantly, I am now more into knowing what I am listening to. It helps in directing my attention to other areas of my interest. Unfortunately, most of us were confined to a small space due to the pandemic. Therefore, I could not go to places I liked, which would help me relax because I love travelling. But today, I often go and watch sunsets. However, it is hard to find them often here in Delhi, but I always pause and sit whenever I see an evening sun here. Back home in Kashmir, I played cricket and went on evening strolls along the streams.

Raees Ahmad

As a student, I feel a healthy body and a healthy mental posture is absolutely necessary for our overall personality and career development. Yet, the latter isn’t prioritised in our schools and colleges. None of us, among the student community, could perceive the amount of mental unease associated with the pandemic and the world after it. We lost and suffered the most.

Now, when I make efforts in my academic life, very often, I feel distressed. If I don’t get the desired results, it challenges my mental well being. I think it’s one of the most common sources of our mental maladies as students. We want to get what we deserve. We make efforts to succeed, and if the progress doesn’t match our expectations, the result is hitting the rock bottom. In such a situation, I prefer to spend some time alone till I feel normal. I drown myself into deep introspection and self-reconciliation and tend to sort out what went wrong.

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