CRIER NARRATIVE: Making up for lost time

Before COVID-19, I used to relax while kickboxing, painting and reading. Once lockdown occurred, kickboxing wasn’t an option and I became glued to my phone for the first several weeks. The lack of physical exercise and outside activity destroyed my mental health, and it laid a foundation for poor habits throughout the year. When lockdown was extended, I tried to be less dependent on my phone—it was painful to see myself lose hours of my life.  However, I had already created a gloomy outlook and I was struggling to have an activity that I could decompress while doing. 

Once quarantine took full effect, I would paint every week and meditate everyday. This created a sense of calm and I could collect my thoughts. I also got back into crocheting, 3D puzzles and embroidery. Working on my skills and having something to focus on boosted my general well-being. However, my motivation to regularly practice my hobbies would slip in and out. I felt disconnected from the world around me and was having difficulty expressing how I felt to others. 

Returning to school in the fall meant a complete schedule change and less time for my hobbies. Due to the amount of time it takes to complete a project, I forgot about my hobbies and I festered in the stress my classes were causing. My AP Human Geography class was the most difficult to adjust to, the constant quizzes and studying for major tests left me drained for the rest of the day.

Luckily, a few projects during late fall lifted my spirits. I finished making a stuffed animal with a friend, I was taught how to weld and I began to make upcycled paper. Every weekend, I’d cross the street and work on welding from 5 to 7 pm﹘something I could finally destress while doing. Unfortunately, we had to take a break because of the weather and scheduling issues, but it is something I can look forward to and work on in small periods of time. 

Amid disarray, I have learned how to express myself, even while completely alone.

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