Mental Health in a Pandemic

By Nikita Bhangu

Mental health is a multifaceted concept that I have seen be approached in a diverse set of ways such as talk therapy, aromatherapy, journaling, etc. My mental health relies on either walking/running outside or visiting my temple and I have found that by using these outlets, I can physically get out of an environment that may be causing me stress or anxiousness like my school desk and go somewhere else that allows me to focus my thoughts elsewhere. I believe that having some type of separation between where you work and play can have positive effects on your mental health, although I also understand that this is not a luxury that every person can benefit from. So to combat this I have seen members of my community take up activities such as:

  • outdoor exercise
  • mindfulness meditation
  • talking  on the phone with loved ones about stressors or life events more frequently
  • building a daily routine that incorporates their hobbies or interests and adequate sleep and nutrition
  • simple distractions like solving a puzzle or reading a book

Building an awareness of when you feel overwhelmed and finding one or two outlets to combat it is a beneficial skill to learn now and can be used for the rest of your life as you encounter different situations.

Nikita Bhangu is a senior at Michigan State University majoring in neuroscience. Her interests include running, volunteering, and reading books. She aspires to be a primary care physician who will care for underserved communities while also being present outside of the clinical room to raise awareness about critical social disparities affecting her underserved community.