Self-care matters: three ways to stay centered during quarantine


Ryan P. Cruz

For some students, their desk at home is where they spend most of their time attending Zoom classes, working on assignments and trying to stay sane during the pandemic. Reading and journaling daily is a great way to keep your mental and emotional well-being strong during long hours at home.

August Lawrence, Opinion Editor

This past year of quarantine and self-isolation has been hard for everybody. We can’t do the things we love most, like going to the movies or getting a drink with friends. We’re even discouraged from going out and seeing family. Under these conditions, it’s easy to stray away from the routine of self-care nowadays. It takes an effort to stay sharp and on top of things. Between binge watching, food deliveries and no need to get fully dressed every day, it’s becoming easier and easier to find yourself mentally slipping. Here are three ways I’ve stayed sane during my self-isolation.

Staying in touch

For the first two to three months of quarantine I barely spoke a single word, simply because I had nobody to talk to. For some strange reason, I refused to pick up my phone and would not return any text or email.

I’d isolated myself from my friends and family, and it was starting to show. I clearly remember a point after looking into the bathroom mirror and saying to myself, “You look terrible,” then responding, “Naa, you look fine, don’t beat yourself up.”

So it was after the third month that I made the decision to talk with at least one other person per day.

Boy did this make a positive difference with my psyche and mental well-being.

Gone were the days of talking endlessly to myself with nobody to respond.

Thanks to Zoom, Snapchat and other social media platforms, I was now having deep, charismatic and mentally challenging daily conversations with friends and family that I hadn’t interacted with for the longest time. Now, I have a valid excuse to call up past relations to rekindle old friendships. 

There’s a reason they use isolation as the worst form of punishment in prison. Humans are social beings and need some form of social interaction to maintain a healthy mental stability. 


A really effective way for me to let my feelings out has been by keeping a journal.

I got back into keeping a daily diary while in quarantine. 

Journaling allowed me to safely map out, investigate and mull over my innermost thoughts and wonderings.

Self-isolation left me alone with my thoughts. Before, my journaling was like perpetually stumbling blindly through my inner thoughts of unease and unhappiness, and I was constantly getting lost in my own head and getting into an unhealthy rhythm of thinking.

I would get transfixed on small insignificant things, like whether or not I’d properly said goodbye to a friend in a recent conversation or beating myself up for forgetting to take out the trash on time.

However, the simple act of channeling my inner thoughts through this outlet followed by reading and reviewing the material afterward gave me a solid view of what I was going through mentally at the time. It allowed me to laser focus on any personal mental issues. I could confidently confront them head-on when armed with the knowledge of what I was fighting.

No matter if it’s a basic creamy pink sauce or a slow-cooked marinated chicken, there’s something about the simplistic, satisfying beauty of preparing a truly delicious meal for yourself.


But not all hobbies have been brought on by the need for better self-care.

No matter if it’s a basic creamy pink sauce or a slow-cooked marinated chicken, there’s something about the simplistic, satisfying beauty of preparing a truly delicious meal for yourself.

For as long as I can remember my mom and I have always shared a love of Italian-style cooking. Like so many others around the world, we connect deepest while in the kitchen.

My mother taught me most of what I know about cooking. I’ve always been grateful for that. Thanks to her, I can confidently make a delicious meal.

Cooking has always been an escape for me. A way to calm down and completely surrender myself to the culinary creation of something delicious.