Among the different coping mechanisms people are using to get through these difficult times, music has proven to be very beneficial among students.
A man with headphones. Source: additudemag.com
By: Manuel Perez and Luis Herrera
The year 2020 has forced most students to learn online, and with the stress of living through the pandemic, music has been a common coping mechanism among all of them.
Despite the decrease in socialization and traveling activities in which people usually spend their time listening to music, students have realized the importance of their well being. To some, music prior to the pandemic was used to pass time, but as they have gone through many different challenges, they have found themselves listening to music as a necessity.
It’s easy to feel a lot of anxiety and even depression during these times. It’s common to hear that it’s recommended to listen to music when you feel down, but it’s never really explained why music works the way it does. According to NorthShore University, music allows better blood flow and reduces heart rate and blood pressure. It also helps us maintain a healthy cardiovascular system, which allows us to think clearly and problem solve to our full potential.
Listening to music has also demonstrated its benefits in the operating room. According to the Queen Mary University of London, music in the operating room reduces postoperative pain, postoperative anxiety, and the need for postoperative pain relief medication. These benefits allow people to have a faster recovery which demonstrates how much impact music can have on a person during difficult times.
Children looking at a record player. Source: The Guardian
Most of the time when we think of a certain song, we can connect it back to some sort of memory. A memory that brings back all the emotions that come with it. That is what it does for patients with dementia, it stimulates different parts of the brain that can help their dementia. According to Elmcroft, “Music stimulates many parts of the brain at the same time, such as those areas affecting language, mood and movement, along with the senses of hearing, sight, sound and touch.” Despite the differences between a dementia patient and the average student, science proves music can help us recall certain memories that for some can change their current perspective during these difficult times.
The source of stress for everyone would be the effects of the pandemic. Coronavirus cases have been rising rapidly especially for the latino community. According to the Los Angeles times, the COVID-19 daily average was 3 ½ per 100,00 Latino residents and it rose to 40 deaths per 100,000 Latino residents. The abundance of cases are due to the living conditions Latinos live in especially in Los Angeles.
The rising rent prices have caused low income residents to live in crowded homes which makes it easier for the virus to spread among each other. Additionally, Latinos are more prevalent to have an essential job which causes them to be more at risk of catching the virus. Most of these essential jobs are on site and therefore most are unable to work from home.
Everyday we work towards completing the things we have to get done and sometimes fail to recognize our well being. Stress can completely change how you feel and how you act, so it’s important to recognize when you need to unwind or get some help. The effects of stress can be different for everyone, but the CDC mentions one of the common symptoms would be, “Feeling of fear, anger, sadness, worry, numbness, or frustration”.
Just like we ourselves feel stress, those around us feel the same. It’s important to check up on friends and family through safe methods of communication. These include social distancing or some sort of online communication like texts and calls. If you notice a change in behavior in someone you know it’s important to check up on them and get them help if it’s necessary.
To cope with stress during this pandemic it’s recommended to listen to some music that you enjoy and spend time safely with those around you. When we asked a student whether music has any benefit to them, they said, “Music keeps me entertained and relaxed. It makes me clear my mind on stressful days.” With a simple push of a button music can change a bad day into a good one.