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Mental Health Matters!

This pandemic has been extremely hard not only for us physically, but mentally as well. I’m starting this blog with the hopes it will reach and help someone who has struggled to maintain a positive pandemic mindset just like I have. With that being said, let’s dive into how to stay positive, even during a global pandemic!

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First step to surviving the pandemic: finding your quarantine crew!

No matter where you are in the world and what adversities you are faced with, if you have a good group of individuals in your corner, you can get through anything! This pandemic may feel like the end of the world sometimes, but I promise a “quarantine crew”, or in other words, a good support system will make your days much better and brighter. The practice of social distancing of course makes finding and maintaining a support system difficult, but here are the ways I’ve managed to stay connected with my friends and family, while staying safe, healthy, and also making new connections as well!
As a college student, being away from my family and friends at home has been very difficult, but having the amount of technological resources we have at our fingertips today makes the distance feel much smaller. Apps like facetime, zoom, and Skype allow us to video call and have that face-to-face interaction we miss so dearly. I would recommend calling or facetiming with at least one family member or friend per day, just to serve as a reminder that we are all still connected, whether or not a pandemic separates us physically.
Another way technology has allowed me to meet new people and form new friendships is social media! As a college student moving to a new city, It felt like I was starting over and I felt so overwhelmed, but I was able to meet so many other people feeling the exact same way as I was through social media. Platforms like Instagram, tiktok, twitter, etc. allow us to express ourselves online and create communities full of like minded individuals who share similar interests. I have met some of my best friends in college on social media platforms, and I am so grateful that I put myself out there to do so!
Lastly, it is so important to remember that everyone is experiencing this pandemic, not just you! Talk to your quarantine crew about how you’ve been feeling, what you’ve been doing to stay busy, and ask what you can do for each other to make this seemingly never ending experience just a little less stressful!

Second Step to Surviving Quarantine: finding social-distancing safe hobbies!

After you have established your “quarantine crew” or just feel you are finally adjusting to this new way of life, the next topic for you to tackle is to find some new hobbies. Since we are restricted with where we can go and what we can do, it may feel tough to feel like you are still enjoying life, but trust me, there is always something you can do. When this pandemic first started I went through every trend on the internet, from whipped coffee to yoga, and I even tried oil painting, which ended horribly by the way. Anyways, if you are like me and struggle with finding ways to have fun because most of your hobbies are currently off limits due to COVID, this is the right place for you.
One thing my small group of friends and I do often is stay in and have game nights. We don’t always play board games though, sometimes we make up our own games or try things we see on tiktok. Some fun games nights we’ve had so far include UNO night, power point night (everyone presents a power point about a random topic), and charades night. This is perfect for those of us who have roommates or family members who are also tired of the same, boring COVID routine.
Another way I have managed to stay busy on my own was to start researching and learning about things for my own on the first time. I have watched probably hundreds of documentaries this past year, and read many books as well. Even if those pass times don’t sound appealing to you, there are also other ways to challenge our brains in a fun way as well, such as listening to podcasts, watching videos on Youtube, and reading articles. Now more than ever, since we are stuck inside, it is a great time to get educated on what is going on in the world around us.
Not everyone enjoys the same things, so just keep trying to find hobbies that are right for you and make you happy! Make sure if you are in public to wear a mask, and make sure to always follow CDC guidelines in order to stay safe while having fun! 🙂

Step Three to Surviving Quarantine: The New Way to Adventure

In my previous post, I discussed possible solutions to boredom during quarantine, and here I am with yet another solution to boredom for those who have the option to: ROADTRIP! One of my favorite things to do has always been travel, but COVID ruined several of my travel plans for the past year, but here are some ways I have been able to feed my traveling addiction safely during this pandemic.
Although it is very risky to travel by plane right now, and not very considerate to go stay in another town near you to vacation and put locals at risk, there are still ways to travel during this pandemic for those of us who can make this luxury happen. If you are traveling in a car and don’t get out, you can go nearly anywhere you want during COVID. My friends and I have been traveling all up and down the coast of California and looking at view spots from our car, and we have found some gorgeous places we normally would not have been prompted to explore.
Here are a couple images I took on some of my road trips during this pandemic :

Here are a couple images I took of some of the places I’ve been during this pandemic:
The image to the far left was taken in the country roads of Red Bluff fairly recently on a trip I took with my roommate and two of our friends. The middle picture was taken on a road trip to Cambria with my family this winter, and the picture on the right was taken passing through Oroville on the way to Paradise during a mini road trip my friends and I ventured on last week.
If you decide to travel during this pandemic, please be aware of locals who you might affect at your travel destination, wear a mask, and follow CDC guidelines! Stay safe!

