Feeling lots of FEELINGS during this pandemic? Or are you so overwhelmed that you're not sure what you're feeling? That's ok, too. See my video for more:
Our brains and bodies influence each other. This brief video discusses how we can address any nervous or anxious feelings we have by identifying tension and stress in our bodies.
Tips for Staying Mentally Healthy During COVID-19 Quarantine
Build a Daily Routine
Set an alarm to wake up at the same time everyday. Have a shower and get dressed. Build in time for breakfast before you tackle your ‘school day.’ Building a daily routine will help to create a sense of normalcy and will help you to feel productive. Build in time to connect virtually with others, to relax and watch Netflix or read a book.
Set a Specific Space for ‘School’
Trying to attend a Zoom class from your bed but finding it hard to concentrate? That’s because your brain associates your bed with sleep! Find a workspace that promotes productivity- one that is away from distractions (tv, gaming consoles, etc). If your desk is too close to your comfortable bed, try the dining room table! If you find that your workspace is no longer ‘working,’ mix it up! Change your workspace every week- it keeps the brain interested.
Take Care of your Physical Self
Our physical health is very tightly connected with our mental health! Make sure you get a good amount of sleep every night (try not to stay up late!), and balance out those quarantine snacks with healthy, balanced meals. Dedicate time every day to get your heartrate going (what better time window than your typical Physical Education block?) Make time to get outside for some fresh air and Vitamin D.
Limit Your News Intake
If you find that the news is making you nervous or stressing you out, disconnect from it. Don’t watch it on tv, do NOT go on Twitter, and don’t access it on your computer. Ask a parent or guardian to filter any major news to you once or twice a day (or at the moment, if really urgent!) It’s normal to want to know updates all the time- it reduces our anxiety around the issue. Unfortunately, it’s a temporary fix as a new worry usually arises. The more you disconnect from it, the easier it will be.
Connect with Others
Having to stay home can feel very isolating. Set a time every day in your schedule to FaceTime or Zoom with friends and family. If you feel as though you don't have anyone to reach out to, reach out to me or a teacher to chat! We are all looking to connect with others during this time, even if it's just a five-minute check-in. This quarantine provides a great excuse for reaching out to others you haven’t spoken to in a while!
Try Something New
Bored? Use this time to tackle an art project you’ve always wanted to try, or dedicate more time to learning your instrument. Teach yourself a new skill (juggling! cooking!) or keep a journal of your quarantine experience. Set small, manageable goals so that you know when you’ve achieved them and you can feel that sense of accomplishment!
We all want to feel like we are contributing towards the greater good. This could be helping out around the house (especially important now that everyone is home all day long!) by cleaning, cooking, walking the dog, etc. It could also be volunteering to help in your neighborhood or, on a greater level, by providing support to truck drivers, grocery store employees, and first responders by writing thank you cards.
Take Each Day as it Comes
Every day will have its share of ups and downs. It’s important to acknowledge that there will be emotionally challenging moments and ones that are ok. Do your best every day but be kind to yourself if you’re having an ‘off’ day. If you find that you’re having frequent ‘off’ days, talk to a friend, parent/guardian, or feel free to reach out! You are not alone!
**If things feel extremely unmanageable and you are having thoughts of hurting yourself or others, please call 911 or on a less-urgent scale, text the Crisis TextLine by texting HOME to 741741**