Hi, today I would like to talk about strategies I have used to maintain a healthy lifestyle during the COVID-19 pandemic. The hardest thing for me, and I think for a lot of us, has been maintaining relationships with people. As the weather has gotten colder, it has been hard to do safe, socially distant outdoor activities with people. At the beginning of the pandemic, I did not make an effort to find new ways to spend time with the friends and family I could not see. As a result, I found myself feeling down in my mood. However, since then, I have made a consistent effort to find new ways to spend time with my friends in the pandemic setting. 

Over the summer, before I came back to college, I started watching shows with my friends. I would use the Teleparty app (that allows you to watch Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+ with your friends) or just facetime a friend and watch a show together. Although I was hesitant at first, it was nice to just spend thirty minutes to an hour doing something with another person. I also played video games with my friends. My favorite game to play with my friends is Among Us. I found this game particularly fun to play because it is free to play and very similar to Mafia. Essentially, there are two impostors trying to remove every other player from the game without getting caught while the other players try to complete tasks. The game involves teamwork and deception. Even when I was not into the game itself, spending time talking and hanging out with my friends gave me a nice break from going throughout most of the day in solitude. 

With all of these new virtual activities, I found myself staring at a screen throughout most of the day. Thus, I decided to start reading more. Every night before I went to bed, I would try to force myself to read at least thirty minutes. Besides the benefits of reading before bed and staying off a screen, reading also helped me clear my mind from all of my thoughts throughout the day.

In addition to reading, I found myself trying to spend more time outside. With the weather permitting, going on hikes or walks with other people or by yourself can help a lot during the pandemic. So much of my time has been spent inside on my laptop, and it can make me feel quite wound up. If you do not have a ton of time to go outdoors, I would suggest going on short walks or doing ten to twenty minutes of stretching to unwind your mind and body. 

Blog Post by Sharad Mahajan

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