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I think that it’s safe to say that 2020 has been one of the most mentally exhausting and difficult years.  It’s easy to feel like you have no control of your emotions or mental state when the world is crumbling around you.  In the beginning of the year, I struggled with finding ways to help me cope with everything going on.  I created a list of 5 ways to help me feel happier and calmer.  Some of the things on this list may seem like common sense but at times when you feel lost, you can become blind to some of the most obvious things that can help you.


1.       Take a minute to take some deep breaths

Sometimes a minute of deep breathing is exactly what you need to feel centered with your body and the universe.  When I give myself a minute of deep breathing, I automatically feel at peace with myself.  Meditation is another thing that will help you relax.  There are many free apps on smartphones that will walk you through deep breathing and the meditation process.


2.       Put your phone away

This may be the most difficult task on the list.  I often ask myself how such an easy thing to do can be so hard to accomplish.  Social media can be so distracting and can give you insecurities about things that are perfectly normal.  Unplugging will allow you to spend time with yourself and focus on more important tasks.


3.       Listen to your favorite music

There is nothing better than putting on a playlist that makes you feel like you’re safe and understood.  Music has been such an important escape for myself this past year.  I often find myself listening to my favorite playlists when I want to think about anything other than what is going on around me.  Escaping this universe is much more in our reach than we think.   


4.       Write it down

Sometimes writing down how you feel can feel a bit silly, trust me I know.  As silly as it feels, it is so therapeutic to get that negative or tense energy out.  I try to journal 3-4 times a week and it has helped me immensely with my anxieties.


5.       Take care of your health (drink water, take a bath, get some rest)

I personally know that some of these things are not as easy to accomplish as they seem.  I constantly have to remind myself to drink water and put my phone down at a decent time just so I don’t stay awake until 3AM.  It’s amazing what taking care of your physical health can do for your mental health.


Like I said, some of the things on this list may seem obvious and just because they’re obvious does not make them any less important.  These are just some of the things that helped me feel happier and calmer throughout this crazy time we have been living in and I hope they can help you too!


Crystal Morton

Minnesota '22

Hello, my name is Crystal:)
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