As students are facing the possibility of having to spend more time social distancing and less time outside their homes, some may find themselves going stir-crazy or with a case of cabin fever. Here are five tips to maintain your mental health during the quarantine.
Siddhi Sundaram, a freshman biology major, shared that meditation and yoga are good ways to unwind. “I just started doing this,” Sundaram said. “But there are a lot of easy yoga poses for everyone on YouTube that I sometimes watch as a way to keep myself from getting out of shape and to stay relaxed.”
She described mediation as anything “from calming music which can be found on Spotify playlists” to “motivational videos about self-worth.” Sundaram said she believes these videos are encouraging when she feels as if she is “getting nowhere in [her] work, especially being confined to the house.”
Raven Campbell, a freshman diplomacy and international relations major, said she believes meditating in fresh air can be effective. “The best way to begin for anyone would be to first focus on the way you breathe,” Campbell said.
After that, students should consider their position and avoid slouching. Campbell said meditation is useful to clear the mind and while calming down thoughts can be hard, students should “focus on one thought at a time.”
Take a long shower
Amanda Neilsen, a freshman special and elementary education major, takes long showers to de-stress. “It allows people some alone time,” Neilsen said. The “nice, warm environment” serves as an escape where people can “think about anything other than reality for a bit.” She also suggested that showering with music can help students stay relaxed.
Put on a face mask
Vicelle Juanites, a freshman economics major, uses face masks while listening to music. “It makes me feel like a new person,” Juanites said. “Some [masks] actually make your face feel tight, but once you take it off it feels amazing.”
Juanites also explained that washing off a face mask with cold water both “relaxes me” and “wakes me up at the same time.”
Holia Oswin, a sophomore psychology major, said she believes journaling “can really help you put your thoughts in one place.” Oswin said the uncertainty during this time can induce anxiety for many students.
Julia Lomonte, a freshman creative writing major, said journaling can be calming and help students’ moods during a difficult time.
“It really relaxes me personally,” Lomonte said. “In times like this one, when things are a little stressful, I sometimes print out pictures of things that make me happy and make a ‘happiness’ page in my journal.”
Take a break from the news
Oswin also said that students should put down their phones and laptops and instead take a few minutes to work out or spend time with family.
Lomonte recommends students to limit their exposure to news about COVID-19 and its effects on everyday life. For the past week, she has set aside time to be away from her phone and all forms of media.
Lomonte said students should use their time for other activities instead, such as going outside. “I also have been taking my dog for a ton of walks to get fresh air without having to break social distancing,” she said. “I find that time outside really clears my head.”
“During stressful times like this one, news can be scary,” Lomonte said. “It’s easy to get caught up in all the negativity.”
While she said she believes that following the news is important for students, she also thinks they should step back and “have time that they don’t think about the virus” so they do not become overwhelmed.
Catherine San can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.