Mental health is often overlooked in students’ busy lives. However, self-improvements flourished during and after quarantine for many.
Senior Dera Okafor started to do yoga and meditation every day to help reduce stress in quarantine. “Anytime I’m facing a challenge or adversity I am able to get through it really quickly and there’s no hassle,” Okafor said.
Okafor recommends meditation for anyone who is struggling. “Calm down for a second and really figure out what you really want to get done … list out your goals and how you can achieve them.”
Okafor is also dairy-free and tries to eliminate fried foods. She has seen improvements in her skin and overall feels better. “I feel like once you feel better physically then it goes hand in hand with your mental health,” Okafor said.
Quarantine was a time to self reflect. “It [quarantine] definitely brought out the good in me. I would say that I’m able to really understand what I really want to do in life moving forward,” Okafor said. “Before quarantine, I was kind of focused on what I was wanting to achieve and do. Post quarantine I’m driven and see exactly what I want … my focus has got so much [more] clear on what my actual goals are and I feel like I really have the strength and power to achieve anything.”
Senior Leah Schorer took this time to self-improve. She focused on limiting her screen time, “I set time limits on social media so I don’t mindlessly school and waste hours,” Schorer said.
Schorer had more time to spend on her hobbies including golf and meal prep, along with creating a better schedule for herself. A typical day included waking up around 7 a.m., getting coffee, cleaning, and working out, followed by her school work.
Schorer said it’s important to be productive every day. “What I learned is that I really focus on what I do throughout the day, that makes me feel better at the end.”
Schorer suggests everyone should reach out to their friends to not feel lonely. “I’m more aware of reaching out and connecting with my friends.”
Through quarantine, many agree the mindset of the community has changed. “I feel like everyone has become more conscious of others … everyone is in this together instead of everyone going about their own separate lives,” Okafor said.
Kristi Gregory, a counselor at Lee’s Summit West, said “the community seems to be more focused on helping one another and ensuring everybody is safe.” She recommends students visit UNICEF.com for help on how to protect their mental health.
In students crazy lives, it is important to check in on yourself and make sure you are taking care.