Step Four to Surviving Quarantine: Dealing with Anxiety

Latest from the Blog

First step to surviving the pandemic: finding your quarantine crew!

No matter where you are in the world and what adversities you are faced with, if you have a good group of individuals in your corner, you can get through anything! This pandemic may feel like the end of the world sometimes, but I promise a “quarantine crew”, or in other words, a good support system will make your days much better and brighter. The practice of social distancing of course makes finding and maintaining a support system difficult, but here are the ways I’ve managed to stay connected with my friends and family, while staying safe, healthy, and also making new connections as well!
As a college student, being away from my family and friends at home has been very difficult, but having the amount of technological resources we have at our fingertips today makes the distance feel much smaller. Apps like facetime, zoom, and Skype allow us to video call and have that face-to-face interaction we miss so dearly. I would recommend calling or facetiming with at least one family member or friend per day, just to serve as a reminder that we are all still connected, whether or not a pandemic separates us physically.
Another way technology has allowed me to meet new people and form new friendships is social media! As a college student moving to a new city, It felt like I was starting over and I felt so overwhelmed, but I was able to meet so many other people feeling the exact same way as I was through social media. Platforms like Instagram, tiktok, twitter, etc. allow us to express ourselves online and create communities full of like minded individuals who share similar interests. I have met some of my best friends in college on social media platforms, and I am so grateful that I put myself out there to do so!
Lastly, it is so important to remember that everyone is experiencing this pandemic, not just you! Talk to your quarantine crew about how you’ve been feeling, what you’ve been doing to stay busy, and ask what you can do for each other to make this seemingly never ending experience just a little less stressful!

Second Step to Surviving Quarantine: finding social-distancing safe hobbies!

After you have established your “quarantine crew” or just feel you are finally adjusting to this new way of life, the next topic for you to tackle is to find some new hobbies. Since we are restricted with where we can go and what we can do, it may feel tough to feel like you are still enjoying life, but trust me, there is always something you can do. When this pandemic first started I went through every trend on the internet, from whipped coffee to yoga, and I even tried oil painting, which ended horribly by the way. Anyways, if you are like me and struggle with finding ways to have fun because most of your hobbies are currently off limits due to COVID, this is the right place for you.
One thing my small group of friends and I do often is stay in and have game nights. We don’t always play board games though, sometimes we make up our own games or try things we see on tiktok. Some fun games nights we’ve had so far include UNO night, power point night (everyone presents a power point about a random topic), and charades night. This is perfect for those of us who have roommates or family members who are also tired of the same, boring COVID routine.
Another way I have managed to stay busy on my own was to start researching and learning about things for my own on the first time. I have watched probably hundreds of documentaries this past year, and read many books as well. Even if those pass times don’t sound appealing to you, there are also other ways to challenge our brains in a fun way as well, such as listening to podcasts, watching videos on Youtube, and reading articles. Now more than ever, since we are stuck inside, it is a great time to get educated on what is going on in the world around us.
Not everyone enjoys the same things, so just keep trying to find hobbies that are right for you and make you happy! Make sure if you are in public to wear a mask, and make sure to always follow CDC guidelines in order to stay safe while having fun! 🙂

