Tips From Youth for Maintaining Mental Health During Isolation

— Written By Luke Shealy
en Español / em Português

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Tips From Youth For Maintaining Mental Health During Pandemic

Board with Self Care Isn't Selfish written on it.

It is a nerve-wracking time right now. Everything seems to be cancelled and many of us now spend most of our time indoors; physically separated from friends, family, and it seems like the world.

With that reality, it can be easy for our spirits to fall. But, we can’t ever give up. Our team, with some help from several youth activists, have compiled some of our favorite tips for maintaining mental health during these uncharted times. We hope that these will help you and that you might share them with someone who could use these too! Now is the time for us to all be activists in our own lives and the lives of those around us.

Celebrate the victories, no matter how small:

It can be so easy to feel down about everything that is happening. It’s not you. Everything is so much harder right now. Whether it’s making your bed in the morning or finishing online school work early, don’t feel shy about celebrating what you are accomplishing right now.

The reverse of this tip is true. If you make a goal to do something and aren’t able to achieve it, don’t beat yourself up over it. Instead, make a plan to try again until you succeed!

Pinapples dressed up to party.

Move about:

Our worlds have shrunk. For some, they are as small as a bedroom. But, it’s important to keep moving even if it’s just from the bed to the kitchen or even just the floor. Maybe do a different homework problem in every room? You have the power to change your surroundings, no matter how minuscule the difference.

If you are able, going outside might completely change your perspective. You might be able to go to a local park, walk around the block, or even just walk around the inside of your building/home. Consider a fire playlist or podcast to add that skip to your step.

Make a list of things you want to do:

It’s scary that no one knows how long this could last. A list filled with ideas that excite you could be just the thing to make you looking forward to the next day (even if every day feels the same like that movie ‘Groundhog Day’). It could be books you want to read, art to create, a new skill to learn, study for an exam or help others do so through a book exchange, or maybe even a conversation you really want to have.

Woman with pink nails writing a to do list.

Rediscover an old passion

It might seem like no fun and you might not feel like anything, so why bother? But honestly, do bother, and eventually an old hobby will be fun again. Depression can feel like a heavy blanket that covers all your passion, your goals, and motivation – but they’re still there. Forcing yourself to still act on your hobbies (especially if those are not screen-related: books, music, gardening etc.) will mix things up and maybe could help get you out of a funk. Trust us on this one.

Don’t completely isolate yourself:

You’re not in this alone. Remember that people the world over are experiencing isolation. If you’re able, try reaching out to them. Maybe call friends/family you haven’t connected with in a while. Even if you can’t meet up with people in person it’s definitely possible to have a great time online. Bond over creating a new TicTok, online games, or get creative by coming up with something new like a PowerPoint party!

Video game controller

Talk about how you’re feeling:

Share how you are feeling with friends and family if you feel comfortable with that. They want to support you during these tough times. The only way to get through this is to get through it together. If you’re feeling really down about everything that’s going on (it’s a scary world out there right now) reach out to someone you trust. Maybe they are also feeling something similar and you can work on coping together.

Thanks to the incredible activists who provided advice for this article! Here are some links to what they’re involved in right now.




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