Normally, October is a time to be picking pumpkins, costume shopping, or sipping specialty lattes from Starbucks. However, this year is different: we are advised to stay at home, recover last year’s Halloween decor, and make the fall drinks ourselves. It has been over seven months since the start of quarantine in March, and people are becoming antsy as ever. The way the teens see things, COVID-19 will “expire” when the clock strikes twelve on New Year’s Eve. Sadly, the reality is that many of us will likely be home come January.
So, how do we not only survive this crazy time but stay productive? Isolation has kept many safe, but it has some side effects: loss of social contact, emotional distress, decrease in physical activity (for some), and an increase in boredom.
Everyone has their own ways of coping. I decided to ask several students for their ideas.
1. Try and/or Learn Something New
Have you always wanted to play guitar, cook, or learn how to speak Spanish (considering you can’t get enough of Señor David’s class)? Alterations and cancellations from COVID-19 have freed up schedules, allowing people to fill the gaps. “Not being able to get out nearly as much as I was used to, and do the activities I had loved doing for so long, inspired me to apply my time, on a less consuming scale, to new hobbies,” Kellen Wood explained. She dove into several challenges. “Whether they worked out in the end or not, I learned new skills and met new amazing people.” Moral of the story: if your plate is empty, fill it. There are countless ways to remain productive- find one that works for you.
2. Work On Improving Your Health
I mean this both physically and mentally. With the atmosphere being so full of anxiety, get up and move. Practice a sport-now that they have officially returned. Meditate, go for a walk or run, pump some iron in your basement. – these activities can do wonders for your body. “Recently, I’ve really gotten into biking, taking walks with my dog, and playing some soccer,” Caitlin Cunnane says. “It relieves a lot of stress, and just puts me in a better mood!” So, if cabin fever is really getting to you, go outside and take a breather.
3. Stay Safe and Connected
For teens, social deprivation is a hard pill to swallow. Yet, the desperation for communication has bred many creative solutions. Some have taken to meeting in out-door areas. Others have been using platforms such as Zoom to evade COVID. Shivansh Bansal stated, “I hosted virtual game hangouts with some friends where we played Pictionary, Uno, and sometimes made Kahoot trivias… All in all, the virtual hangout days allowed me to check in on my friends, see what they were up to in these times, and renew relationships with them.” If you’ve been feeling lonely these past few months, reach out to some old friends. It’ll make you feel better, and they’ll really appreciate it.
4. Bond With Family
Being stuck with your family under the same roof for several months seems daunting. However, there are ways to make the experience fun and feasible. “My family and I would get these question cards and read 2 or 3 of them during lunch and dinner. It was a ‘not too annoying’ way to spend time together and bond.” Anna Fleischer admits. It is important that every one of us forge bonds with our families during these unprecedented times. Just like Anna said- it’s not so bad.