What does self-care look like in a chaotic world?


Oona Shain

I’ve spent only four weeks social distancing, and already I feel stir crazy and lonely. When I turn on the news or even my phone, I’m overwhelmed with the amount of bad news. Whether it’s the spread of the virus, the death rate or just the amount of sick people, it’s overwhelming and super-upsetting. 

Social Distancing, a proven public health measure that can reduce the spread of the virus, makes sense. I’ve read the articles and heard the news. But that doesn’t make it any easier. If anything, it makes it harder. I miss my friends, miss school, and miss daily life. 

I’m guessing every other teenager and adult around the world, feels this way.

So what can we do? How can we learn to take care of ourselves not just physically but mentally too?

In times of political uncertainty or even global fear, it can be difficult to think of the smaller things. It can be immensely difficult to remember to care for yourself. But self-care has never been more important. Here are a couple of suggestions to keep you occupied and content.    


That means limiting your time online. Less phone time will decrease anxiety about the virus. Keeping up with minute-by-minute news and developments is stressful! It can feel like a full-time job to just stay up to date. Remember that you’re only supposed to be spending around two hours on homework per day. Try to put your device away, even if it’s just for a little while. 

Learn Something New. 

Whether you want to learn a new language, how to make a perfect pancake or an art activity, you now have the time! 

Hang out with your pet. 

Look how cute your cat is! Pet your dog or hang out with your turtle. If you don’t have a pet lookup a cute video of your favorite animal. As the Internet has proved time and again, funny cat videos can almost always make you feel better. 


Or have some alone time. Whether that looks like sitting in your bed blasting music, going on a walk or reading, or even looking up a meditation, do something that relaxes you.

Make time to move.

Exercise can be a huge stress reliever for some people. Streaming or downloading workouts can get you motivated and moving. If you can, go outside. Going on a walk, run or bike ride can boost your mood and reinforce a level of normalcy. 

Remember that you’re not alone. 

Reach out when possible. Humans need contact and community to feel happy. So Facetime your friends, write your friend a letter, text that camp friend who you’ve forgotten about or even call your grandparents. Make time to stay connected to the people who matter to you. 

Social distancing, quarantine and being isolated is hard. Remembering to take time for yourself isn’t the top of priorities for some people. You’re doing the best you can. 

Taking time away to focus on yourself is not selfish, it’s necessary to get through these chaotic and confusing next months.