Not too long ago I was celebrating my birthday with my friends and going out to eat at a restaurant filled with people. Now, Mayor Lightfoot has told us that CPS won’t open until April 20th and Gov. Pritzker has told everyone in Illinois to practice social distancing and stay at home to flatten the curve of COVID-19.
I know many like myself are dealing with the effects of social distancing and how it’s abruptly swapped our everyday routines for other things—working from home, getting on Zoom for class, or for others, getting by without work. With constant news updates on the virus, the majority of our time spent in the house, and separation from friends and family this can be a tough time for everyone’s mental well being.
A natural consequence of a global outbreak is likely to be anxiety/stress. Everyone might react to stress differently. According to the article Essential Ways to Cope with Stress from intimaterose.com, some of the effects of this condition can be:
- Chest pain or a feeling like your heart is racing
- Exhaustion or trouble sleeping
- Stomach or digestive problems
Though this is a time of concern, there are many things we can do to practice easing stress and anxiety.
Take A News Break
Make sure to take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be nerve-wracking.
Take Care Of Your Body
Personally, I’ve been taking more baths, practicing better skincare and eating healthier. This is a crucial time to take care of our bodies so we can feel good and be good. Be sure to load up on fruits and veggies to keep you immune system up and keep your body strong.
Get in some exercise to shed calories and burn off stress. Even the nurses for the University of Washington’s testing facility are taking care of their mental health by doing yoga in the morning.
Also, if your way of exercising is going to the gym, you still have access to stay on track. Planet Fitness is offering free live stream workout classes on their YouTube channel and via Facebook Live for the next two weeks.
Gain Some Hobbies & New Routines
Now is a great time to try out that hobby you’ve always wanted or practice and create some new routines. For a hobby, I’ve been working on my guitar playing skills and as for a routine, I’ve been working out every day.
Another routine you can start is writing in a gratitude journal. This is a dope way to take your mind off some of the stress of Rona and to be mindful and grateful for all the positives going on in your life.
It’s very important for us all to keep in contact with each other. We are all going through this together, and you can make it easier on yourself if you express your sincere feelings during this time to at least one person you trust.
This is a time to act for yourself. Take action and commit to maintaining your mental well being and let go of unhealthy habits. In the meantime, wash your hands, don’t touch your face, stay home, and keep a safe distance of six feet from other people.
We will get through this together.
By Amaris Edwards Senior Brooks College Prep