5 Ways to Better Yourself During the “Shelter in Place” Order


Nina Ortiz

On March 19th, California became the first state to enforce the “shelter in place” order. Since the “shelter in place” order was enforced, many families have spent over a month in their homes. While staying indoors, many teens have seen their physical, mental, and emotional health decrease drastically. During this isolated time, instead focusing on bettering themselves, teens tend to focus on the negative impacts. Instead of focusing on these negative impacts, this break from everyday society can teach teens many ways to better themselves. 

1 Spend time outdoors. 

Spending time outdoors is a great way to be active and spend less time utilizing technology. Even though the community is bound by a “shelter in place” order, that doesn’t necessarily restrict teens from spending time outdoors. There are many fun physical activities one can do while outdoors, such as  biking, hiking, walking, and much more. As long as social distancing is still being practiced, spending time in nature is one amazing way to get out of the house. 

2 Schedule your productivity and organize your work.

Organizing and scheduling your work day is a great skill to learn. This skill can become very helpful in a teens’ education later on. It’s very important to feel productive, especially during this time. Although there should be productivity, there should also be a healthy amount of scheduling breaks. There are many different ways to organize and schedule your work such as journaling, bullet point lists, creating routines, setting goals, prioritizing, and more. 

Merideth Hute, a freshman at Novato High School, shared her schedule of productivity and organization of physical health. 

“I cope by spending a lot of time with my dog and exercising,” said Hute. “I keep productive by making sure my schoolwork is done before I do anything else.”

3 Utilize technology.

Technology has advanced dramatically in the past decade. There are many valuable resources available for communication purposes. These specific resources include FaceTime, iMessage, Zoom, and many more. This is the perfect opportunity to utilize these platforms when communicating with relatives, educators, and friends. Social interaction is important for everyone, and using modern technology is the perfect way to stay connected while keeping a safe distance from one another. 

4 Find a new hobby.

Discovering new interests will help one create a better understanding of something new and enjoyable. Some of these hobbies may include gardening, baking, painting, or learning an instrument. Finding different hobbies can occupy time and relieve stress. Getting creative during the “shelter in place” order is a great way to cope with emotions as best as possible. 

5 Gain a Better Understanding. 

 Lastly, the best way one can better themselves during this time is understanding and staying informed. Gaining a better understanding for what is currently happening is one way to remain safe. Discussing feelings, emotions, or experiences with family or friends is a great way to keep the mind at peace. Consider journaling in general or those emotions, to maintain a sense of hope and positive thinking. There is no possible understanding for what will be happening in the future, but there is possibility for understanding what is occurring now. 

Will Vasser, a Sophomore at Terra Linda High School, discussed how he gained a better understanding of what is occuring in the world right now.

“Personally, the shelter in place could be a lot worse,” said Vasser. “I miss doing everyday normal things such as going to the store or visiting the retirement homes, but the “shelter in place” order gives me the opportunity to spend more time with my family. I schedule my productivity by working on my education slowly and day by day.” 

Overall, there are many exciting and healthy activities to do during this time. It’s very important to stay healthy mentally, physically, and emotionally. This “shelter in place” order gives everyone an opportunity to better themselves.