The Importance of Self Care During Uncertain Times


Courtesy of Western Oregon University

With many unprecedented and uncertain events happening in 2020, students should find ways to incorporate self-care into their lives to improve their overall well-being.

Danielle Huizar, Photojounalist

As students look through their phones, social media, or the news, they see a myriad of uncertain and exasperating events. In recent times, the Blue Ridge Fires forced many Yorba Linda High School students and staff members to evacuate from their homes, the COVID-19 pandemic surpassed 10 million cases in the United States, and the 2020 Presidential Election’s elongated process caused anxiety nationwide. With all of these stressful events taking place, self-care and mental health must be prioritized.


The Blue Ridge Fires caused around 10,000 people, primarily living in Yorba Linda, to evacuate from their homes ( Students like Amber Han (11) had to evacuate from the fires, and she claims that she “absolutely felt anxious,” but tried “to stay as positive and composed as possible.” A study shows that those who are affected by fires or other natural occurrences had a greater chance of “psychological trauma, depression, and ongoing health ailments ranging from anxiety and loss of sleep to respiratory problems associated with wildfire smoke” (


COVID-19 has impacted the world to a great extent. From shutdowns to an increase in mental illness, there has not been much good that has come out of the pandemic. This pandemic added extra stress, fear, anxiety, and loneliness to everyone’s lives, especially in teenagers, with possibly negative changes in eating patterns and sleep patterns, an increased chance of substance abuse, self-harm, mood changes, and much more (  


During a normal election year, the United States would know the election results on Election Night; however, because of the excess of mail-in ballots due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the election extended for almost a week without definitive results. With a variety of problems plaguing the nation currently like the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, the economy, racism, etc., this year’s election is crucial to the future trajectory of our nation. Because of these considerable issues in the United States, around 56% of people felt stressed out about the election, and symptoms of anxiety were 3 times as prevalent compared to the corresponding period in 2019 ( 


As you can tell, these events and situations have multiple adverse effects on mental health; therefore, it is important to prioritize self-care especially right now. Self-care is defined as the practice of caring for your physical, emotional, and psychological well-being. Self-care increases self-awareness which is beneficial to those who suffer from a mental health problem, as it allows people to find ways to cope with problems they may deal with and take part in activities that can “soothe negative symptoms of a mental illness or stress, or simply bring you pleasure or relaxation” ( 


Self-care can be categorized into six main groups: emotional self-care, physical self-care, mental self-care, social self-care, practical self-care, and professional self-care. Emotional self-care is a way to check in with your emotions and ways to practice this form of self-care include journaling about your emotions, going to therapy, using positive affirmations, and meditating. Physical self-care calls for strengthening your physical well-being and two main ways to practice this type of self-care are by exercising and by resting. Mental self-care includes ways to stimulate your mind such as listening to a podcast, finding new hobbies, reading a book, and writing a story. Social self-care involves nurturing relationships, so playing a video game with your friends and having discussions with your parents are great ways to practice this type of self-care. Practical self-care includes ways to accomplish your needs, and examples include meal prepping, cleaning your room, and organizing your papers. Professional self-care incorporates ways to be successful yet balanced in school or your career such as taking breaks from homework, taking necessary mental health days, and taking classes that can develop your skills (


Yorba Linda High School’s Self Care Club promotes mental health awareness and gives students opportunities to practice self-care. The board hosts activities such as a talking circle where students can talk about their problems, meditation, games, and a group of people they can socialize with every other week. Self Care Club has a very active social media presence where they provide ways to practice self-care and post-meeting information (@selfcareclubylhs on Instagram).


Self-care is crucial during these current tumultuous times. Although your mental health may not be the best right now, there is a multitude of ways to improve it. As we continue into this unpredictable year, find ways to take care of yourself, and incorporate self-care into your daily routine.