Written by Cecilia Ymaz, Sophomore at CVHS


Never in my life would I have imagined sitting at my desk for more than 7 hours a day and joining classes through my laptop. Adapting to the new normal has been a unique experience that has taught me a lot about taking care of myself. Digital platforms like Zoom have been implemented into my everyday life in positive ways. Today, I hope to share with you the most memorable parts of quarantine that I highly recommend adding to your weekly to-do list!   


  • Take advantage of online platforms to socialize with your friends.

I have mentioned this before in my blog about making every day ten times better. After almost an entire year of staying at home, I have learned to cherish the Zoom calls I have with my friends almost every day. So far, I have tried Zoom karaoke, online games (skribbl.io, Kahoot!, GamePigeon, etc.), and have experimented with fun virtual backgrounds. I highly recommend taking the time to socialize with your friends at least a few times a week because it helps you in improving your mental health. Even if you are too busy with school assignments, schedule a time to study with your friends and listen to calming music. 


  • Join a club at our school.

You can also MAKE friends at after-school meetings hosted by our school’s virtual clubs. There are many new and ongoing clubs at our school looking for members to join and enjoy the fun activities they have to offer.  To name a few, Dance Club, Model UN, and Bilingual Students of CVH are some of the clubs that meet every week! Being at home almost 24/7 has reduced so much of the physical interactions shared at school. Join some of the virtual extracurriculars we have at school and learn something new! If you want to find out more about the current clubs at our school, check the ASB’s Instagram page (@cvhs_asb) to see our Club Week posts.


  • Learn how to cook at home.

Cooking is a life skill that EVERYONE needs to know. If you give it a try, cooking can be extremely fun — and delicious! Take advantage of all the time we have at home by utilizing your kitchen and creating wonderful memories at home. Studies show that cooking can help us with our mental health and serve as a therapy to some. By accomplishing new recipes, learning how to be creative with food, and connecting with others through cooking, this vital skill for life also keeps us mentally healthy. If you are interested in learning how to cook, check out this article with 55 recipes you can try at home.


  • Stay active by taking walks on a regular basis.

It has been at least 11 months since we have been stuck at home. Distance learning has likely taken a toll on your mental health and mindset at some point. I cannot stress enough how important it is to get some sunshine every day. Even if it is just for thirty minutes, going outside can support you physically and mentally. Plus, it has been proven that your immune system is strengthened when you go outdoors and exercise. 


Don’t let this pandemic discourage you! While we can’t control some of the challenges we face, we have the opportunity to grow from them. Make the most out of this time we have at home by trying new things that will bring positive impacts into your life. Most importantly, do not give up. 

Written by Cecilia Ymaz, Sophomore at CVHS

Motivation is key to bringing positive changes into your life and helping yourself overcome any obstacle. It sparks creativity, determination, and persistence. But sometimes it’s a struggle to find motivation and maintain it. You may find yourself feeling overwhelmed or anxious about tasks piling up or current events happening around the world. Or, you may have goals that are unclear or unrealistic. For whatever reason it is you are feeling unmotivated, know that you are not alone. However, it is important to learn how to regain motivation and ensure that it will stay by your side. So, how can you achieve never-ending motivation?


  1. Identify what is blocking you from being motivated.

In order to change, you must reflect on what is truly stopping you from being motivated. Perhaps some of the things you do on a daily basis have started to feel more like a chore instead of something you enjoy doing. Once you have figured out what your inner obstacle is, you can plan on improving your routines.


     2. Start setting realistic, achievable goals. 

It’s extremely important that you set goals for yourself that are not too difficult to achieve, but also not too easy. Setting unrealistic goals is often the reason why we lose motivation and drive to accomplish our targets. I recommend using the SMART goal formula to help you organize your goals and make them attainable.


     3. Dream big and envision yourself there.

While it’s important to be realistic with goal-setting, it is also crucial to think about the bigger picture and your higher purpose. Where do you see yourself in ten years? While this vision may take a while to craft, reflect on your ambitions and the joy it would bring you to fulfill some of your biggest aspirations. Let it fuel your motivation and determination to work hard.


     4. Just do it!

Now that you have allowed yourself to make changes in your life by reflecting on how you can become a better version of yourself, setting goals that keep you moving forward, and creating your higher purpose, you need to act on these commitments! A lot of things are easier said than done, but taking action is essential to maintaining motivation and incorporating it into your everyday life.

 

Having a supportive environment, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and being kinder to yourself are also vital factors to regaining motivation. Staying motivated can truly transform your entire life, but it takes optimism and patience. With a positive mindset, anything is possible. You will find yourself trying new and exciting experiences, pushing through difficult challenges, and living a fulfilling life with a progressive drive. Be proactive and start your motivation journey today!

Written by Cecilia Ymaz, Sophomore at CVHS

I mentioned in my self-care blog post that you are in control of improving your life and have the power to make it more fulfilling. Distance learning and staying at home all day has likely caused some negative feelings towards life and has made you feel frustrated with the new normal that has been established due to the global pandemic. Personally, there are some days where I have absolutely no motivation to do anything and feel like falling into bad habits such as being lazy or oversleeping. But it is important to learn how to be flexible with our current situation and find out how we can make each day better than the day before. As humans, we are constantly in the process of growing and figuring out what works best for us. So, ask yourself this question: How can I make the most out of this quarantine and enjoy every single day?

