Activities to Help Maintain Mental Health


Brittney Ganzelli

Sofia Burns does leg lifts during her at-home workout.

On top of the growing concerns of the Covid-19 pandemic, the city and county of Honolulu issued new restrictions that allow non-essential businesses, such as retailers, salons, and restaurants to reopen. While parks, beaches, and public venues are also now opened to groups of less than five individuals. With the unemployment rate still at an all-time high in Hawaii, some people find themselves stuck home with idle time on their hands. Whether you’re an essential worker, unemployed, or a student, here are six simple ways to help anyone who’s looking to boost productivity and uplift their spirits.

Stay Off the Phone
The best way to set a productive tone for the day is by resisting the urge to immediately check your phone first thing in the morning. If you use your phone as an alarm, setting your phone on airplane mode before bed ensures that your lock screen is free from any notifications that may tempt you to go on it when you wake up. In substitution for being on the phone, one could make tea or coffee and a bite to eat.

Sophia Burns stretches her spine by practicing a vrikshasana yoga pose. (Photo by Brittney Ganzelli)

Practice Yoga
For centuries, the combination of breathing exercises and stretching that takes place during yoga has been practiced regularly to help ease and promote a better state of mind by relieving built-up tensions. All you need to do is lay a towel on the ground and look up “Yoga with Adriene” on YouTube to choose from one of the 500+ videos to follow along with. 

Listen to Music, Sing, and Dance
Whatever makes you feel at peace in your own way, do it! For some, it may be blasting their favorite songs and yelling along as they dance in their rooms, or drives jamming to throwback songs. Feeling liberated to be yourself and embracing the things that make you happy is therapeutic. Music is free, therapy is expensive!

Tidy Up and Get Organized
How you maintain your living spaces are a direct reflection of your state of mind. This is why it’s hard to study when your room is a mess because a messy room coincides with a distracted mind. One way to make sure you’re making the most out of your day is by keeping your room clean to help stimulate a better attitude and free the mind from the stress of an unkempt room.

Get Moving!
With gyms, parks, and beaches restricted closed, doing at-home workouts is one way to stay active. If you’re not sure what to do, YouTube offers a variety of different workouts to do without equipment, from HIIT cardio, to toning, and muscle building exercises. The channel “SELF” on YouTube offers many different 30 minute videos led by personal trainers that you can watch and go along within the comfort of home. Aside from “SELF” on YouTube, this platform has dozens of channels for everyone, all you need is to see what suits your needs best.

Some people rarely take the time from their everyday lives to just sit and relax. This is why practicing meditation can be beneficial to one’s overall health and well-being. For beginners, mindful meditation helps slow thoughts and calm the mind and body. All that it takes to practice this type of meditation is a quiet, comfortable place, ten deep breaths, and staying focused on the present moment. For guided meditation, the app “Present – Guided Meditation” helps those who want to exercise their minds.