Mental Health Tips Amid Virus Scare


Mohss Elaine, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Cougars, this is proving to be a very difficult time for so many people. In the midst of everything that has kind of set 2020 on fire (both metaphorically and literally), it’s getting harder and harder to take care of ourselves.

In times of crisis, societies often have a really poor way of dealing with their stressors. Whether it is ignoring the issue, getting angry or turning your brain off to everything, no one is really exalted from these practices.

Yes, some of us may be really good at acknowledging stress and dealing with it wonderfully. Unfortunately, this is something that we have to grow to not only individually, but socially.

We might be taking care of ourselves by quarantining physically, but this can open a window to a slew of emotions, insecurities, and changes we simply weren’t prepared for.

Here are just some of the little things you can do to keep yourself motivated to start the day!

Prioritize your sleep.
Sleeping in later than normal may be nice, but going to bed in the early hours of the morning is a negative balance. Instead, try and stick to a schedule between 8 and 9 hours. Taking yourself off of your school schedule is nice, but don’t overthrow it entirely. It might be good for you to have an alarm set.

Make note of the things you’re grateful for.
Right now, you’re stuck on a quarantine routine. It’s a downer, yes. But keeping track of the things that make you happy can really keep you in perspective. Either physically writing just three things down or typing them in your phone can do wonders for a positive mindset.

Eat breakfast. I’m serious.
Eating at regular times may be difficult during the school day, as eating breakfast very early causes a lot of people to get sick. When you’re waking up later, it should be a little easier on your stomach! Try to make yourself something to eat first thing, even if it’s small. It’ll start your day off right!

Surround yourself with light.
It’s common practice in meditation to imagine a source of light to keep your mind focused, but literal light can help you out too! If you can, find a spot in your living space with sunlight, and stay in that area for a while. Natural light and warmth are very important for a healthy mind.

On that note – Meditation!
Stress can overwhelm your mind pretty often when you’re cooped up like this, so take a few minutes for yourself. There are many ten-minute meditation guides on YouTube now, so start there! This is a great activity to do in natural lighting, too!

Do something nice for someone else.
Now’s not really the time when you can help an old lady across the street, but this will have to do. If you don’t already, help a sibling with their chores, or help a parent with a task they’re trying to finish. It’ll make things quicker in the household, and you’ll get some quality time with family out of it!

Video games: surprisingly good for the mind!
If you’re currently a teenager, you’ve definitely heard about how video games are for lazy and violent types, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. There’s a wide variety of games that are made to help with comprehensive thinking and coordination, but most games do that anyway with so much more! Since there’s time on our hands, why not use it?

Learn something new.
Hey, this is literally the perfect time to try your hand at a new skill! Having a well-rounded set of skills is majorly important to not only keeping yourself sane but also giving your mind something to look forward to. The internet is at your disposal! Use it!

Watch a new show on a streaming app!
Okay, depending on what you do while you watch, this could be a little lazy. But don’t fret! Keeping yourself entertained is really important! Try watching a new show or a movie you have yet to see, and just give your mind some time to just relax.

Get the help you need.
This one is the most important. If you are feeling really unsteady right now, and you need deeper support than you’re currently getting, here’s the Crisis Text Line. Hopefully, if these little things don’t necessarily help, the text line can.

Ultimately, to put it gracefully, this sucks. There should have been preventative measures taken when the virus first reared its ugly head. But now’s not the time to dwell on the negative; it’s time to recognize it and move on. Stay healthy, and try to be happy, Cougars. We believe in you.

P.S., don’t go out if you don’t have to, and wash your hands…seriously, people.