In these times of uncertainty and social distancing, it can be really easy for us to justify habits that aren’t always conducive to our mental health—spending days lazing on the couch, staying inside all day, binge-watching Tiger King on Netflix (this I’m totally guilty of). While some laziness and being stagnant can definitely be justified as therapeutic, acting in self-care and self-love is essential during these stressful times.

Here are a couple of activities you can do to soothe your mind, body and soul during these stressful times:

  1. Listen to yourself: Let your inner voice be your guide and tell you which self-care ritual you need to act on. If you have high energy, take on a task you’ve been ignoring for a long time, like organizing your closet or going through your camera roll. If you’re tired and want to relax, allow yourself that! Take a nap, listen to music, look at airline prices and imagine all the trips you’d hypothetically take if we weren’t in the middle of a pandemic, etc.

  2. Journal: Journaling is one of the most effective ways you can keep track of your wellbeing, and is a great way to just take some time away and focus on yourself and your thoughts. It can act as a great source for self-reflection or even a cathartic way to dump all of your feelings into a single place. Start each entry by making a list of all of the things you’re grateful for.

  3. Write letters to your loved ones: Honestly, I’m using this quarantine to become my idealized self: a Jane Austen protagonist. There’s just something really nice about opening a letter from someone, and knowing that they took time out of their day to handwrite and address a letter to you. You could send each other printed out memes, polaroids, pictures, even little presents to one another. 

  4. Go out for a walk: A lot of us might not realize it, but we walk a lot when we’re on campus. From classes to on-campus jobs to org meetings to events, it’s hard to go from clocking in at almost 10k steps a day and then barely hitting 500 when you’re sitting at home. Going on a daily walk around in your neighborhood or at a local park can be a helpful way to just take a breath and, as my Lebanese mother says, kahli el shams shouf wijak (translation: let the sun see your face).

Pick up a new hobby! Have you ever thought “Man, I would love to learn how to do X/Y/Z, but I just don’t have the time” — well, quarantine is the perfect time to learn! Start a garden, learn how to sew your own clothes, write poetry, get really good at winged eyeliner, start a blog, make jewelry, play video games: The possibilities are pretty much endless. We’re all ignoring the constant rush of canvas notifications anyways, might as well learn a new skill while doing so.

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