Lena Bardakjian | One Day at a Time: Caring for your mental health and others during the pandemic

This year has proved to be one of the most challenging in the lives of many young people. Cancelled plans, isolation, sickness, and death are themes we have all been forced to confront throughout the pandemic. We have found ourselves having to spend a lot of time alone, which can have a detrimental effect on our mental health. Mental health matters.  

In addition to all that COVID brought on, we were already living in a world where speed and competition are on our minds; however, we must take the time to care for ourselves and those around us. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 10 and 24. This heartbreaking statistic is difficult to stomach, but we can change it. Even in dark times, there’s always hope.  

Five simple practices can help anyone, of any age, in an effort to maintain emotional health during, and after, COVID-19:  

  1. Spend time in nature – Spending time outdoors is one of the best things we can do for ourselves. Fresh air and Vitamin D can help us feel refreshed and replenished. Being outside helps us feel like an important part of the world around us. 
  2. Journal – Journaling is an easy way to reflect and highlight the positive aspects of your day. You can set aside 15 minutes daily to write about what happened and what you’re grateful for. 
  3. Practice mindfulness – Mindfulness is a powerful tool for mental clarity and tranquility. This practice helps you feel grounded and at peace with yourself. 
  4. Discover a new hobby – Discovering a new hobby such as baking, sewing, painting, or running will help keep you stimulated and at peace. Take advantage of the extra time at home to find fun new activities. 
  5. Accept what you can’t control – We are living through unprecedented times. It is impossible to control things like the future or other people; it is so important to remind ourselves to focus on what we can control such as your attitude, mindset, environment, and actions. 


Remember, You Are Not Alone!