How to reduce stress while you`re in quarantine and how I managed to keep myself motivated.

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Hi, this is Yumi. (@___yum0)

More than two months have passed since I came back to Japan. It was super quick, two months just passed away in a blink of an eye.

As everything became online-based, we start to feel lonely, not having enough connections with friends and teachers. We also feel stressed, we get demotivated for no reason. All those things we were so passionate about, we see no interest in them anymore.

I experienced all these things, but I was able to manage myself and get out of the bad cycle. So in this post, I would like to share several tips that I found useful for overcoming stress and managing myself. Hope you can at least take home something from this article to reduce your stress.

Write a diary and keep track of your feelings

pencil on opened notebook

You might already have a diary, or you have experience writing a diary when you were little. I kept a diary when I was in elementary school, but I stopped writing it. I just suddenly stopped writing, I don`t know the specific reason.

Remember when you were a kid, you used to write like, “Today, I had a fight with my friend. I was really mad. Blah blah blah…” I`m sure it was pretty straightforward. You wrote what you did and wrote how you felt about it.

Well, we should all go back to our childhood days and do that again because it definitely helps. It is proven scientifically that writing down all your worries and sadness will reduce the stress.

Yes, it is time consuming. But it is not going to take forever. If you have few minutes between online classes or before sleep, go for it!

I`m sure when you look back in your diary few months later or few years later, you`ll wonder why you were worried or depressed about such tiny things.

Here`s an example of what I write in my diary. There are five sections in each page.

1.To-do list. If I have assignments, I write it in there so I won`t forget. Sometimes, we rely too much on our brain thinking “Oh why would I forget it. My brain can manage to remember”. However, our brain ain`t that smart. Don`t forget to put a check box next to it!

2.“Something I want to do in the future” list. This list is a bit different from to-do list. This list is composed of something you do`nt necessarily have to do, but something you wish to do. I have this because sometimes, I come up with something I wanna do in the near future but you forget it. In order not to forget, I have this list. For example, I wrote “I want to go to Tourism EXPO in September”. Now I won`t forget about it.

3.What I learned. So, we learn something new everyday. Especially during this COVID crisis, we feel like we haven`t learned anything. Before you sleep, you ask yourself “what did I even do today?” I don`t want this to happen to myself. So I just jot down what I learned that day. It can be ANYTHING. Whether you were able to learn a new code or you learned about another country, anything is fine.

4,What I did and how I felt. So here, this is the diary part. You write down all the things happened in your day and how you felt about it. Why you do this? Because we can identify what can make us happy and what cannot. For example, I am in the baddest mood when it`s raining. I write what made me happy in a rainy day and realize the patterns in what makes me happy. If you can identify it, you just need to apply that to your daily life. It will make life easier.

5.Your time log. This, I track how many hours I studies / did internships / did part-time jobs / other. Sometimes you are so focused on something you don`t realize how much effort you put into it. When you look back though, you realize you should praise yourself for studying hard and doing internships.

Below is an example of my daily diary.

So, do you want to start writing a diary now? Just go get a paper and a pen and get started. Below I put some notebooks and pens I use for writing a diary.

Call a friend

black rotary dial phone on white surface

Everyone`s bored staying home all the time. Why don`t you make a call?

I started to call some of my old friend which I never contacted before. Actually it`s quite fun learning about their past life and what they`re doing now. It stimulates you to do make more effort after you listen to your friend`s voice.

We`re all lonely now in this situation, especially if you`re living alone. I`m sure your friend is there to help you and comfort you.

Do something new everyday

white ceramic mug on table

During this quarantine, you might have lost interest in what you were interested before. That`s normal. You sometimes suddenly lose interest in something.

In such a situation, sometimes it`s effective to just try something new. Are you an IT student? Then try drawing and designing on your iPad or start learning about history. Just try something new. If you think you`re not good at it or you don`t like it, you can try another thing. Eventually, you`ll start to feel what really interests you and you might also find your new talent in something.

For example, I tried programming in Python during this situation. Although I found it very interesting, I realized it wasn`t my thing after I did it intensively for 3days. Also I started buying stocks and learn about economics on my own. This, I loved it. Watching the stock market was pretty fun and I also enjoyed learning about economics. So I still study economics on my own. And I actually found it useful since I`m an tourism management student and it`s important to know the current economy.

If you have a pet, just lay down with your pet

white dog and gray cat hugging each other on grass

I don`t know how many people reading this article has a pet, but just lying down with your pet somehow makes you relaxed. It is also said scientifically that pets can reduce your stress.

Well, your pet might find you annoying if you always try to stay with him / her and pet them all the time, but when you feel lonely and don`t feel like doing anything, I`m sure your pet will be there for you.

Stay tuned for more articles! Stay safe and healthy!

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