We are all well acquainted with not only the physical impacts of COVID-19, but also the mental repercussions. Many of us are suffering job loss, moving out, unprepared goodbyes, remote learning, boredom, and anxiety amidst all of the uncertainty. I am right there with you. These are crazy times that we all must deal with, but here are some tips that have helped me and can also help you keep some sanity during the chaos.
Organize, Organize, ORGANIZE
A big thing that has shifted my mindset during this confusing time is organization. Now I know that’s not considered “fun” for most. However, it is crucial to clearing your headspace and putting your best foot forward to be more productive with work, school, or even just mentally. So get up and put away all the clothes piling up on that one chair in the corner of the room (you know what chair I’m talking about), and create a clean space for yourself. If your room/apartment/house is disheveled, so is your mind. It’ll be hard to focus or feel content and productive.
Pro tip! For remote learning, clear off and organize a desk space or tabletop where you can do homework or Zoom sessions. DO NOT WORK FROM YOUR BED. It will enable distractions and hinder you from reaching your full work potential.
Girl, Treat Yo’ Self
You may not be meeting for in-person classes anymore. You may not do your makeup or wear your cute snakeskin skirt and graphic tee to look good for Johnny Football anymore. But that doesn’t mean you should let your appearance take the back burner. Now hear me out. You don’t have to try to look good for anyone. But it has been scientifically proven that treating yourself to a little pampering has a positive impact on your mental health. Basically, if you look good, you feel good. It’s tempting to stay in sweat pants all day, but once in a while switch it up a bit and make yourself feel good. So go ahead and put on that face mask, shave your legs, do your nails, and go take some cute selfies. Self-quarantine and social distancing won’t stop you from stunting.
Workin’ On My Fitness
This is a big one. Keep up with your health. That could be anything from stretching to a quick HIIT home workout to just going for a short walk around the block. For those who workout at the gym regularly, this may seem difficult as now you don’t have access to these facilities. Luckily, Youtube exists and there's an infinite amount of workout videos that can be easily catered to you. And if you’re into weight training, you can use household items such as heavy cans, juice jugs, a chair, etc. Get creative! For those who don’t frequent the gym but are antsy to move around, go for a walk around the block. Feel the sunlight for a bit (unless it's snowing where you are, then don’t go outside). If you can’t go outside then try stretching or yoga. Take this time as an opportunity to gain more flexibility or learn one of those cool upside down headstand things that yogis do. Try to learn a cool move to impress your friends after quarantine is over, or simply learn to be able to touch your toes (yes, I still can’t touch my own toes, don’t judge me). Whatever floats your boat, just remember that staying up and active, however possible, is crucial for both physical and mental health. You got this!
Whatcha Gon' Do With That Dessert
Another fun tip is to bake or cook something new! Go through Pinterest or watch endless hours of the Cooking Channel and make something from scratch. This is a fun activity that you can do with family (at a reasonable distance and with clean hands), and it will pass the time so you won’t be bored all day. Cooking/baking for some can also be very therapeutic as it takes your mind elsewhere and lowers anxiety. And that's on mental health girl. I know that it may be hard to buy certain groceries right now. But, a fun twist to this could be to look through your pantry and jot down things you have and see what you can come up with! I am the queen of this. I have made many random meals due to having limited cooking resources. It was because of this that I birthed the tuna quesadilla. And yes it is delicious. And no you may not judge me until you've tried it. Another option is to go to fridgettotable.com. Here you can input ingredients you have at home and it will give you recipe ideas that only use ingredients you have on hand. You can also customize it to fit a specific diet (vegan, keto, vegetarian, etc.). Remember cooking is not only a treat for your stomach, but also your mind as well. Eat up!
Netflix and Chill: Social Distancing Edition
Right now it’s very hard to gain social interaction with all the social distancing. However, it is possible and it is important. You can go on a walk around the neighborhood with a friend or rediscover some of your family's old board games and have a game night (both done at a reasonable distance). Or watch a movie with friends over video chat. Netflix launched a new feature called Netflix Party where you send a link to a movie or show to your friends and then you can all watch the same thing at the same time from different places. I started using this to have movie date nights with my long-distance boyfriend and it works great! If you don’t have Netflix you can also watch a movie on your laptop and then use Zoom and share your screen so your friends can also watch it with you. Social distancing and self-quarantine can be hard but you don’t always have to be completely isolated.
Time Is On Our Side
My last tip is to keep learning. Learning doesn't have to be restricted to online Zoom class sessions. Take this time to learn something new, because now you have all the time on your hands. Use Youtube or other online resources or buy an audiobook. Learn a new language. Learn how to draw. Learn how to sew. Paint a picture. Learn a new dance. Learn how stocks work (that one's more for me because now is the time to BUY and I don't know what I’m doing). The point is, now is the perfect time to work on personal growth. And the only way to grow is to keep learning. We’ll all get through this!
-- Kiana Cook, Delta Delta Delta