Self-Care in a Time of Social Distancing – How I’ve Been Taking Care of My Mental Health from Home

Hey hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs! I hope you all are doing well wherever you are in the world during the current COVID-19 pandemic. These are some troubling times and while we weather this storm, it’s important that we all remain safe! Many countries have already enacted stay-at-home mandates, and I myself have been working from home for these past three weeks, so it’s been a quite the task keeping myself busy in this new age of social distancing. I’m mostly an introvert, so I’m welcoming the extra time at home, but I know many are finding this change to their daily routine isolating, so it’s definitely important that we continue to take care of our mental health by practicing self-care.

Self – Care



      • the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.

During the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s easy to forget to take a step back and put yourself first, especially when you’re busy taking care of other things. The COVID-19 pandemic has put a lot of us in a pretty tight spot and while I know things are hard for many, it’s important to help one another and maintain a positive outlook for the future. Trust me, I know how hard it is to stay positive in the wake of what seems like an overwhelming situation—I have experience multiple job losses, financial difficulties, and there was a point not too long ago that I was close to being without a roof over my head. Things do get better! This COVID-19 pandemic is just a small setback and together we can get through this! I don’t often share stuff like this here, but in this time of fear and uncertainty it is important to do things that elevate your mental health by doing things that make you happy and improve your mood. So, I wanted to share some of the things I’ve been doing to keep myself uplifted and centered at home during the current pandemic.

Setting A Routine

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It’s so easy to loose track of time when you’re stuck at home 24/7, so I cannot stress enough how important it is to keep a routine. This not only helps breakup the monotony of the day, but it helps add a little balance to your life. Even though I’m teleworking, I still set my alarm every morning (albeit much later than I usually would). I get up, I take a shower, I get dressed—granted I’ve traded in my business casual for comfy sweaters and leggings—but, I still keep up my morning routine. I plan my meals and I even schedule little breaks for myself to give my day structure. It helps set the tone for my day and keeps me motivated even when I’m working from my couch. But, I’m also flexible. If I need to check out for a bit and take a nap… I take a nap! If I need some air, I take a short walk to the mailbox or on one of the trails near my apartment. Just because everything outside has ground to a halt doesn’t mean you have to (just practice social distancing and be safe).

Catching Up On Some Reading


Having to stay at home has been the best thing for my reading lists, particularly my manga TBR. I have a habit of buying manga and not reading any of it, so I have piles of manga volumes all over my desk that are just collecting dust… and keeping me from actually using my desk for work. But, since I’ve been confined to my home I’ve taken to actually reading through some of my outstanding manga and I’ve discovered some true hidden gems! Honestly it’s been awhile since I’ve taken the time to sit down and read anything and I’ve really missed the feeling of losing myself in a really good story! And hey, if you’re not into manga, read a fanfic, or a light novel, or hell grab a novel! There are plenty of places to find stuff to read online and if like me you prefer print copies, grab a book off your shelf and dive in! There are also audiobooks too if you just want to listen (Audible has some great readers)!!

Powering Thru My Gaming Backlog


Like many gamers my backlog has always been a bit of a challenge for me, since I tend to buy more games than I actually have time to play. Well, I now find myself with an abundance of time and plenty of games to keep me occupied. And after finishing Pokemon Sword I’ve kind of been playing round robin with my backlog and I’ve finally settled on Night School Studio’s Afterparty (it’s fucking hilarious!). I used to pick games specifically for reviews, but I’ve recently started playing games that piqued my interest (whether I intend to write a review or not) and I’ve been really enjoying gaming a lot more ever since! I’m putting the fun back in gaming—which is why I haven’t been writing as many game reviews lately—and you know what, I am all the more happier for it! I see a lot of people are playing Animal Crossing and you know what, this is probably the perfect time to play those types of social simulator games, since it gives you a chance interact with folks while still practicing social distancing.

Video Chats With Friends


Just because we have to stay at home doesn’t mean we can’t still communicate! While we are being told to keep our in-person interactions to a minimum we can still reach out to friends and family virtually! Since this whole thing began I have been talking more with friends and family both over the phone and through video chatting and it’s great! I find that we really connect more now, and even though they’re not physically in the room with me, just the act of talking to another person and seeing their face is enough to brighten my mood.

But, you can also have fun with it too, I had a FaceTime Happy Hour with my friend in Indiana and I’m planning an online game party with friends soon. My job has even scheduled weekly Coffee Video Chats and on Friday we have a Virtual Happy Hour, all in an effort to keep us all connected! So I urge you to still reach out to friends, family, and loved ones during this time, even if it’s just a text—keep the lines of communication open!

Taking Full Advantage Of Online Streaming Services

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Most people are already doing this, so I won’t harp on it too long… but, seriously this is the perfect time to catch up on all your shows! Kick back with a K-drama, binge that must watch show that’s got everyone online talking, re watch old favorites, or discover something unexpected! I have Prime, Disney+, Hulu, Crunchyroll, and Netflix and between all those, I always have something to watch! And you know what, I’ve discovered something fun to watch on each streaming service! I’m watching His Dark Materials and King of the Hill on Hulu, Murder She Wrote and Hitorijime My Hero (for the 100th time) on Prime, Tangled The Series on Disney+ (and the Simpsons), over on Crunchyroll I’m catching up on My Hero Academia and Haikyu, and on the streaming OG Netflix I’ve been watching Self Made and Tiger King (yes, I know I’m late…).

