Hi, I’m Alister! I guess I’m officially a junior (wow!) at Castilleja, and I’m a founding member of Beyond The Book. My favorite subjects in school are science and English, and I love learning about science and exploring fields of English (such as reading and writing) inside and out of the classroom. Outside of school, I am a dancer, and love to bake, hike, read, and practice photography.
Since quarantine began, I have noticed a negative shift in my mental health. Even with all of this free time, it seems as if I have way more work! Before summer began, I had synchronous school lessons from 8 am to 3 pm, and afterward had many zoom meetings or zoom dance classes. With limitations on physical escapes, such as trips to friends’ houses or local coffee shops, I can often find myself engrossed in work for hours on end, and I’ve found that many others have experienced this same work overload.
One main thing that I’ve noticed is that there seems to be a very small difference between the weekends and weekdays since life doesn’t have much variety at the moment. It’s been extremely helpful for me mentally to make a distinction. On the weekends, I love to bake with my family, or watch movies and have game nights. My friends and I have also been having weekly Friday night Zoom calls, and we all chat and watch a movie over Zoom. Little things like this, along with the occasional socially distanced picnic with a few friends, have reminded me of the importance of rest and relaxation, and have helped me maintain a sense of normalcy during a difficult time.
If you haven’t found the time yet, make sure to spend the next weekend relaxing. If we weren’t in quarantine right now, I don’t think I’d realize how important it is to take a break from work and relax, and how little mental breaks boost my mindset and mental health. I also don’t think I’d have as much time to connect and laugh with my family. I’ve found it helpful to make little lists of things that make me happy: certain Youtube channels, my favorite recipes (let me know if you need an INCREDIBLE banana bread recipe), new hiking paths, fun movies, amazing board games, and more. Amidst all of my work, discovering new ways to relax and have fun has helped me turn quarantine into a much more positive experience, and I hope that I can take my mental-breaks-are-important mindset with me after this is all over!