Step Three to Surviving Quarantine: The New Way to Adventure

In my previous post, I discussed possible solutions to boredom during quarantine, and here I am with yet another solution to boredom for those who have the option to: ROADTRIP! One of my favorite things to do has always been travel, but COVID ruined several of my travel plans for the past year, but here are some ways I have been able to feed my traveling addiction safely during this pandemic.
Although it is very risky to travel by plane right now, and not very considerate to go stay in another town near you to vacation and put locals at risk, there are still ways to travel during this pandemic for those of us who can make this luxury happen. If you are traveling in a car and don’t get out, you can go nearly anywhere you want during COVID. My friends and I have been traveling all up and down the coast of California and looking at view spots from our car, and we have found some gorgeous places we normally would not have been prompted to explore.
Here are a couple images I took on some of my road trips during this pandemic :

Here are a couple images I took of some of the places I’ve been during this pandemic:
The image to the far left was taken in the country roads of Red Bluff fairly recently on a trip I took with my roommate and two of our friends. The middle picture was taken on a road trip to Cambria with my family this winter, and the picture on the right was taken passing through Oroville on the way to Paradise during a mini road trip my friends and I ventured on last week.
If you decide to travel during this pandemic, please be aware of locals who you might affect at your travel destination, wear a mask, and follow CDC guidelines! Stay safe!

Step Four to Surviving Quarantine: Dealing with Anxiety

Although this COVID experience has affected everyone differently, one thing I’ve come to notice that we all have in common is that it has brought most people a lot of new, and unwanted stress, which can sometimes result in us feeling overwhelmed or anxious. Almost all of my friends who are in college have felt extremely overwhelmed by online learning, and I not only wanted to let those of you who relate that you are not alone, but that there are indeed ways to cope with this anxiety that has formed.
A key factor in managing anxiety is eliminating stress, and for me a key step in the right direction to managing my anxiety has been to maintain a schedule and stick to it, in terms of school, work, and taking care of ourselves. Sticking to a schedule creates a sense of stability for us that is rare in COVID times, and can help make these times feel less chaotic. It is key that we remain diligent with our work and school during this time, but it is even more important to make sure we are mentally prepared to do so. Setting apart an hour or two everyday to do something nice for yourself, such as watch your favorite show, meditate, hang out with a friend or family member, or whatever makes your heart happy (as long as it is COVID safe, of course!) is crucial to maintaining our mental health during these troubling times.
The second way I’ve managed to ease my anxious feelings is by journaling. Journaling allows me to express my feelings and thoughts at times when there is no one around to listen. This usually makes me feel less anxious because my thoughts are all in one place in front of me, which allows them to be understood and dealt with in a less chaotic manner, which reduces stress significantly. Journaling has become my new safe haven, I journal about what I do everyday, how I feel about what’s going on in the world, and what stresses me out.
I hope you found these little tips on how to deal with stress and anxiety during this pandemic. Remember to stay safe and follow CDC guidelines!

Step 5 to Surviving Quarantine: Realizing that we might need some help.

Continuing on with last week’s more serious theme, this week I want to discuss another subject that might frighten us all a little: asking for help. I have also personally dealt with these issues myself, which is why I wanted to take the time out of my day to advocate that we all go seek help. Many of us struggle with asking for help, so hopefully, after reading today’s entry, you will feel less anxious and feel more prompted to seeking help in terms of dealing with mental health issues.
Because of the pandemic, the number of adults that show symptoms of anxiety and depressive-related disorders has increased from 11% to about 41%, which should tell you one thing: YOU are NOT ALONE! There are probably more people around you struggling with mental health issues just like you, so talking to someone could potentially not only help you but for them as well! Talking to our friends and family about our anxiety can make us feel like our problems are normal, therefore solvable, and this can make reaching out to a professional much easier. According to much research done in the psychology field, despite what skeptics may say, therapy does have relatively high success rates. In my personal experience, talking to someone, especially a trained professional, can prompt us to find solutions we would have never thought of if we didn’t go to therapy.
Many naysayers of therapy and receiving medical attention for mental health feel this way because they fear being “numbed by medicine”, which is NOT THE CASE! There are plenty of other options for treating mental health issues besides medicine, and you can always refuse medicine if it is suggested by your doctor. Also, it is important to note that psychologists cannot prescribe you medicine, so you would require a different doctor for that (a psychiatrist). There are also different types of therapy, which range from long-term to short and intense, so there is a plan out there for all types of people who are struggling with psychological issues.
It is important to remember that therapists are there to help YOU, so they will work at your pace, and at any point, you feel you are done with your treatment or want a new doctor, you may choose to do so! At the end of the day, therapists are supposed to cater to their clients, so I recommend that anyone who is struggling with mental health go seek professional help because who knows, it could change your life for the better!

