Taking more classes from home, working out of your house and doing business in a different way are among the adjustments forced by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, its effects on the world are not just physical. They also are mental.
Staying mentally healthy in this environment can’t be overstated. While social distancing is becoming the norm, and events and activities have been canceled, that doesn’t mean people can’t connect socially. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention as well as other groups and organizations encourage people to stay connected. And, one of the best ways is social media.
Kadisia Archer, coordinator of Student Life and Leadership at Thomas Nelson, is working with Alicia Riley, the College’s special events coordinator, to produce “Beat the Boredom,” a series of YouTube videos to help students, faculty and staff cope mentally with the effects of COVID-19.
“We’re hoping the series will be something to keep students in tune and in touch with each other and keep them in contact with the College,” Archer said.
Among people Archer discussed the plan with was Student Government Association President Lizz Yimer, who was all for it.
“Kadisia and I had been talking about ways we could help students out through this pandemic and with everything going online,” Yimer said. “I think she did a fantastic job, just having resources out there for students to relax and get their mind off anything they’re facing. I think it’s a really powerful tool to have.”
Yimer noted many SGA members also thought it was great for students to have access to such a positive vehicle.
Archer wanted to offer a series of activities that covered assorted areas. She and Riley reached out to local performers they had worked with in the past, including musician K’bana Blaq. He did a series of 11 videos, all about four minutes. The topics include confidence-building, goal-setting, mental health and having a positive mindset, and writing out your goals and objectives.
“It’s just kind of motivational, upbeat things. They’re quick and simple,” Archer said. “They have fun music in the background. It just kind of keeps students’ spirits up.”
Yimer said the timing for this is perfect.
“This is such a good idea, just because it allows for individuals to grow on their own,” she said. “They can pick whatever topic they want and just watch. I’m in full support of it. I think mindset and mentality and community, all of that is really important.”
Blaq's videos are scheduled to be posted June 23, with others being released periodically throughout the summer. Archer is also working on a TikTok challenge, and a Chalk Talk, where students, faculty and staff can post pictures of their chalk drawings on social media. Details are pending.
“It allows people to be creative and also showcase messages through their art,” Yimer said. “There’s definitely something for everyone.”
Archer also is looking for ways to keep the college community connected in the fall. One idea is a drive-in movie, parking lot party.
“Things where people can come together but not be together,” she said.
For now though, the focus is on summer activities and helping the College community cope mentally.
“We’ll be adding others as things emerge,” Archer said.
To stay up to date, visit tncc.edu/life/events.