Second lockdown: what if I took care of my mental health?
For some people, finding themselves in a situation that they have already experienced before can make it easier to manage (we learn from our experiences, we know better what to expect, we get used to it...). - but this is not always the case. It's normal not to know how to deal with a situation when everything is made of uncertainty and waiting, even if you feel you've been through it before. The advice below is neither exhaustive nor imperative. We have listed a range of resources that will echo the multitude of emotions you may experience on a daily basis as a student. Hopefully, when you dive into them, you will come out feeling a little lighter.
8 advices for taking care of your mental health as a student
#1 I give... I give… I give - up !
Yes - with lessons online it’s difficult to keep up with studies and friends.
Keep in touch with your classmates so that you don't lose track completely. Even outside the classroom, this can help you stay motivated and combat the isolation that over 25% of students experience (OVE study, 2016). Listen to yourself and identify your needs. Don't force yourself to study if you feel tired or distracted, and remember to take breaks. Above all, don't feel guilty if you can't work: some days are less productive than others, and that's normal.
You can also consult Sciences Po's toolbox to ease the transition to online courses. It offers tips on how to use Zoom properly: no more worrying about technical bugs.
#2 Fake news, fake news, fake news...
Covid, an invention of Bill Gates or an experiment escaped from Chinese laboratories?
Fake news is well known, but detecting it is another story, especially when it is a new pandemic. Don't panic: here you can check the validity of the information circulating in the articles, and understand once and for all how the virus spreads and the associated risks: adios corona!
And to go further...
#3 I feel like I’m making bad decisions
Decisions on what? Whether it's about studies, friends, relationships, even within four walls, it's easy to feel that you're doing things wrong. And often that others would have done 'better'. But what would they really have done in your place?
This is your chance to put yourself to the test: on this youtube channel run by experts in youth mental health, you can put yourself in the shoes of two students in their daily lives and choose how you would have acted in their place, at the end of each video. Sound good to you?
#4 I want to ‘lighten my load’, but how, and to who?
Lightening your load, is to validate and externalise what you are experiencing, in writing or orally. It allows you not only to see that others are going through the same thing as you are, but also to bear witness to your own experience.
Lighten your load by singing
Lighten your load by writing
Lighten your load by drawing
Lighten your load by reading
Lighten your load by watching
Lighten your load by dancing
Lighten your load by talking
Lighten your load by cooking
Lighten your load by tweeting
Lighten your load to the world
Lighten your load in different languages
Lighten your load by playing an instrument
Lighten your load by listening to music
#5 And what if I can’t sleep at night?
It's not always easy to get to sleep when you're walking around a room in circles and sitting in front of your screen for ¾ of the day (blue light). You're not the only one to feel that you're sleeping badly: after the first lockdown , more than 70% of young people aged 25 to 34 still have sleep problems at the end of September (CoviPrev survey by Santé Publique France, 2020).
But then, how do you get rid of this damn insomnia? Get out of bed, walk, move: the more you act, the less you will think.
Get out of your house to get some fresh air, ‘attestation’ in hand: walk or run, jump, dance, basically: move!
#6 I miss sport
You are allowed to do sports within a 1km radius of your home. If you like to move around but jogging isn't your thing, you don't need to break the lockdown to get to the gym: you can check out this collection of online videos and sports programmes for doing sport at home, there's something for everyone.
And if you’re after a specific sport, take a look at these free applications :
Between two classes, all you need is 7 minutes to get the most out of a work out with Seven.
For some stress relief without necessarily being a yoga guru, you can have a go at these little sessions from Daily Yoga for beginners.
To develop muscles and flexibility, Goove.app is your app to check out
Named by the Minister of Sports, Activiti offers you exercises adapted to your level and according to what equipment you have
No equipment ? FizzUp offers you your own personalised sports regime to complete from home without any equipment
#8 I feel like my life is lacking structure
During lockdown, it's not just your routine that falls apart, it's a whole feeling of instability that manifests itself. Don't worry, it's normal to feel like that - sometimes it's just a matter of going day by day, step by step.
There's no need to put enormous pressure on yourself to succeed, which can lead to a fear of failure. You already achieve a lot every day as you navigate through this maze of emotions, that's something to be proud of.
#7 What can I do right now to start feeling better?
Psychological support is often seen as something long-term and time-consuming. But if you need to feel better right now, you can try to:
Get out of the house: with your ‘attestation’ in hand, go and breathe some fresh air to take your mind off things. If you are lucky enough to have a park near you, take a few minutes to walk around it and spend some time amongst nature.
Take a hot or cold shower, let yourself go for a while.
Eat something you enjoy (because yes, it's not a crime to enjoy yourself).
Call someone close to you/get in touch with someone you like who you haven't talked to in a while.
do something that makes you happy, no matter what it may be.
5 tips for students working in the health sector
Students in the health sector: a big thank you! You are on the front line right now and taking care of others during this health crisis. However, before taking care of others, you must already take care of yourself. It is perfectly normal for you to feel fear, grief, frustration, even guilt, to have trouble sleeping or simply to be exhausted. You are not alone!
We, in turn, can help you deal with this new situation  with a few tips and tricks. Here are some given by professionals to help you on a daily basis  !
#1 You are not alone!
If the situation is difficult for you, it is also difficult for your colleagues. Proof: on Instagram, many of its internal and external users can testify. If you want to know how they’re living their day to day, take a look at the accounts
We are all in the same boat, and this is the opportunity to motivate us together to face these challenges.
#2 I want to distract myself now
No matter how many college chapters you have left to read, the shifts that follow and the ECN on the horizon - taking breaks is an integral part of your mental well being and will help you to recharge your batteries.
To tell someone about this, check out the list of supports here.
For an amusing break, check out Neurchi from externals on Facebook.
#4 How are you doing, really?
Sadness, irritability, insomnia, loss of motivation, and maybe your twelfth coffee of the day... all indicate that it's worth taking a break and catching your breath. Psycom, which explains in simple words what these terms mean, shares tips on how to overcome these symptoms (or help someone else do so). But also, don't turn your back on a good old-fashioned qualitative Ted talk - it can do a lot for your self-esteem.
#5 I need support
Whoever you are, it can be a big step forward to ask for support. If you feel the need to take this step, you can find a ready-made list of psychological supports available at your academy and the helplines set up for health students. Don't hesitate to share the link if you feel that others will find the place they are looking for to express themselves.
 « Psychologie : sept stratégies pour gérer l’anxiété liée au coronavirus », https://theconversation.com/psychologie-sept-strategies-pour-gerer-lanxiete-liee-au-coronavirus-133851
 « The psychological impact of quarantine and how to reduce it: rapid review of the evidence », https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30460-8/fulltext
 « Préserver le bien-être du personnel de santé lors des épidémies de coronavirus », Center for Study of Traumatic Stress, www.CSTSonline.org