“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or [we can] rejoice because thorns have roses.” – Alphonse Karr
What do you think of when you think of the word “quarantine”? The current pandemic of COVID-19 seems to be affecting everyone’s lives in one way or another. Some people claim they’re losing themselves while others claim to be doing better than ever. Some published authors in the official #WritingCommunity of Twitter excitedly explain that the quarantine has forced them to write the most they’ve ever written in a few months’ time, while others sadly state that they’ve written less than ever, and that the quarantine has not been helping. For some, the novel coronavirus (and as of recently, the Delta Variant) has forced them to go back to the basics of life and feel truly happy and satisfied again, and for others, they claim the virus has negatively impacted their mental health and made them feel worse about themselves.
In short, this virus has affected each of us differently – and especially in the realm of school and education. As teenagers, many of us have been deprived of normal scholastic things that everyone else seemed to get before 2020 and 2021. A lot of high school students have missed out on prom, and even more saddening, graduation. I know a teen who worked hard for months on a Frozen school play and on the day before they were supposed to perform it, it was canceled due to the virus. However, virtual school and performing tasks at (more or less) your own pace has been helpful for some students, and stranger still, is becoming normal for others – even when some schools open again. A 9-year-old girl named Ava was reported to say once, in response to being asked if she liked being back in-person at school, “I miss the mute button.”
But I think we can all agree that, even if some good things have come out of COVID-19, it is generally negative. So how can you stay positive and keep a healthy mindset whilst being stuck in the dreadful abyss of quarantine? Here are three ways you can keep yourself occupied, entertained, and inspired in the comfort of home, even with all the anxiety-inducing “stay at home” orders.
- Look Up Inspirational/Motivational Quotes.
It may sound cheesy or tacky, but that’s only because motivational quotes are so often clichéd and stereotyped. Looking up motivational quotes can actually be healthy and beneficial for mental and emotional health.
“Motivational quotes provide us with a quick and timely burst of wisdom to get our focus back,” writes contemporary artist Elle Smith in her blog article Why Motivational Quotes are Important for Everyone, “offering the inspiration needed for the day or occasion. Often a quote can offer inspiration for the week and inspire us when our normal motivation has lapsed.”
Remez Sasson, an author, blogger, and creator of an online positivity source called SuccessConsciousness, writes in his article Motivational Quotes – 10 Reasons Why You Need to Read Them, “Quotes have the power to motivate, inspire and encourage. Whenever you feel low, unhappy, or lacking motivation, [attentively] read…a few quotes, and you will see how your mood and state of mind begin to improve.”
And aside from all these quotes, what does the Bible tell us about our thoughts?
Proverbs 23:7 hits home with a power-punch when it states, “As someone thinks within himself, so he is.”
All in all, positive thinking is important for your health, for your brain, and for your every action – and motivational quotes can help tremendously. Why? Because they insert positive thoughts into your life. After all, Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words…your words become your behavior…your behavior becomes your habits…your habits become your values…[and] your values become your destiny.”
- Avoid Social Media and Overuse of Electronic Devices.
I know this one may sound like a parent telling their child they’re grounded, but in all seriousness, social media and overuse of electronic devices can become a bad habit that leads to addiction, just like a drug or gambling.
A Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation article by FCD Prevention Works explains, “Technology addiction can be defined as frequent and obsessive…behavior increasingly practiced despite negative consequences to the user of the technology. An over-dependence on tech can significantly impact [people’s] lives. While we need technology to survive in a modern social world, a severe overreliance on technology—or an addiction to certain facets of its use—can also be socially devastating. Tech dependence can lead to…consequences that span from mild annoyance when away from technology to feelings of isolation, extreme anxiety, and depression.”
In addition, Sandstone Care officially states, “Technology addiction falls into a category of addiction termed behavioral addictions. Behavioral addictions are widely recognized by mental health and addiction professionals and include other behaviors such as gambling…”
Aside from the possibility of addiction, social media in itself is filled with so much negativity nowadays, especially what with the current coronavirus. People often make sick jokes or complain about the idea of things never going back to normal, and all the news and media (including social media) are covering the virus, its death toll, and governmental action. Thus, current news and social platforms can depress us and make us anxious pretty quickly.
As Trisha Fox, speaker, author, and co-CEO of Splash Designworks (a graphic design, marketing, and social media business) explains, “Focus on the positive, not the negative. With so much uncertainty and negativity, especially during this time of quarantine, it’s really important to keep focusing on the positive. Social media has been full of [pessimism]…talk of the virus, [and] political debates, [and filling your head with too much of it isn’t healthy]. So make sure you limit your screen time and focus on things that empower and motivate and inspire you.”
What about the Bible? Yes, even the Bible tells you to think about positive things.
Philippians 4:8 says, “Whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.”
- Write, Draw, Play Instruments – Be Creative and Be Constructive.
One of the biggest upsides of the coronavirus is that we have so much time on our hands because of the quarantine. However, what we do with that time is completely up to us. Should we play video games and binge-watch TV? Or should we do things that are fun and exciting, yet also constructive?
Things like writing, drawing, playing instruments, filmmaking, photographing, reading, dancing, and more are sure to make you feel energized and excited while also being creative and healthy for your brain. Of course, figuring out riddles, solving puzzles, and playing brain teaser games are good for your brain, but they may get boring or not “fun” enough after a while. However, there are so many things that you can do to have fun in quarantine without everything having to necessarily be done on devices or screens like phones, tablets, and computers.
An article by Team Player Productions explains, “Doing some type of mental exercise, in the form of brain teasers or word and number games can boost overall brain activity, increase your memory power, reduce the risk and slow the decline of dementia, improve memory and brain processing speed, reduce boredom, and improve concentration.”
So make sure your brain stays sharp, because just like your body needing exercise to release energy and function better, your mind also needs exercise – mental exercise – to release stress and, indeed, function better.
So there you have it – three ways to keep yourself occupied, entertained, and motivated even amidst the dreadful quarantine. And remember, even when things seem hopeless and like they’re never going to go back to normal, just remember that things will get better and that you can succeed. You Rock, Dream Big, and You Got This!
– Arianna Fox, 14-Year-Old Girlpreneur, Bestselling Triple Author, Motivational Speaker, Voiceover Talent, and Actress
@afoxauthor on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok (Arianna Fox on YouTube)