Mental Health and Taking Care of Yourself

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By Amira Hassen


In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, I decided to write this blog highlighting the effects of COVID-19 and the importance of taking care of your mental health. First, what is mental health? As defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health is "a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and can make a contribution to his or her community".

During this pandemic, a lot of us have experienced our mental health deteriorating. One of the main causes being social isolation. Because of quarantine, we went months without seeing close friends and family. The lack of social interaction caused people to feel lonely.  It was a drastic and sudden change that many of us were not prepared for. It was hard for us to navigate how to keep in touch with those around us in this new online setting. Now you might be asking yourself,

So how do I still keep in touch with people close to me?

Since we are still in a pandemic, going out to have fun is not always an option. But fear not, there are many online alternatives you and your friends and family could participate in. Some of them being:

  • Set up zoom meetings and set up fun activities such as cake decorating, painting, etc. you could all participate in.

  • is an interactive website where you can video chat with up to 12 people and simultaneously play their wide variety of games.

  • Set up online movie nights with websites such as, MyCircleTV, Netflix Party (which is a chrome extension), TwoSeven (another chrome extension)


    So now that you know how to still keep in touch with others in this new online world, let's revert the attention to you. In the midst of everything, we tend to forget to take care of ourselves. Especially under the immense amounts of stress and chaos in this pandemic. You need to keep your mental health in check and make sure you’re okay. Constantly sitting behind a screen for hours on end cooped up in a room can be harmful to your mental health in the long run. 

So what can you do to keep your mental health in check?

  • Take 5-10 minute breaks every couple of hours or so. Get up, stretch, go get a drink of water, walk around your house, anything!

  • On the days where the weather is looking nice outside, take a walk around your neighborhood, get some fresh air and vitamin D. 

  • Have a few days out of the month where you have self-care days and spoil yourself, you deserve it. Whether it be pampering yourself or binging your favorite show (although do take breaks in between some episodes) do something you like that relaxes you.

I can’t list everything you could do to take care of yourself, but I hope the few above can be helpful. And it is also a good idea to take a few minutes one day and brainstorm some ideas of how to make taking care of yourself a little more fun.