How to take care of your mental and physical health during quarantine

Graphic by Ainsley Marlette

During this unprecedented time, it is more important than ever to take care of our bodies. Your mental health and physical health go hand-in-hand, and when you put care into one, the other will follow. Through meditation, exercise, and socialization (at a safe distance), you can stay mentally and physically healthy! Below you will find a how-to meditation guide, links for working out, and some ideas for socializing during quarantine.


Five benefits of meditation

  • Reduces stress
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Helps sleep
  • Decreases depression
  • Builds focus

How to meditate

  • Step 1: Find a quiet spot. Choose a place and time where you won’t be interrupted for however long you wish.
  • Step 2: Sit in a comfortable position. Either in a chair or crisscross on the floor, have your back straight and relaxed. Once in that position, release tension in your shoulders, arms, legs, and neck.
  • Step 3: Focus on your breathing. Breath in through your nose and out through your mouth. Pay attention to the air entering and exiting your body. When you feel ready, move your focus to your chest rising and falling during each breath.
  • Step 4: Notice thoughts that arise. It is completely natural for your mind to wander during the meditation practice. Recognize these thoughts and dismiss them. Pass your thoughts by refocusing on your breath.
  • Step 5: When you’re finished, calmly come back to the present.
  • It is up to you if you want to have background noise or not. I find it easier to have a relaxing sound on low volume. In the past, I used “waterfall.” Currently, I am using “clarity.” (I use the app below for sounds.)
  • For guided or unguided meditation, download the app “Oak.” This app contains meditation options, including a guided meditation for sleep. For whatever option you chose, it comes with a timer, 12 different sounds, and the ability to set chimes to keep your mind focused.


  • Five benefits of exercise
    • Mental Clarity
    • Muscle definition and strengthening
    • Lower blood pressure
    • Release of ‘feel-good’ hormones
    • Burst of Vitamin D (reduces depression) with exercising outdoors
  • Types of working out:
    • Walking
    • Running
    • Strengthening exercises (core, arms, legs)
      • My go-to: five sets of 1 minute plank (30 second normal, 30 second side dips), 10 pushups, 60 Russian twists.
    • Yoga/Pilates
        • I particularly enjoy Vinyasa flow yoga! Once I finish the sequence, I feel like my body is properly aligned and energized!!

 Socializing while social distancing

  • It is important to note that socialization is beneficial for your mental and physical health. Even in quarantine, there are ways to connect with family and friends!
    • Netflix party
        • I highly recommend this!! When I watch a movie with someone over Facetime or Zoom, and the other person says something, I often miss what the character said. Netflix party has a chat feature next to the video, so it is a fun way to talk with minimal disruption!