In the midst of the COVID-19 quarantine, we haven’t been able to spend time with friends like we normally do. We’re not seeing familiar faces on our school and work routines. Even though this is to keep us safe, we feel stuck inside.

In this feat to keep us and those around us healthy, isolating ourselves can take a toll on our mental health.

Our mental health is in part, responsible for our motivation, discipline, and emotional state. Socialization can help nourish mental health by acting as a buffer from all our responsibilities.

In taking care of our daily responsibilities and using our energy, we can drain ourselves mentally. Socialization is a form of recreational cognitive engagement, and without that to balance out more serious responsibilities, we can feel drained, especially during quarantine.

Because of this, there are many people who might find it takes more energy to complete tasks like assignments or chores around the house. I know I’ve had to put forth much more energy to complete the same amount of schoolwork I had before.

I’m sure I’m not the only one. I’ve seen several social media posts about lowered motivation and messed up sleep schedules. Some people have talked about even feeling bouts of depression in this isolation.

While we must stay at home for safety and health purposes, the internet has been a crucial resource during this odd time.

Not only are we able to continue classes via Zoom, but there are even more ways for us to use for the internet: keeping in touch with friends.

With FaceTime, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, and Instagram, there’s a myriad of ways to communicate with your friends for non-school- or work-related purposes.

While I’m a fan of texting, I don’t think it fulfills our social needs in this time.

I’ve been calling my friends and my cousins.

If you’re into gaming, you can also spend time with friends via the online world of video games. That’s a wonderful way to spend time with others, because you’re also engaged in an activity together,

I’ve personally found it to be extremely enriching to FaceTime my friends and my cousins. We’ve stayed connected through video calls and our love of Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and New Leaf, and The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen YouTube channel.

It’s so much fun to visit each other’s campsites in Animal Crossing, and I’m excited to be able to visit my cousins in New Leaf.

It sounds like the simplest thing, but I never realized how much I thrived off of things like this. It makes me miss being on campus and seeing my friends in the gallery, going to the library to get coffee in the cold.

These things help balance the fun and the work that comes with life.

However, while things like this are a good way to remain social, if you’re truly struggling with mental health and mental illness, these won’t fix that. The best way to help that is to speak to a professional.

Even if you can’t visit them in person, there are still online resources that are intended to improve your mental health.

There are websites and mobile applications. Some might have a subscription fee, but if at this time, you feel you need the help, it might be worth the investment.

Some apps that focus on mental health or offer some sort of professional help are: Moodpath, BetterHelp, Youper, Calm, Headspace, Moodnotes and 7 Cup.

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