Staying healthy means taking care of both physical and mental well-being


Rell Uehara, contributing artist

Staying healthy is so important especially during this time. Illustration contributed by Rell Uehara.

Archer Liang, Staff Writer

You’ve stared at your iPad in the same spot for 6 hours a day, 5 days a week, and you’re worried about your health.

Better health is vital to our happiness, well-being and economy. Healthy populations are more productive, live longer and save more, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

“A lot of us aren’t as active as we were, we walk less, we don’t have PE classes or sports, so it’s important to keep up our physical health since it affects mental health and our school performance,” said senior Brandon Lum.

English Language Development (ELD) teacher Bella Congdon said mental health is more important because it determines how happy we are.

What should being healthy look like?

“I think being healthy is a combination of physical [health] and mental [health], they are both linked to each other so you cannot have one without another,” said sophomore Gabe Theriault.

Mid-Pacific teachers and students shared what they do to stay healthy during COVID-19.

“Eat well; sleep well; do things I love and work hard, be kind,” Congdon said.

Mid-Pacific health teacher Michele Miyamoto said being healthy is both taking care of your mind and your body.

“I think being healthy is having a balanced diet as well as a sleep schedule, and limiting the stress you put on your body,” said Lum.

What should a healthy diet look like?

“A healthy diet should be satisfying, high fiber, and contain balanced protein, grain, fruits, vegetables, and don’t forget your dairy,” said Miyamoto.

Lum said his favorite healthy meal is vegan curry, which is made of tofu, curry paste and vegetables.

“We like to make Pho. The noodles and the soups are really nice and have no MSG when we make it. It has a lot of vegetables and herbs, we like to put lemon juice at the end too, it also has meat and noodles that are really light,” said Congdon.

Sophomore Shuang Liang baked sourdough croissant; he enjoyed the process of making croissants. Croissant is made of croissant dough and a lot of butter, it’s less balanced, less satisfying but tastes super good. (Photo by Archer Liang)

 When Congdon’s husband has time, they often make their own pho at home with clean soup and a lot of vegetables and herbs.

“It is important to watch your snack intakes because even though some snacks are healthy, mindless eating results in calorie add up. Especially when most of us stay at home, we use less energy,” said Miyamoto.

Congdon said she would be proud of herself when she made healthier food choices than a not balanced meal, like croissant.  

What should being fit look like?

Miyamoto said exercising is always good as it burns calories and produces endorphins that make us feel good and happy.

“The US standard workout time is 60 minutes  per day for teenagers, but during COVID-19,  squeezing in a 30 minute workout per day is enough,” said Miyamoto.

According to the article from University of Rochester Medical center, “Exercise and Teenagers,” working out improves a teenager’s blood circulation, lowers stress, and boosts energy.

“Please do some exercises, whatever you enjoy doing the most. I cannot imagine sitting in front of the computer all day, all night maybe, to do assignments and repeat for a long time. I always go swimming, if I can. I don’t want to tell everybody to go out and swim, but I generally pick a beach that not so many people know,” said Congdon. 

How to be healthier mentally?

Miyamoto said stress and pressure often affects her students, especially when in this isolated environment. New students also struggle to make friends during COVID-19.

Avoid putting too much expectations on yourself, don’t compare yourself with someone else in another situation, if you need a break but your peers don’t, take that break,” said Lum.

Theriault’s amount of hours sleeping went from 9 hours to 7 hours over the course of quarantine.

“I make sure I do something outside everyday and I try to sleep more,” said Theriault.

Miyamoto said her parents are getting frustrated and nervous when they watch a lot of news.

“It’s good to know what is happening, but watching too much news makes people nervous and anxious,” said Miyamoto.

What should we avoid?

“[We should avoid] Staying inside all day, it’s a bad thing, if I only sit all day, my mind is slower and I physically feel heavy,” said Theriault.

Miyamoto said we should avoid too much screen time, excluding school work and school time, but instead limit video games, social media, and movies which add up fast. Too much screen time does not only hurt our minds, it also hurts our body.

“Take care of yourself, don’t give up, and be patient,” said Miyamoto.