By Rani Crosby, RUHS Class of 2023 and BCHD Youth Advisory Council Member
On a normal, pre-"Safer at Home" weekday afternoon, I would be in 5th period desperately struggling to figure out the answers to my bio worksheet, and then I would go home stressed, knowing that I have to get through another semester while maintaining good grades. But my saving grace would be knowing that I can go unwind and spend time with my friends over the weekend and maybe go to the beach. These two things are every teenager’s way of chilling out and de-stressing in the Beach Cities. But these are no normal weekdays now, and there is no way to spend your Saturday afternoon at Hermosa Pier with your buddies. So what does self-care during a stay at home order look like?
Usually, I’m tempted to look at my phone. But watching celebrities quarantined with their friends and having the time of their lives isn’t exactly the best way to improve my mental health. So, I make sure I have extra time to myself by finishing all of my school work early in the week so that I can have my Fridays free to do whatever I want. Taking a walk with my parents is a go-to for my family, which, although it's not my favorite activity, it’s good to get some fresh air.
Sometimes we stop outside the windows (six feet away, of course) of our friends’ houses to have a little chat. Most nights, I’ll try to get a hold of a couple of my friends to FaceTime since we all miss each other so much. It's nice to check in with each other and ask what they are doing, and what Netflix series they’ve been binging. Any face-to-face contact, even though it’s on a phone, is better than nothing. Sometimes if I want some alone time I’ll read my new book or listen to some music in my room.
I get bored pretty often these days, so I’ve done a lot of cleaning out of my closet and donating old clothes, and some unnecessary reorganizing of my closet (even though it's organized perfectly fine the way it is). Occasionally I like to give myself a little spa day to take the week’s stress off. One thing that I’ve been doing very often to relax with my family is having movie nights! We’ve watched so many movies and TV shows at this point that I can’t remember all of them anymore. Some are bad, and some are amazing, but either way, it is a way for all of us to distract ourselves from reality.
We used to look outside or to others to help us take care, but now we have to look inwards. Our perspective has completely changed on taking care of ourselves and others. As our daily lives are transformed, our self-care routines have to change too. When we get back to the “new normal,” we will have even more tools to take care of ourselves.
When you’re Safer at Home with your family, it's very important to find a space in your house to relax that is designated for you and you only. I like to sit in a spot in my room (either on my bed or on my bean bag chairs) to be by myself. It is my own private sanctuary where I can video chat with my friends in peace and chill in a nice sunny room. My favorite thing to do there is listening to music. I have playlists for different moods and a speaker system that completes my cozy space. Having a relaxation station to be with yourself during #COVID19 is really important. When you’re stuck in a house with others 24/7, it can be hard to get alone time, but this is the way that I stay cool and happy.