Step 6 to Surviving Quarantine: Creating a Routine!

Hello Everyone, after last week’s rather serious post, I want to keep things short and sweet! Today, I am going to be writing about how to establish a routine. A routine is very important, especially during a pandemic because it helps ensure we are productive with our time every day, and may also make us feel like we are doing more simply because we are already used to it.
First, when creating a routine, you want to make sure that you include both things that you like and things that feel more like chores, that way we are still being productive while also simultaneously enjoying our day slightly more than without our routine. Another great way to ensure productivity is to put your more “fun tasks” after the daunting ones to give yourself little rewards throughout the day! This will help ensure that you stay motivated and on track even during the parts of your routine that are not the most enjoyable.
Next, another essential part of creating a routine is also leaving room for scheduled rest time in our day. As humans, we sometimes forget that we need to rest, so scheduling ourselves little breaks each day can really help prevent breakdowns and even decrease the mental exhaustion we feel each day.
Lastly, the most important step in creating a daily routine is to make sure you are organized in doing so. For me, this means writing down my day in chronological order on my whiteboard just in case I forget anything, or just in case I ever need to see my daily schedule at a quick glance. Some other good methods to keep track of your daily routine would be to use your phone calendar, some people like to use post-it notes on a board, and others even like to go as far as righting their daily schedule down in a planner.
All in all, when creating your daily schedule/routine it is important to remember that there is no right or wrong way to plan out your day, as long as you are happy with your routine and living a healthy lifestyle!

Step 7 to Surviving Quarantine: Incorporating Self-Care

Last week I wrote about establishing a routine, which is a huge part of maintaining a happy and productive quarantine lifestyle. This week, I want to discuss another key part of living a healthy and happy lifestyle: self-care. Now to some, self-care may seem like something extra we get to do if we have time, but that must change. Today, I hope to clear up some misconceptions about self-care in hopes to prove how important and beneficial self-care can be if we incorporate it into our daily routine.
Self-care is often mistaken today for things like allowing time for ourselves to scroll through social media as well as eating unhealthy foods when that is not the case. Self-care can be defined as the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress. This can look like a number of different things, like watching a movie, going to grab lunch with friends, and even just going out and buying yourself something nice. One of my personal favorite self-care methods is to do some skincare and watch a good rom-com to help me de-stress after a long day, or go to the park with friends and get some fresh air (as pictured below).


Another important thing to remember about self-care is that it does NOT have to be expensive! Much research done shows that many Americans don’t like to participate in self-care because they believe that it is too expensive when that is not the case at all! According to healthline.com, about 35 percent believe self-care is only possible for those with enough money, which proves that there is still plenty out there for those of us on a budget to explore! It would be too much for me to go in-depth about how to find self-care methods for you, so here are some more resources that will hopefully help you find self-care acts that help you relax!

Step 8 to Surviving Quarantine: How to Stay Physically Healthy.

