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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Wellness in 2021

Expanding on my article from last week, the New Year is always a time for new revelations and new goals to motivate individuals. This year especially seems to be a “fresh start” for people after a devastating first year of COVID- 19. Yet, what we knew as normal prior to the pandemic is long gone. Going to the gym may not be on everyone’s list this time around, for health reasons. And there is a raging mental health pandemic growing every day. So, what can you do to stay healthy physically and mentally?
The first thing is to rethink and reevaluate the concept of wellness for 2021. The past year has ultimately changed what is normal for us. We have all-new routines, we have all-new hobbies, and so forth. 2020 was the year of forced and unforced change. However, we can make the most of all this change by amending how we take care of ourselves to get what we truly desire. Before the pandemic, there were more stereotypical ways of maintaining wellness, such as getting a gym membership and eating salads (all still great ways to stay healthy). Yet, the pandemic has made people get more creative. Now there are so many new ways to maintain your health, especially as a student. At times, we are working on an intense schedule and/or living off a small budget. It is more difficult to keep our bodies and minds up to par. We all can relate to this in some way, and it is nothing to feel ashamed about!
I wanted to focus on UMass Boston students for this article, and how they are coping with their wellness in 2021. The first student I interviewed was Shimul Nath, a first-year student. We talked about ways he is staying happy and healthy during this pandemic. Nath said that “spending time with family and working has been keeping my mind healthy.” He explained, “Work and hanging out with my family keep me on my feet and make it so I’m not just sitting around doing nothing.” I learned a lot about Nath’s family and what they like to do to spend time together. A great way to keep your mind healthy is to turn to the people you are closest to in your life. Spending time with these important people can make the time pass and keep you smiling.
I then interviewed Juan Andres, a fourth-year student. Andres explains the ways in which he has picked up some old hobbies he once gave up on. He said, “I stopped playing soccer almost three or four years ago. I used to play varsity at my high school but got busy once I got to college”. Andres reminisced on his high school years playing his favorite sport and decided to try it out, for old times’ sake. “I recently started playing again, with some friends and some family. Practicing whenever I feel like I want to get my mind off of things or I get bored”. Andres said it is almost like he never stopped, and the passion he once had was relit. “It is good exercise, and I am feeling happier and healthier for sure”.
The next student I interviewed, a third-year student, Mikell Mahan, opened up about her struggles with anxiety. She said, “I have a hard time dealing with my anxiety and that has been intensified even more during the pandemic”. This is something a lot of us can relate with. She goes on to explain the ways she is trying to combat this ever-growing anxiety: “I have been setting aside time to focus on doing yoga and meditating”. Mahan has turned to the internet to find inspiration in her yoga and meditation journey. “I have been watching Yoga with Adrienne on YouTube, and she is an amazing yoga instructor”. Turning to the internet is a smart idea! You can find tons of ideas and get inspired, while getting this kind of content for free, which is great for our student wallets.
The last student I interviewed was Gabriella Edwards, a third-year student. Edwards successfully started a business in 2020 called “Brellaluchi.” It has grown a lot and has become her main focus in her free time. She talked about what her business meant to her, saying “I definitely would say it changed my whole outlook on life. I guess I would say it brought more meaning.” Edwards is like other students in the way  that she has always worried about the future and what she was going to do: “As a student you just know you’re going to go to school and graduate, but still nothing is guaranteed.” Her business has provided purpose and has allowed her to stress less about her future.
I love what Edwards embodies and want to encourage people to take a leap of faith when it comes to their dreams. One thing we have learned from this pandemic is you never know what is going to happen. Like Edwards said, nothing is guaranteed. So why not get out of your comfort zone? Why not create a business, or start a blog, or make videos online? Now is especially the time for you to do what you want and make the most of these times.