OSBHA December Newsletter

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In this month's newsletter, we interviewed Salma, a Student Health Advocate at OSBHA, about the impact COVID-19 has had on her life. Thank you to Salma 
for sharing your story with us. 

How has COVID-19 impacted your mental, physical, and/or emotional health? 
It’s crazy to think that we’ve been in this state for 9 months. In what feels like a blink of an eye this year is almost over. It’s also crazy to think about when all this started in March and we all thought we’d gotten another week of spring break. Once it started to sink in that we’d be stuck like this for a while - the two things I miss the most are the library and physical school. Before most people didn’t even need to make a distinction because for most people - school was physical. When I was no longer able to go to the library, I really struggled to get work done at home. As I had no room, I would work on our front porch because for the most part it was quiet but the cold weather made it difficult to focus on v-school. It felt like TOTAL CHAOS. Additionally, I had to not only get various assignments in before a deadline but also help my younger siblings get into their classes and help with homework. This was only one aspect of quarantine for me. It felt so isolating - it still sometimes does because I haven’t seen most of my friends this whole time. I started my first year of high school last year and now I’m in 10th grade with little hope of going back to school among other places physically. Also everything seemed so bleak. My mind was constantly filled with thoughts like”what’s the point of any of this”. Overall, I felt like time was warped and that there was no hope and we’d be living like this forever but I know that isn’t true. I know I’ve just been overthinking and that everything is gonna be fine even though I forget that at times.

What is some advice you wish you had going into quarantine?
I would tell myself to just take a deep breath. I would advise myself that although I am not living in my ideal circumstances, I should be grateful nonetheless because I am still alive. I am still alive and everything is going to be okay. This may seem extremely difficult to get used to but as always you will adapt and survive. I would also tell myself that I can utilize this time and work on bettering myself. I can use this time alone with myself to finally get my life together and do everything I’ve been putting off. Essentially work on personal development plus read more books and do everything you said you didn’t have time to do 

Has anything positive come out of your COVID-19 quarantine?
With the bad there’s also been the good. During these times since almost everyone has been working from home and not having to take long commutes to work or school - there's more time to spend on other things. One example is my mom has been able to take online Quran classes. She didn’t make the time before to spend religious studies with work and everything else that consumed her time. It also has brought us closer together as a family because we are all at home together. As for myself, personally I have made more time to go outside and just be in nature. I never really went on a lot of walks but since we were all stuck at home mostly looking at a screen for hours - for my sanity I needed to go outside on walks. During this time I became more grateful for all that I had and all that I still have. Although I’m not going to school and doing all that I was able to do before, I had the clarity of coming to realize that I still have so much to be grateful for. I am alive and well and everything will be okay. I used to be so unappreciative of all that I had but the saying is true, “you don’t know what you have until you’ve lost it." We all lost a lot but I can truly say I’ve gained a lot of wisdom in this time about being grateful.

Click here to read the entire December newsletter.

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