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Everybody is saying it: this is an unprecedented time. With an untamed virus running loose around the world, we have all been playing our small part to keep our friends, families, and neighbors safe. That means staying indoors, wearing masks, cancelling unnecessary travel, and limiting contact with others.
This period has not only put a strain on our global economy and scientific resources, but it has also greatly affected our mental health. Working from home has forced us all to think that, since we’re always in such close proximity to our “office,” we should be working all day. Being away from friends and loved ones has left a lot of us feeling isolated and alone. Staying in one place has given us cabin fever.
I am no expert in wellbeing during the time of Covid-19, but I do take mental health very seriously. So I would like to offer some helpful tips and tricks that I’ve either tried myself or have heard about from others in order to maintain sanity in this insane world.
Like many people, when we were instructed to stay at home to slow the spread of the virus, my life became extremely sedentary. I felt sluggish, but I was keeping people safe. But I soon discovered that I didn’t have to leave my house to get a good workout in, I could do it in any room with 6 square feet of floor space. Virtual exercise classes are a great way to have fun, get motivated, and gain a supportive community. Companies like bande and Peloton offer several types of workouts—both live and on-demand—to fit all your fitness needs. And there are tons of free instructional videos on YouTube. Sometimes, what you need to get in the right headspace is just to jump around and blow off some steam.
Now, I know what you’re thinking—that’s exactly the opposite of what we’re supposed to be doing. But there’s no danger of spreading the virus if those groups meet up virtually. Toucan facilitates these virtual gatherings by getting everyone together in one space and letting them move from group to group however they’d like. The flexibility and dynamism of the platform makes an event experience the closest thing to all being in one room together. This way, you can be close to your friends, despite the physical distance.
I encourage you to take a pause from your busy schedule. This year, since we’re experiencing little variation in our day to day lives, we’ve found ourselves spending the holidays working—like any other day. Just because work is available to you doesn’t mean that it has to be done immediately. Take a few days here and there to spend with your family, drive to someplace new, try a new art project, or read a book. These are weird times; the most important thing is that you take care of yourself.
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Antonia Hellman is a co-founder and co-CEO of Toucan. She is a senior at Stanford University studying political science, economics, and management science & engineering.
Prior to Toucan, her career experience has been in data science and political campaigning.
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