For the longest time, I told myself 2020 would be my year. I’d win my scholarship pageants, travel the world, and get into my dream schools. So far, it’s been a bit of a bust. I’m sure COVID-19 has been a bummer for all of us, and a serious health scare for a lot of people. The senior year activities I had looked forward to my whole life were taken away on a fateful Friday the 13th. Prom is but a dream, our senior ditch days to the beach are washed away, and our parking lot sleepovers are now being held over group facetime.
So! When everything seems to be falling around us, how do we keep ourselves mentally healthy? The answer for me is to keep busy, busier than I’ve ever been. Of course, there’s no one answer for how to keep your mind healthy during pressing times. I understand depression, anxiety, and other circumstances can compromise situations and make motivating yourself to do anything difficult. I encourage you to adapt my advice to work for you. With that said, I present Sandra Fachiol’s guide to a productive quarantine.
Take up painting
I’ve never been much of a physical artist. I’ve got something called the ‘too-much gene’ where I always want to add more to my art. This usually leads to a messy and unappealing result. However, I sat my little self down and said, “You’re gonna paint, damn it, Sandra. And it’ll be great.” So I did. And it was not. In fact, I gave up on this piece. My dad compared my unfinished portrait of Billie Eilish to an apple with worms crawling out of it. Ouch, tough critic. At least I had fun, right?
Create a song
Ah! Music! That’s more my speed. I’ve always been a musician, and someday I hope to make it a career. I’ve been writing songs for as long as I can remember, but have never produced something into a final product. Music production is something I’ve dabbled in, I have all the equipment and software, but I’ve never completed a song. Now, I’m closer than I’ve ever been. My friend and I wrote and composed a whole song, and plan on producing it once it is safe to meet up in person and do so. It’s as simple as plucking out some notes in GarageBand and writing out some rhyming words.
Not the kind of stay-at-home activity you’d expect, but one that has greatly calmed me. I’ve been writing a series called ‘Witches of Clark’ and while I’ve practiced witchcraft for a while, interviewing other witches was inspiring. I made myself a spell jar called a ‘sweet jar’ to work on self-love and to attract love into my life.
It’s a small jar containing honey, sugar, and flower petals. I’ve taken meditative baths with rose petals and moon water as well. Please look into and research witchcraft before practicing! While a generally safe and healthy practice, there is dark magick out there.
Hike and Bike
I love staying inside. Curling up with some tea and watching the newest Ryan Murphy show is my idea of a perfect day. But in a time when all I do is stay inside, a step or two outside is welcomed.
I bought myself a bike about two weeks after Washington’s stay-at-home orders took effect. By the way, re-learning how to ride a bike is not easy. On nice days, I’ll go for a bike ride around my neighborhood and get some exercise.
When a bike ride around isn’t enough, I’ll go out on a hike and take in some new sights Social distancing is key at all times, of course. However, visiting an open park with members of your household, or by yourself, is incredibly relaxing and provides some much-needed vitamin D.
Using things you’ve got around your house, you can come up with some pretty awesome projects. I used an old t-shirt and some bleach to make myself a new shirt. I poured some bleach into a spray bottle and used stencils to write out a lyric from one of my favorite songs on the shirt.
Then, I sprayed around the stencils and splattered the rest with bleach. The shirt instantly started to lighten, and I let it sit for around 15 minutes until it got to the shade I was looking for. I tossed it into the washer with another shirt I bleached, and then into the dryer. Now, the best part. I ripped it all up and tore the sleeves off and then, safety-pinned them back on. The result was one of my favorite shirts I have now.
Clark students are finding their own ways to keep themselves afloat.
“I’ve been doing a lot of at-home fitness and yoga to try and feel productive and healthy,” said Natalie Worthy.
Others are finding impulse decisions the way to go. Miranda Courson said she dyed her hair and went to Walmart with the dye still in. Work is an escape for others, and a way to keep busy.
“Working is the only thing keeping me sane,” said Nadia Mendoza.
And for others, sweet, sweet sleep is the cornerstone of their quarantine.
“Online school sucks but at least I can sleep in until 2 p.m.,” Brielle Choquer said.
However, you’re quarantining, stay safe, stay distanced, and stay healthy!
Drop a comment sharing what you’re doing during quarantine!