If you are finding yourself dreading to start a new day every day, here are some tips to help you make every day more productive and enjoyable:

1. Hang out with your friends virtually.
Your social outlets haven’t disappeared! There are so many ways to hang out with friends online and still have fun. By taking the time out of your day to socialize with your friends through text or call, you are helping to ensure your own happiness. I recommend setting up Zoom meetings or FaceTiming your friends weekly to talk and play games. You can play games like skribbl.io, Kahoot!, and one of the most popular games at the moment, Among Us. Be creative in finding new ways to interact with your friends while practicing social distancing!

2. Try something new and switch up your routine.
Go out of your comfort zone and make an effort to try something new every day. You are on a journey of lifelong learning; take this time to expand your horizons and explore new experiences. You can give yourself the opportunity to learn more about yourself through adventure. You don’t have to do something crazy like climbing a mountain in one day, but you can start off by trying a new hairstyle or learning a new word to add to your vocabulary.

3. Start planning your week ahead of time.
Planning your week ahead is a wonderful way to keep yourself organized and on top of things. If you are struggling to figure out what you need to accomplish during the week, writing it down in a planner or calendar will increase your productivity. Take advantage of free online resources such as Google Calendar and Google Classroom to view any upcoming assignments and add important events/meetings that will occur during the week. You will find yourself less stressed throughout your week since you have written your schedule out and are prepared for any changes.

4. Be honest with yourself.
Learn to be honest with yourself so you can be honest with others. For instance, if you are struggling with an assignment or with your well-being, it is essential that you acknowledge it and use resources available to you to help solve these issues. It is okay to not be okay, but to feel better, learn self-awareness so you can find the best solution. Our school has resources to help you mentally, academically, etc. Check out our school’s Virtual Wellness Center to help improve your well-being throughout the school year!

5. Spend less time on social media.
As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, digital screen time continues to increase as we spend more time on our devices at home. It is important to take a break overall from our phones and laptops, but it should start with a social media detox. Think about it, what are you gaining when you spend hours on social media? Try taking the day off from social media apps to notice how much additional free time you will have to work on other priorities. It can improve your sleeping habits and time efficiency. You don’t have to give up using social media, but you can limit your usage in order to have a healthier mindset.

Written by Cecilia Ymaz, Sophomore at CVHS

Especially during these unprecedented times, sometimes we forget to look after our mental health. It is extremely important that we start to take better care of ourselves and learn to value some “me time.” What exactly is “me time?” Making time for yourself should be made with the intention of improving your health. When we take the time to improve our mental and physical health, we can set ourselves up for a lifelong journey of self-growth and happiness. Self-care can be found in many different forms and is vital to healing ourselves on the inside. So, how can we practice self-care while staying at home?

Whether you are interested in playing sports, reading books, or have any other hobbies, you can always find a way to incorporate your values into your day. It is important to avoid making excuses such as, “I haven’t finished this assignment,” or “I don’t have time.” Instead of making excuses, we can aim towards fixing these habits and setting priorities. Time management is a skill that can help us make time for ourselves every day. Taking at least 30 minutes of each day to improve mental health will contribute to a much better lifestyle filled with happiness.

Your sleep schedule and a balanced diet are also priorities that should be taken into account when taking care of yourself. Sleeping at least 7-8 hours a day is a key factor in improving your performance throughout the day and maintaining a good mood. Coming from experience, the all-nighters and sleeping at unreasonably late times are NOT worth it. Prioritize your sleep because it prepares you for the next day. Furthermore, eating healthy foods is a great way to reduce your anxiety and stress levels. What goes into your stomach has scientifically been shown to affect your mood when you are constantly eating unhealthy foods. You can also check out our Mindful Monday post on Mental Health & Diet to see delicious recipes that aim to improve mental health.

COVID-19 has brought at-home workouts to a new level with more videos and resources on the web to keep you active and fit! Exercise is an essential part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle both mentally and physically. It releases endorphins that enhance our mood and increase our energy levels. There is an endless amount of possibilities available to you when it comes to exercise, right at your fingertips. You can learn new dances off of the internet, or have a dance party in the comfort of your own home. There are also popular YouTube channels such as MadFit and SELF that offer follow-along workouts. Or, if you are in need of some fresh air, take a walk around your neighborhood or at your local park to enjoy the outdoors.

Last of all, it is important to be kind to yourself and others. Encourage positive energy within yourself and stay optimistic during these difficult times. Remind yourself that everything will be okay and that you have the power to change your life. Start by being more mindful of your health and work towards dedicating more time to yourself. Practicing self-love is key in making sure we can take care of ourselves before we take care of others. Take this moment to breathe!

Want some additional ideas to use when practicing self-care? Check out the slides provided in the link below! You can view a short set of slides restating some of the self-care tips I mentioned here: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1D5PCsQXItTK_WrtZJPon8Jg5H-AwJfJOyMpGUU7CWcs/edit?usp=sharing