As the country takes steps towards self-quarantine, besides just physical cleanliness we have to look after our mental health. Being trapped in a house, apartment, dorm, etc. for any amount of time can affect anyone. Here are a few ways I am coping during quarantine and working to improve my mindset:
Most people want to take the correct steps and follow the social distancing guidelines of quarantine. This means staying home and going out only for necessities and physical activities like a run/walk. Following these simple steps lowers the chances of an individual contracting COVID-19 and it slows the spread. If you or anyone in your family is feeling sick, you should not leave your house at all.
I started to realize a change in my mood within the first four days. Since I didn’t physically have to be present in classes, my motivation drastically dropped. As much as I hate to say it, I wish classes were still face-to-face.
When you get up and go to school everyday, it gets your body moving and more energized. To get myself out of this funk, I started going on some short walks with my dog. He’s on the older side so we tend to not go too far, but it’s still something to get my blood flowing.
I’ve also noticed that since my softball season was cancelled, it’s been hard to even look at my gear. During preseason, our coaches put together conditioning circuits that beat my team’s ass. Recently, I’ve got myself to do conditioning workouts to feel soreness rather than just laziness. Working out also increases productivity and is proven to boost mental health.
While working out is great and all, sometimes the body needs a little break. This is where I let my mind do the talking.
I like to show my emotions through art, but at school I don’t usually have my painting supplies with me, so I tend to fall out of the groove. Now, I can mess around with it whenever I feel like it.
Sometimes it’s a little tough for me to start a piece because I tend to discourage myself, but with the current circumstances, I’ve learned to let things go. In the beginning, I like to let myself do whatever; sometimes I take inspiration from other artists and try new styles. Usually that doesn’t turn out well, but trying new things is always good for your mental health.
Even if you aren’t an artist (I don’t consider myself to be one), I encourage everyone to at least try painting or drawing. If you mess up, it’s nice to be able to laugh at your mistakes and learn from them. If you do, you should never take it too seriously; like Bob Ross always says, “We don’t make mistakes, only happy accidents.”
Painting and drawing is also proven to be therapeutic and can help with calming yourself down. You can even mix paint just for fun.
Coloring is another great way to relax and have fun. I dug through some of my old coloring books and found my Inspirational Quotes one, created by Bendon. I bought this book two years ago because I thought it was cute, now I’m extremely grateful to have found it. Some of the quotes are great for days in quarantine. They’re simple but make an impact.
For this you don’t even need a book of quotes, as long as you have a computer and a printer you can find pages by yourself and create your own that can hold more meaning.
My last somewhat artsy activity was bleach tie-dyeing a shirt. Sadly I didn’t have any white shirts worth coloring, or dye, but while I was sorting through my clothes and unpacking from school, I came across a dark blue NEC Athletics shirt. Unfortunately I accidentally got an XXL and had been using it as a night shirt. Honestly I could’ve used it as a dress, so I figured I could fix it up a little. I twisted and tied it up and brought out some bleach. If you do this yourself, make sure to have a container to put your shirt in, or a bathtub or sink.
Once my shirt was in my bathtub, I gave it a little splash on both sides with bleach and let it sit for about thirty minutes. I washed it out and cut and sewed it to make a more appealing tee. You can do this whenever you want and it’s an easy way to clear your mind. Make sure you don’t wear clothes that you like, in case bleach gets on them, and wear gloves to protect your skin.
I have become kind of good at cooking!
I don’t really cook or bake unless I’m hungry (obviously) or bored. This one isn’t just to improve my mental health, I’m adding it because I will be coming out of this quarantine as a professional chef! Since coming home I’ve been having terrific omelets and breakfast sandwiches in the morning. For lunch, it’s pasta galore. My parents usually cook dinner, so I get a little break.
I hope I have given at least one person some inspiration. I know that it is hard to get motivated and to keep your mental health in check, so give some of these a try.
Better yourself and make the time we have in quarantine a little more exciting!