Welcome back to the blog everyone! This week, I will be discussing a very critical part of successfully surviving Quarantine: staying healthy! As mentioned a while back, a big part of staying sane during quarantine is establishing a routine. Now, once we make sure our routine includes good, healthy habits (like eating healthy and working out daily), we are even more likely to feel an increase in our motivation and our overall mood as well. Staying healthy includes a number of things, including making sure we put healthy foods into our body as well as staying active! Keep on reading for a few recommendations and tips on how to stay healthy over quarantine.
The first and best way to stay healthy over quarantine is by eating healthy! There are many benefits to eating healthy besides just the obvious nutritional benefits, especially during the pandemic. Eating healthy can also be a good form of self-care for those of us who enjoy cooking, as finding and perfecting new healthy recipes can allow for a little extra boost in our self-esteem if cooking is something that we love to do. For those of us who don’t enjoy cooking, it may seem hard to eat healthy because it is tedious to find and try new recipes, but here is a list of good cooking websites to scan through for healthy recipes:
https://ifoodreal.com/clean-eating-recipes-dinners/
https://www.delicious.com.au/recipes/collections/gallery/60-healthy-dinners-you-can-cook-in-30-minutes/1vo4q819
https://www.taste.com.au/healthy/galleries/healthy-dinners-budget/4qGChV5h
The second way to stay healthy during quarantine is to remain active! Many people hear this and get intimidated because they associate staying fit with the gym when that is not the case at all. There are plenty of ways to stay active without going to an actual gym or working out with others, and they range in difficulty as well! Methods of staying active at home include going for a walk/run, watching and completing at-home work-outs, and other activities like yoga, swimming, and hiking are always great substitutes for a workout as well!
Overall, I highly recommend that we all prioritize staying active and eating healthy during this pandemic. Implement these strategies into your daily life and watch your motivation + overall health and well-being skyrocket as a result of your newly formed healthy habits!

Step 9 to Surviving Quarantine: Starting Your Side Hustle!

As mentioned a couple of weeks ago in an earlier post, I mentioned that a key part of staying sane during quarantine is self-care, which can often include finding new hobbies. Now, if you are anything like me, you may struggle with this because you feel guilty for having fun and not being productive, which is why a side hustle is such a great hobby for you. Side hustles allow us to do a number of things, like find a new hobby, make money, and feel good about ourselves because we are making money doing something we love. Now I’m no business major, but here are some quick tips and tricks for finding and opening up your very own Side Hustle!
First, you want to find something that you are passionate about and also good at that you can somehow market to the public! For example, if you like spirituality, you may want to look into doing readings, or if you like to bake, you could open up a sweets shop (which has become a very popular side hustle lately, as holidays and birthdays keep in it business all year round). Next, you want to decide exactly what it is you want to sell to the public, and figure out your prices based on your efforts and costs of production. If you were opening a sweets shop, this would consist of creating your menu, baking your products, and deciding what to price each item, as well as if you were into spirituality this could be you decide what types of readings you want to offer (love, general, specific, tarot, oracle, etc.). Finally, you would want to find a way to get the word out about your Side Hustle. I’ve come to realize that the best way to do this today is through social media because it is free and allows you to reach a wider audience than if you were to pay for other advertising methods. I suggest you create a business page on every social media platform possible and watch your network grow!
Here are some cool side hustles to check out if you want to support local businesses or gain any inspiration for your own future business!
https://www.etsy.com/shop/radringzz?ref=simple-shop-header-name&listing_id=911269821
https://www.etsy.com/shop/AvrelleCustomSigns?ref=simple-shop-header-name&listing_id=919528527

Step 10 to Surviving Quarantine: Getting Vaccinated!

Hello everyone, and welcome back to my Surviving Quarantine blog! Today, I am writing with very good news about our quarantine situation, regarding vaccines and what benefits they allow us to have as citizens. Hopefully, after reading today’s blog, you will understand the importance of getting vaccinated and see all the extra added benefits that come along with receiving your COVID vaccine!
Recently there has been new legislation in America that allows for vaccinated citizens to travel to other places, such as Europe, without having to go through the struggle of quarantining and testing for COVID. This means that travel will not only be more convenient but that now makes it possible for vaccinated people to resume traveling much closer to the way they were before the pandemic happened! The enforcement of mask-wearing has also stopped for those with vaccines in the United States as well, giving those who choose to do so the right to travel mask-free throughout the states just like pre-pandemic times.
With all these new travel privileges, there are many more reasons to get the vaccine now than there were before, as well as many different options of vaccinations that we can get. Many vaccine skeptics fear the Johnson and Johnson vaccine and use the very small number of extreme cases as an excuse not to get their vaccine when there are other perfectly fine doses of the vaccine to receive. There are currently three different vaccines in the United States to choose from that have been approved by the FDA: Pfizer, Moderna, as well as the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. I myself have gotten the vaccine and I am fine, as well as all of my relatives and close friends. I hope after reading this short article you feel more comfortable and are prompted to go schedule your vaccine appointment!

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