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COVID-19 has been a roller coaster ride for all of us these past few months. Many people are feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, disconnected, and even trapped. This is my first article for Her Campus and I wanted to write about something really important and relevant to all of us right now. Finding ways to destress and, in a sense, survive this pandemic have been at the forefront of my mind. I wanted to share some of the things I have found to be helpful, relaxing, and that have given me a sense of hope throughout the past months.

"Never give up hope. Situations can change over night & problems can dissolve in the light of a new day's sun." - Leon Brown

Connect With Those You Love 

Even though we are all spending more time apart during this pandemic, that does not mean we have to be disconnected. It is more important than ever to reach out to one another and keep bonds intact. Some ways to remain close to your friends and loved ones can be a group video call, whether that be over FaceTime, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams. It is crucial to stay in contact. Over the last few months I have realized just how important interaction is; catching up with college friends, giving my grandparents a quick call, or singing “Happy Birthday” to my cousin over FaceTime has made the current climate easier to manage. You could also meet up in person--however, if you choose this route make sure to practice social distancing and wear masks to be safe.

Tip: Make wearing masks more fun by having a theme or prizes for best mask!

Turn Off The News 

Although it is very important to be up-to-date on what is going on in our country and other countries, it's also of key importance to find times to turn off the TV, tune out the news, and have some peace. The news is a great source of information but can also be depressing and unhelpful at times. Personally, my philosophy has become “if it is important enough everyone will be talking about it and I’ll hear about it.” This does not have to be your viewpoint whatsoever but it can be healthy to give the constant flow of information a rest. Also, if you are someone who is always tuned into news outlets and social media I encourage you to look up articles of hope. There are pieces being reported of love, hope, acceptance, and feel-good stories that everyone should take time to explore.

Read A Book 

New Find? Old Favorite? Recommendation? You name it, it's perfect. 

Like everyone, I have been spending a lot more time indoors than normal and diving into a new novel can be a great way to “get away”. I have probably read more than 15 books over the last few months. For me reading is a way to escape your everyday reality and be transported somewhere new and exciting. Books can show you new worlds, cultures, ideas, and mindsets without ever leaving your couch! For me - romance, young adult, and psychological thrillers are the genres I gravitate towards when feeling bored or down. Allowing yourself time to unwind is always important, so why not spend it doing something so enriching and relaxing? Grab a hardcover, a paperback, or your kindle, flop onto something comfy and have fun!

Here are some of my favorite books if you need some ideas:

- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

- The Wife Between Us - Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

- To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee

- It’s Kind Of A Funny Story - Ned Vizzini

- Before I Go To Sleep - S. J. Watson

- The Lady And The Poet - Maeve Haran

Pamper Yourself

Even though we are all at home many of us are forgetting to take time to take care of ourselves. While school work, your job, and chores are definitely important, it is also essential to your physical and mental health to relax.

Great ways to slow down and take care of yourself include:

- Take a long shower (singing is encouraged!).

- Throw a bath bomb in your tub and soak for a while.

- Do a face-mask to rejuvenate your skin (maskne is REAL).

- Pleasure yourself...yes it is okay, yes it is normal, yes it is actually really healthy for your body!

- Give yourself a mani - pedi.

- Experiment with a new makeup look

- Turn on that diffuser, get comfy, and listen to music.

- Lay outside and get a tan before the Spooky Season arrives.

Take Time To Acknowledge Your Mental State

We are all feeling a little less than our best during this time. COVID-19 has caused most people to be very isolated and cause a feeling of entrapment. Due to this many people’s mental health has suffered and or became worse. Taking the time to assess how you are feeling and what possible steps you can take to improve your health is so important moving forward. Mental health is a huge topic in society today and needs to be taken very seriously.

Some ways to really improve your mental health and check-in could be:

- Practicing meditation (I do this everyday and it does wonders for me).

- Taking time to do things you enjoy (for me it’s writing poems).

- Check in with your doctor or therapist.

- Make a list of happy things to keep you calm.

- Play music frequently!

- If you are feeling anxious breathe deeply and count to 10.

I hope these 5 ways to destress have given you some kind of hope and helpful tips to use during this time where everything seems so backwards. Thank you for reading my first crack at article writing, I hope you enjoyed it! Sending all my love to everyone during this crazy time <3

Until next time -

HCXO, Maddie Rose

Maddie Engleman

Millersville '24

Hello! I'm Maddie Engleman; A bit about me, I am a senior at Millersville University this year (I am graduating as a super senior in 2024)! I am an Early Childhood Education major and am minoring in General English. I absolutely love kids, writing, reading, cooking/baking, and crafting with my Cricut. I also enjoy spending time around animals! I am really excited to be apart of such an empowering platform and to go out of my comfort zone writing pieces that impact people anywhere. Stay Crazy!!! HCXO ~ Maddie "I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book" - J.K. Rowling
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