Managing Myself and My Health
Everyone can agree that being self-quarantined is really rough. It’s hard for a person to stay sane when they no longer have the freedom to go out, travel, or just to meet their friends. When a person is alone, they start to decline. Without properly maintained social health, a person’s mental and physical health will start to suffer as well. However, there are many things that anyone can do to maintain proper social, mental, and physical health while we stay safe and at home.
One can argue that mental health is currently the worst maintained aspect of our health triangle during quarantine, and that may be true for many people. Many people are struggling to find interest in day-to-day activities, as well as to find fulfillment without work and action. Even through this quarantine, I have been managing to find fulfillment, and activities to keep up my mental health. Every day, I wake up at 7:00 in order to build structure for the rest of my day. I then start doing things I enjoy, like playing an instrument, drawing, reading, or just watching movies I enjoy. By keeping up a schedule, and making positive efforts to keep busy, I can be more structured, which has had a very positive effect on my mental health.
The aspect of social health is the most at risk for people who can’t connect in person, and make legitimate connections with the people around them. While this is a real struggle for some, many people, including myself, have been using social media and video conference apps in order to talk daily and check in with the people they care about. Every lunch period of my school day, I schedule a video conference with my friends, and every day, someone comes to say hello, and connect with me. There are days that go by without seeing people, which is fine as well. Some people are using this quarantine to take a much needed break from others, and to focus on themselves, which is necessary, especially in these troubling times. While not everyone may be able to connect with others, I find that reaching out can help me feel sane and like I’m not really alone.
Physical health is an aspect of our health that can be greatly ignored while we are stuck at home. Many people believe that, since they can’t go to the gym, or run a marathon, they have no way to keep active, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. There isn’t a day that goes by without me and my immediate family doing physical activity or just using some energy. Every week, my 9th grade English teacher hosts an online Oula class, completely free of charge and open to anyone who wants to dance or have a good time. On the days that there are no Oula classes, me and my family play Just Dance 2020, which can be a lot of fun, although it is exhausting at times. I also find that stretching at least once an hour can have a positive impact, as, without it, I end up feeling really stiff and grumpy. Staying active may be difficult for some, but can have a great impact on a person’s overall well being.
In these difficult months, we have to keep doing our best to stay happy and healthy as, if we don’t, we could end up struggling to adjust when getting back to our normal lifestyle after the quarantine. No one can just flip a switch and suddenly be completely healthy, so by making an effort over the quarantine to stay healthy, we have better chances of being able to thrive when we are outside and free to roam again. While the techniques I have talked about may work for me, like maintaining a schedule, connecting digitally, and daily exercise, they will not work for everyone. Every person has to be able to find out what they have to do in these times of crisis, in order to stay happy, healthy, and hopeful for their future.
Share your own story here. Sharing stories is a powerful way to connect with other people. Be part of the Teen Health & Wellness Personal Story Project—like Wyatt did above—and share your story about successfully dealing with or overcoming a challenge.