by Mateo Requejo-Tejada
Photography by Marco Perez-Lorente
Ever since this quarantine started, everyone’s lives and daily routines have been drastically changed and impacted in some way. Parents, who can, are forced to work from home and their children attend online school. As an individual who has now been attending online school for a month, I am just now beginning to become somewhat used to my schedule, or lack thereof. At the beginning of this change I very well knew that I most likely wouldn’t return to school because I had been following news on COVID-19, and it seemed as if things wouldn’t get better for a long time. Although, I didn’t fully accept this idea, and in the back of my mind I still carried out hope for things returning back to normal. That hope quickly faded and soon I started to not read or listen to the news as I once had. This was because it all seemed like a sickening and depressing reflection of what the last news source said, and it began to take a bit of a toll on my mood. In order to cope with negative feelings I have always listened to music, and now that has only increased. However, to actually stay sane and not become stir crazy, I began to go on more walks with my dog and spend more time in my backyard. I even started gardening, which I didn’t really see myself taking part in so heavily. Being outside and breathing in fresh air really has helped me relax when I’ve had anxiety issues and stress. Gardening wasn’t the only distraction I used to deal with stress. I have also started to cook a lot more which has been fun, and I can use the dishes I learn to help out my family and cook for them. I have also started to workout again, which I hadn’t done since I didn’t know how to handle my time. Exercise of course is a great way to stay both physically and mentally healthy so I find it to be especially important right now during the pandemic. Even if you don’t have weights, there are plenty of ways to do strength and cardio exercises. You can find them by searching on Youtube or Google, which is what I have recently been doing and it has made me feel a lot better. The last thing I have done, which I strongly recommend, is begin to create a schedule and remain organized with a calendar. This will give you a pattern to follow and a much needed sense of control over what is happening in your life right now. The main objective when maintaining health and sanity is to keep yourself distracted in productive ways, think about your mental health, and stop eating because you’re bored.