self-love

5 Ways to Preserve Your Mental Health in Quarantine

The state of the world right now is, quite frankly, terrifying and confusing, and it is hard to maintain hope and optimism when it feels like everything you know is crumbling. We went from laughing and studying at coffee shops with friends and weekends spent exploring Boston and crawling Allston to suddenly being back in our hometowns, taking online classes, with the country practically in lockdown. There is a sense of grief that I think we all feel for what we had and what has changed and it’s understandable that everyone’s mental health is in limbo right now. The fear, the uncertainty, the confinement, and lack of social interaction can all quickly deteriorate one’s mental state, but there are things we can do to preserve and improve our mental health during this time of seeming hopelessness. 

  1. 1. Journal

    marble and pink notebook

    My saving grace through this time has been journaling, as I’m sure it is for many, because it provides an outlet for self-expression without expectation or judgment. During this time of isolation, journaling is an important way to reflect on everything that is happening and allow yourself to feel all the emotions that are circulating.

  2. 2. Create something or do something you love 

    hawaii girl happy biking fun peace

    Whether it’s drawing, writing, making Tik Toks, playing sports, or something different entirely, having a project or hobby that is purely for yourself and your own enjoyment really helps preserve a sense of self when everything else that you feel defines you is put on hold. Try to find ways to still pursue your passions and interests, even when we are away from campus and the constant activities and events being held. 

  3. 3. Call your friends

    woman outside holding cell phone while working on laptop

    Now, more than ever, it is vital to maintain social interaction, whether through Facetime, texting, calling, or social media, people need to connect with others in order to get through this time of great fear and uncertainty. I know that since BU’s semester has been moved online I’ve been anxious about maintaining friendships and connections while we are all away from campus so making time in your day to connect with friends is crucial to not letting that fear become a reality.  

  4. 4. Go outside for a walk alone

    Being in quarantine and stuck at home indefinitely can be dangerous for mental health because it becomes very easy to allow yourself to stay inside and binge watch Netflix, which is fine, but it can also enable depression and anxiety to fester. Going outside and being active, even just to do homework or walk your dog, is so beneficial to your mental health and can help relieve some of the cabin fever everyone is feeling right now. 

  5. 5. Get some work done to find a sense of normalcy

    group of people reading and studying together at a table

    I’ll be the first to admit that I have not been as productive as I should be since I’ve been home but I’ve found that the days when I can sit down and really focus on my work makes me feel much better about myself and helps maintain a sense of purpose and normalcy. 

Although there is no definitive answer as to how long this will all last or when and if we will be able to return to our normal lives, there is hope and now, more than ever, it is essential to take care of ourselves and recognize our needs and the needs of others in order to get through this unprecedented, daunting time. 

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