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Wellness > Mental Health

How to Keep Yourself Sane and Productive While Social Distancing

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Illinois chapter.

Now that school and most events and hangouts have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be hard to stay mentally healthy. Beyond simple cabin fever, all the fear, panic and anxiety spreading around the world can feel really overwhelming and confusing. Here’s a few ways to keep yourself sane and productive in a truly terrifying time.

1. Establish a Routine

It might seem difficult or too intimidating (especially if you’ve seen one too many aesthetic color coded homeschool schedules on Twitter) to establish a routine. However, the first step to normalcy and productivity is to figure out when you’re the most productive or the most restless and schedule your day around that, and then to do your best to stick to it (even if you slip up sometimes). Knowing what to expect can be a huge source of comfort in uncertain times.

a woman sits at a wooden desk writing in a notebook. there is an imac in front of her.
Retha Ferguson | Pexels

2. Find Creative Ways to Connect

Just because you don’t live near your friends doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to months without them. Beyond regular FaceTiming and checking in with each other, there are so many amazing ways to connect and hang out. You can use the Netflix Party extension, watch something together, or create a JackBox game night! Social media can be super helpful to connect too- from tagging your friends in Instagram fruit challenges to learning the newest TikTok dance together, the possibilities for creating a fun and relaxing space to hang out while social distancing are endless.

woman working on laptop while holding a mug
Pexels / bongkarn thanyakij

3. Learn a New Skill

If you still find yourself spending too many bored hours scrolling through TikTok or binging Netflix once you’re done working, why not take on the challenge to learn something new? From cooking to knitting or even learning a whole new instrument or language, the possibilities of things you can try are endless. Learning something new can help you keep yourself busy while still having fun and being engaged!

a woman stands over the stove cutting an herb out of a pot on the window sill with a pair of scissors. there are pans of pasta stirfry on the burner.
Tina Dawson | Unsplash

4. Pamper Yourself

If there was ever a time to whip out that face mask you never had time for or try out that meditation app that’s been sitting around on your phone, now is the time. From wearing your nicest outfit to feel snazzy to baking yourself some cookies or even just taking a day to do whatever you want, self care and pampering yourself is super important and a great morale booster.

5. Reorganize

If you’ve been meaning to try to redecorate or do something new with your space, it’s a great time to give it a go! Whether you’re hanging up LED lights, creating a photo wall, or crafting origami butterflies to hang from your ceiling, adding something new can really liven up your space and make you feel a lot less bored about being in the same place. Besides redecorating, it can also be a really fun adventure to try something new with your hair or makeup and experiment with your style. Don’t cut your own bangs without knowing how, but a change can be a fun way to use your time.

Dorm room bed with lights
Sarah Ehrlich


Mehek Kapur

Illinois '23

I'm a sophomore at the University of Illinois double majoring in English and Organizational Psychology and Vice President/Recruitment Advisor at Delta Kappa Delta.
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