How to Stay Mentally and Physically Strong During the Pandemic

As the leaves are falling gracefully on our streets, and the sun warmly shines on the colorful trees, I have realized, that a lot of people are not spending this time outdoors. 2020 has been a complicated year. In a time like this, going outdoors is not only encouraged, but it is needed more than ever.

I begin my days at 7 am, and I slowly drag myself out of bed. I reach for my computer, and I log into my first class. I sit at my dining room table for a straight 4 hours, and I rarely have time to get up and stretch. The other half of the week requires me to get into my cold car and to place my mask behind my ears. I drive to the school, and l sit in my car until exactly 7:46 am. I then sigh, and walk to the four doors. This is the first year that I won’t be walking to the four doors with my best friend. This is the first fall season in the three years of my high school career so far that I was not able to run in a normal cross country race. And this is the first year that I am not sitting at the lunch table with my group of friends, or walking to Park Ave. to grab some lunch.

In the beginning of the school year, I noticed that I had been using my phone too much and I wasn’t spending enough time doing something with productivity. I was slowly losing touch of myself, and I continued to fall into a hole. My head ached everyday I was in school. I stare at the computer screen all day, and my fingers occasionally cramp from typing so much.

Image credit: Harvard Business Review

I started to rely on coffee to get me through the shortened school day. And this is something I do not recommend. Caffeine has a variety of negative effects that I could dwell upon. However, I am here to propose a word of encouragement.

When the month of November began, I started to change my routine a little bit. Despite my cross country season being cut short and the fact that I am not in school with my friends, I am attempting to make the best of it. I am simply starting my New Year’s resolution early. I encourage you all to do the same.

With this, get a full, eight hours of sleep each night. Eat at least one serving of fruits and vegetables per day. Go outside. Whether it be a jog or a socially distanced walk with your friend, get some fresh air. Spend ten minutes disconnected from the world in your own way: you can meditate, read a book, or journal. I understand that putting your phone down is a struggle. It is for me as well. Set a limit for how much social media you use in a day. Use that time to do something you love and enjoy. And lastly, breathe. Research has proven that ten breaths a day will decrease your worries and anxiety.

Image credit: Cnet

This year has been rough. I have no doubts, however, that people can push through. The challenge is up to you.

Featured image credit: TenTree