Staying Motivated in a Pandemic

Ever since March, we’ve been dealing with distance learning, confusing news, and not being able to eat inside restaurants (oh, the humanity). Now it’s summer vacation, but what do we do when there’s not many trips, pool parties, or summer camps to go to? There’s not many things to do this summer, and us kids need something entertaining, relaxing, or motivating. Unfortunately, being kids means that it’s hard to stay safe while having fun, so here are a bunch of pointers on how to stay motivated, happy, and active while COVID-19 lasts.

Get inspired!

The Reinvent the Rover Wheel Contest, from Future Engineers, tasked me with creating a 3D model of the rover wheel I thought would best explore Mars. My entry, the M.A.T.W., is shown here.

Maybe there’s something you’ve really wanted to get into for a long time, but haven’t had the time to do it because of all the other, more important things in your life. Start a passion project! This was actually an online school assignment given to my class by my English teacher, who gave us several weeks to accomplish something in quarantine and make a presentation about it. I drew a 2D comic, but others painted, started learning photography, or perfected their bread recipe!

After online school was over, I took the opportunity COVID-19 threw at me to learn how to CAD and 3D print, using lessons from Instructables. For the moment, this effort culminates in the project shown here, the Reinvent the Rover Wheel contest! I’ll release an update about it later when the contest is over. Now that I’ve learned to 3D print, I’ve taken on other challenges, like tutoring and lobbying for a federal bill with the NAAF Legislative Mentors.

Finding something exciting to do will take your mind off the chaos and focus your energy into doing something you love. So do the things you’ve been waiting to do at home! You have plenty of time this summer.

Get active!

I’m a swimmer, and staying active is pretty much the norm for me. Don’t swim for a week, and you’ll feel like jelly once you come back to the sport. Right now, we’re allowed to swim 3 times per week, one household per lane, in a wonderfully socially-distanced pool. But lots of other kids don’t play sports or can’t because of the pandemic, and they might be wondering why it’s so important that we stay active.

Exercise, meditation and other physical activities are shown to help calm your mind, improve your sleep, and energize your body. Feeling stressed? Go for a walk, run, or swim if you can, play an outdoor game with your family, or just sit there for a while and breathe deeply! Swimming has always been an outlet for me, letting my mind wander to something other than today’s news, and that’s why I love it. Swimming may not be your outlet, so go ahead and find your own!

Get helpful!

It’s been shown that volunteering can reduce stress, and during this pandemic, there are still many ways to help out your community! Even NAAF has some awesome volunteering programs, find them here. As I stated above, I’m part of the Teen Legislative Mentors, a group that advocates on behalf of NAAF for our federal bill. You can learn more about us here. Many non-profits are now offering virtual volunteering workshops, such as Project Giving Kids. These workshops are an easy way to learn how to help and give back to your community, and they’re free!

And remember, stay optimistic!

I know many of you are struggling with online learning, “Zoom fatigue”, and the anxiety of not being able to get together in person with friends and family, but it’s all going to get better. We can’t control what other people think or do, but make sure you do all you can to stay safe and make the most of this new normal. Stay 6 feet apart, wear a mask, and stay proud to be bald!

By Peyton H.

I’m completely bald and the proud owner of a blog called Peytonpecia is all about helping kids with alopecia areata feel comfortable with themselves.

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