Online Retail Therapy

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And when all else fails, buy shit! Since we have to keep close to home except for essential travel, this is the perfect time for a little online retail therapy. Amazon is a bit backed up right now, but there are plenty of online retailers that would welcome your business. I’ve been buying manga (of course) and just placed my first ever order with RightStuf, so I’m excited! But, I’ve also gone clothes shopping for some new spring and summer wear for when I’m finally able to venture outside again… And, if you don’t have the income for online shopping, no worries, build a wish list of things you want to get later and do a little online window shopping!

A Glass Of Wine (Or Two….)


Wine has really gotten me through some of these past few days. A glass of wine after a day of working or while watching the latest COVID-19 press conference… everything goes better with a glass of wine… or two! And if you can’t drink, grab you a bottle of water and savor that sweet life giving nectar.


Crocheting has been my go to self-care pasttime for years now, and I cannot tell you how satisfying it is to take a formless ball of yarn and turning it into something new! Yarn work keeps my hands busy and gets the creative juices flowing as I come up with new patterns and techniques to use to bring my projects to life. It’s a super fun and chill way to pass a few hours and I can also do it while streaming something else. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat watching Golden Girls or Law and Order SVU while I worked on a blanket or an doll.  Hell, sometimes I’ll look up crochet tutorials on YouTube and just do those, just to give me something new and challenging to do! I have an ongoing blanket that I work on from the comfort of my couch, and it’s finally big enough that I can cover myself with it while I work!

Catch You Some Zzzz’s


Sleep… duh. When all else fails take a nap or you know hibernate for a few days… catch up on some much needed sleep. Close your blinds, snuggle up in a warm blanket, turn on an audiobook and just kind of doze off… Do not underestimate the power of regular sleep! Just because you’re stuck at home make sure you’re still getting an adequate amount of sleep for you, whether that’s 8 hours or 5 hours, make sure your body gets the rest it needs!

Stretch… Your Body Will Thank You Later


Okay, storytime. The closest grocery store to my apartment is 23 minutes away on foot, which isn’t that bad, like 0.9 miles away. Easy peasy. WRONG! I spent the first 3 weeks of the quarantine either sitting on my couch or lounging around on my bed so what should have been a quick trip turned into absolute hell for my body. By the time I actually got to the store I was sweaty, miserable, and out of breath. Don’t be like me. STRETCH! Workout a little. Save yourself a lot of trouble later! Do a pushup challenge on Instagram, do one of those virtual workouts… just do something, move your body.

What Do You Do For Your Self-Care?

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Those are just the things I’ve been doing to keep myself sane during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is by no means an exhaustive list. Just the other day I decided it would be cool to bake cookies and that was definitely good for my mental health. But I want to turn things over to you guys! What are you all getting into while you’re stuck at home?

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11 thoughts on “Self-Care in a Time of Social Distancing – How I’ve Been Taking Care of My Mental Health from Home

  1. I too have been stuck in my apartment for quite some time! Unfortunately my professors have had their foots on my neck with no intention of letting up. So with all this lovely (aha ha) free time I’ve got some nice research papers to write (booo). As well as plenty of anime shows to catch up on 🤣 stay safe out there!

    1. Ewww! I remember having to work on my Capstone project and it was a piece of work! Sending you good vibes while you power through your research ad stay safe!

  2. I’m chipping away at my anime and reading backlog and restarted some gacha games. I went cold turkey (is that the right term…?) on gacha games about a year before COVID restrictions started to set in, but Merc Storia’s latest update from this reply means I can’t play it (again) so I’m left with the Bungou Stray Dogs game and Hypnosis Mic games.

    As for books, borrowing stuff from the library a lot and then getting distracted by other stuff meant I accumulated a bit over a table’s worth of reading material and never got around to it, but I have made a small dent into it (i.e. two books finished). I’ve got some Japanese-language reading material in there too and since that’s a language I’m wrapping studies up with over Zoom, that should explain part of why that pile accumulated though.

    1. LOL cold turkey is the perfect term for quitting gatcha games… those things are insane! I played an early demo of the Bungo Stray Dogs game at a con and it was a lot of fun! But, I’ve never heard of Hypnosis Mic, I’ll have to check it out.

      I need to get back into reading, I’ve been listening to audiobooks and that’s been a nice way to ease me back into books.

      Oh, are you planning on taking the Japanese proficiency exams or is this more casual self study? I took Japanese in undergrad, but sadly I didn’t keep up with it.

      1. Hypnosis Mic is a series based around songs and drama tracks. If you search for ヒプノシスマイク on Spotify, you should find an official playlist, but you might wanna check the character profiles on the main website first to familiarise yourself. (Fan translations for everything are easy to find, though.) There’s an anime coming out for it in October (pushed back by COVID), too.

        If COVID doesn’t cancel the tests at the end of the year, I intend to take them. Applications open in July though…

      2. This sounds like a cool concept! I’ll definitely have to check it out!

        Hopefully you’re able to still take the test, I know a few places have started opening back up.

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