Mental Health and Quarantine

Quarantine and self-isolation is definitely hard. You’re stuck in your room, with nothing to do but go on your laptop or watch TV. Don’t get me wrong – binge watching Netflix shows is a great way to kick back and relax, but I can only watch so many hours of The Office in a row.

I’ve been in Champaign since March, and it hasn’t been easy. Sitting in my room for hours at a time has taken a toll on my mental health, and I often struggle to find the motivation to do work. However, since a large part of this semester is online, I need to find a way to sit down and focus, whether I like it or not. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve found some ways to keep my mind in a healthy state. Hopefully these will help you too!

Individual Outdoor Activities

Go for a run. Walk on the quad. Find a mat and exercise on your balcony. Whatever it is, find something to do outdoors. My head gets really fuzzy when I’m indoors for too long, and fresh air always helps. I make sure that I take an hour out of each day to go for a walk around campus. It definitely leaves me refreshed and ready to start another session of homework. Plus, I get to see nice areas of campus (like the Japan House) that I don’t normally have the time to see!

Hang out with your friends…virtually!

For me, it’s been a lonely 6 months since March. With everything going on, it’s difficult to socialize with friends face-to-face. Luckily for us, we live in a digital age where there are countless online platforms where you can chat or video call. My favorites are FaceTime, Zoom, and Discord!

My brother and I got on a call with my mom, and I got to see my dog again!

Up until quarantine, I considered myself an introvert. However, these past few months has made me realize how much I love spending time with family and friends. It does suck that you can’t see or do things with them, but find a way. Socializing is super important for your mental health!

Be hygienic…really.

I know it’s a weird point to bring up, but make sure you’re keeping yourself clean. When the spring semester last year went online, I found it very easy to wear my pajamas and not shower for a two days in a row. I was inside 24/7, so what was the point of getting dressed and showering?

I’m not sure about you guys, but being clean makes me feel a lot better and a lot more motivated to work. I simply can’t roll out of bed and hop into a lecture on Stellar Astrophysics with bed-head and morning breath – I feel too groggy to actually absorb any of the material. Taking a shower and brushing my teeth helps me clear my mind and focus on what I need to finish for the day.


Quarantining yourself is tough. We’re all in this situation, so don’t beat yourself up too much if you feel like you’re getting nothing done. However, if we all do our part, we might be looking at a totally in-person spring semester, which would be absolutely fantastic. Take care of yourself and make sure you’re mentally healthy – it’s going to be a great semester!

Franklin

Franklin

Class of 2022
I grew up in Hong Kong, China, and I’ve come across the world to Illinois to major in Astronomy in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. I’ve always thought outer space is super cool, and I love that I’m learning everything that I can about it at Illinois.

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