Despite the world turning into the 90th season of Game of Thrones with all its unbelievable plot twists (killer wasps, Trump actually getting COVID-19 after spending most of the year furiously denying it, the 2020 Summer Olympics rescheduling and Hollywood celebrities admitting they are in fact, out of touch with that cursed Imagine cover video). It’s no wonder really that millennial women’s mental health is the pits.

Life, uh, finds a way – to quote Dr. Ian Malcolm from Jurassic Park and we all learn to survive in all the ways we can. As someone who has recently rejoined the workforce after a long furlough, I’ve learnt a lot about self-care during quarantine and what it means for a working-class person (especially a young, brown woman of color) with limited access to affordable mental health options.

Which is why I’ve put together a list of things that help me and (your mental health) with all that’s going in the world.

1. Following dank (and not dank) meme pages

I can’t describe the effect a great meme has on my body’s serotonin levels – maybe it’s a millennial/Gen-Z thing, but I’ve been spending the whole quarantine following meme pages like SaintHoax, Employeetears and wholesomememes on social media to give my mental health a break and that much needed daily laugh quotient.

Here’s a personal favorite of mine.

2. Listening to podcasts

I love a good podcast, in fact, I listen to podcasts more than I talk to my best friends (whoops). Listening to a podcast is so calming – I love when you find the one because that’s all you’re going to be listening to while at home, at the gym, at work (if you work in an earphone-friendly place) and while doing anything. 

I highly recommend Keep It by Crooked Media – it’s a podcast that examines everything from pop culture to politics, celebrity interviews and more. It’s available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher. The best part? It’s free for your mental health! 

3. Limit your social media use

Woman scrolling on Instagram using an iPhone smartphone
Attribution: [Woman scrolling on Instagram using an iPhone smartphone] Pexels
This has been said quite a bit, but we’re too connected to the world around us. There’s so much information available to us because of the Internet and social media platforms, while that’s amazing – it’s also very draining. As someone who works in social media professionally, I’ve had to learn how to reduce my use and force myself to take breaks from my phone for a few hours and on weekends (if possible) to maintain my mental health. 

Tip: try giving yourself 20-minute breaks from your social scrolling and then gradually increase the time frame over the week. You’ll find a big difference! 

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4. Re-read a favorite book or a fanfiction

Kindle and books on a brown table
Attribution: [Image description: Kindle and books on a brown table] via Pexels
I’m one of those people who have this huge love for books, and I end up doing this hilarious thing where I end up visiting the bookstore and picking up new books to read but never end up reading them. This pandemic has made me read all the books I have lying around my room and I’ve reread Meg Cabot’s Size 12 Is Not Fat series for the millionth time. 

I’ve also managed to go back and re-read my favorite Sailor Moon, Harry Potter and Naruto fanfictions which coincided with my series rewatch party. The best part? It’s free therapy and my mental health immediately gets a much-needed positivity boost.

5. Treat yourself to something nice

Person scrolling on ASOS shopping app
Attribution: [Image description: Person scrolling on a shopping app] Pexels
We all need a little pick-me-up at times which is why I make a habit of enjoying one splurge expense every month. I’m on a budget at the moment since my finances are recovering but I would strongly suggest you treat yourself to one nice thing in a month. 

Whether it’s getting your hair done, a manicure or even buying that dress you’ve been longing for, sitting in your shopping cart – I would suggest you do it because we all deserve to enjoy something that’s only for us and gives your mental health that much needed boost! 

6. Do a Zoom party with your besties 

Young woman chatting with her friends over video
Attribution: [Image description: Young woman in orange t-shirt chatting with her friends helps mental health] Pexels

I get by with a little help from my friends (actually a lot) and I’ve been relatively lucky in the pandemic because I’ve met only three friends (with precautions, of course). But we do fun activities over Zoom like playing online games, watching Netflix movies or even just chatting for hours on end. Mental health? Going up ✅

7. Adopt a self-care routine of choice

Using a Korean sheet mask for mental heath
Attribution: [Image description: Using a Korean sheet mask to improve mental health] Pexels
Self-care can’t really be self-care without doing something that will relax your mind and boost your mental health. I personally like to use scented candles, put on a Korean sheet mask and watch The Mummy.
Great right? Which is why we’ve put this great list of routines you can try here.
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  • Sharanya Paulraj is a third culture Gulf kid who aspires to be a writer and filmmaker. Sharanya loves taking photos, chatting about pop culture, memes and engaging in America's Next Top Model discourse. In an alternate universe, she ended up going to Area 51 to Naruto run and went viral.