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“If you’re like me, you have a limited amount of [time] that you’re willing to focus on schoolwork,” writes VOX ATL staff writer Bria Brown.

VOX 5: How to Stay Healthy and Productive in Quarantine

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Keeping up with school assignments can be difficult and cause stress while at home. To help with health and productivity, VOX ATL staff writer Bria Brown shares what has helped her and gives tips and resources. In addition to the above video, read further insight below. 

Get Enough Sleep

I understand how tempting it is to stay up all night, do whatever you want for the entire day, and not worry about your sleep schedule while you’re out of school. However, these may not be the best decisions. Your sleep schedule is extremely important for your overall mental and physical health. Nutritionist Afya Ibomu tells VOX ATL, “Young adults need at least eight hours to maintain and improve focus.” Ibomu also stated that a lack of sleep can lead to a compromised immune system, which can leave you vulnerable to COVID-19 (the novel coronavirus).

During this time we are responsible for teaching ourselves. The rest of this school year may prove difficult if we do not take care of ourselves. To make sure that we are healthy, happy and productive while we’re stuck home, our sleep schedules will have to remain consistent. So please just get enough sleep and make sure that you’re fully rested every day. 

Get Dressed

For the past year-and-a-half, I’ve been doing online college work while in dual-enrollment. I understand that it’s difficult to get motivated when in the comfort of your own home. I’ve learned through trial-and-error that working from home requires you to think of creative ways to motivate yourself. Ways you do this may be to create a schedule for yourself in advance, follow a routine, meditate, etc. To get into the mindset of productivity, I suggest getting dressed as though you were about to go to work or school. 

Make A ‘To-Do’ List

Creating a to-do list is another great way to ensure that you stay productive, so you can get back to enjoying this time off from school!

Eat Well

This may go without saying, but food is incredibly important! The right foods can boost your mental capacity, make it easier for you to understand complex issues, clear your skin, and stabilize your sleep schedule. However, the wrong foods can make it incredibly difficult to stay focused, damage your skin, and ruin your sleep. The most common issue with teenage nutrition is the overconsumption of junk and fast foods. Though some teens are moving to a plant-based diet, the issue of consistent and healthy eating habits is still very prevalent. Ibomu recommends that teens drink at least 64 ounces of water and eat green veggies three times a day. She also recommends fresh fruits and veggies daily. This can strengthen your immune system and make you less susceptible to COVID-19!

Do Activities

Binge-watching Netflix is a nice thing when you have free time. It can expose you to new things that you never thought you would like before. However, it may not be the most healthy or productive thing to just sit around and consume hours upon hours of content. Instead, take up some hobbies like yoga, guitar, sewing, etc. This way you can make sure that you’re engaging in something fun that can broaden your horizons.

Bonus: Relax

While relaxing after long days of work at home, it could be extremely rewarding to get some rest, indulge in consuming your favorite content, eat the foods you like (in moderation, of course!), or contact friends and family. 

Even though you may not be a social person, staying in touch with friends and family may be one of the most important things you do. After all, it’s very possible to lose your sense of self while stuck in quarantine. So go holla at your friends and family and let them know how you’ve been. It’s important not only to chat but to make sure they’re okay and maintain your mental health! After that, go and enjoy your break!

VOX ATL’s mental health coverage and community workshops are funded by the Georgia Department of Behavior Health and Developmental Disabilities. (DBHDD). Views expressed in this material are the work of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the GA DBHDD.

If you or someone you know needs help, please call or text one of these resources!

Georgia Crisis & Access Line (GCAL) – 1-800-715-4225, available 24/7

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-TALK (8255) also offers 24/7 connection with a trained counselor at a local crisis center, or Text “START” to 741-741

The Trevor Project – suicide prevention hotline for LGTBQ youth ages 13-24, Text “Trevor” to 202-304-1200 Thurs.-Fri. (4-8 p.m.) or call (866) 488-7386 – 24/7

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