It seems the world is pretty still right now. We’re all at home working, doing school work, or just watching TV and eating food. I know these difficult times are bringing up a lot of stress and anxiety for a lot of us, and I’m no different. It’s scary to know what’s going on in the world right now.
So, while sitting around at home, I came up with a list of things that I’ve been doing to help maintain my mental health, and maybe you’ll be inspired to try some of these yourself!
1. Get Creative
This is a big one for me. I’m a big artist, and I love drawing. I do this pretty much every day. This one doesn’t mean you have to be the most amazing artist in the world and have incredible talent, just take a shot at it! Get out a piece of paper and make something! Paint, draw, whatever comes to mind. I started zentangling the back of my sketchbook for fun, it’s a good activity for anyone who needs/wants to just sit back, relax, and make some satisfying art.
2. Write Something
Writing is one of my secret passions. I might not be the best at it, but writing fictional stories is something I enjoy. Writing is a great stress-reliever, too. Write down something in a notebook or on a piece of paper, like how your day went, something fun you did, something that’s on your mind, or anything else you’d like. Maybe write a song, or plan out the characters, setting, a plot for a new story. Need some ideas or guidance? Check out NaNoWriMo to help you get started! However you do it, have fun!
3. Read a Book
Maybe we can’t get to the library at the moment, but maybe one way you can spend your free time is by picking up that book sitting on your bedside table and start reading it. We were told to bring everything home when we left school. I brought home two books, Holes and Esperanza Rising. Both are very good books and have some sort of meaning to me. Time to time, I read a chapter or two. Reread a book you’ve already read, start a new one, or visit the website of your local library and check to see if they have any ebooks available. I really wish I had book 12 of Wings Of Fire, it’ll be the first book I check out at our school library next year!
4. Go Outside (If you can)
Sure, maybe going outside isn’t the best thing to do right now. And if you’ve been instructed not to do so, please don’t go out! No one wants this to get worse. But if you can, find time where you head outdoors. Maybe go for a walk, and if you do, make sure to wear a mask or something to cover your mouth. And stay 6 feet apart from people. If walking around other people isn’t your thing at the moment, maybe just sit outside on your porch or open a window and take a breath of fresh air!
5. Call a Friend/Family Member
I’m sure we’ve all been doing this. Keep it up if you have! If not, I suggest you do. Call your friends, your family, anyone you know. Start up a conversation. My social studies teacher has started doing ZOOM sessions with my team every week not only for school, but also so we can just talk with each other about stuff. I remember on April Fools Day, we shared the pranks we pulled, and another time we learned some Italian from some of our peers. We also got the chance to say happy birthday to my English teacher who was celebrating her birthday in quarantine. Try apps like Houseparty, Airtime, Netflix Party, to help stay connected. Keeping contact with friends and family is important, especially now when we can’t physically be there with them.
6. Get Involved in Something
This has to be my favorite thing on this list. Service projects are some of my favorite things to do. Find a way to help in your community during these times. Donate to a charity or food bank in your area, volunteer virtually somewhere, or show your appreciation to the “essential humans” in your life like our healthcare workers, postal workers, teachers, and so many more people risking their lives to keep us safe and healthy.
So I hope this inspired you to maybe try some of these for yourselves. Maintaining mental health is so important right now. I hope you’ll try some of these tips, and if you do, have fun with it! Enjoy it! Find something that you know you’ll have fun doing, or trying. We will get through this. Our normal lives will resume once again. But until then, be kind and stay healthy!