Hobbies help ease anxiety amidst pandemic

Kassie DeJean, Reporter

WEB EXCLUSIVE The current statewide shelter-in-place order has some teens experiencing loneliness or anxiousness, but they can combat these emotions by connecting with friends or trying new things.

“To cope with all the social distancing I downloaded the app Calm and have been working with breathing exercises,” freshman Lucy Selcow said. “I have been making sure to FaceTime my friends.”

Staying inside for prolonged periods of time and not participating in activities that correlate to a daily schedule can lead to boredom and depression, according to the American Psychological Association.

“Doing things that you can share together virtually to have a sense of shared humanity even when you’re apart is helpful, whether it’s sharing music with each other, TikTok videos or funny things on Instagram,” school counselor Laurie Pomeranz said. “Whatever it is that you can connect through when you can’t be together live, are important ways of finding joy.”

Everyone can use the shelter in place to focus on or restart hobbies or instruments that they used to do in their past.

“I usually play piano,” junior Kate Baker said. “But I used to play guitar so I picked up the guitar again and I’m trying to relearn that and it’s not going very well.”

They can also use it to take up a new hobby or interest such as learning to bake, draw or write poetry.

“If you were thinking about taking up an instrument, there’s classes online if you have the instrument,” Kimberly De Caires, a therapist and licensed clinical social worker, said. “If you’re thinking about taking up a language there’s Duolingo. If you’re interested in making art, spend some time on your art practice. Whatever it is, try to find ways to schedule something constructive and meaningful into your life.”

The shelter in place order allows leaving the house for walks or runs, so long as individuals do not have to drive to get to their exercise destination.

I have been making sure to go on walks or runs in my neighborhood either in the morning or afternoon,” Selcow said. “I think that the fresh air helps me relieve any stress I have about social distancing and so that I don’t get tired of being inside all the time.”