World Mental Health Day

In October, we celebrated World Mental Health Day. This day made me realize that there are different ways people cope with stress. I thought I’d share a few of the ways I like to handle my mental health, as I get overwhelmed very easily and I worry about things I know I shouldn’t.

Fidget Toys and Coloring

During virtual school, when I get stressed out about assignments, I used fidget toys to help me calm down and relax. Fidget toys can be as simple as putty or slime or they make specific toys that help calm people down. Another thing that helps me clear my mind is drawing or coloring. Even if you’re not good at it, you can take coloring pages and just color them in for fun. I find that markers are the most relaxing writing utensil because of the way the ink spreads onto the paper.

Playing Video Games

If I’ve just had a stressful doctor’s appointment or a bad day at school, I like to play video games with my little brother. I started playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons during quarantine on my Nintendo Switch and it has made all the difference! It is so relaxing to travel to an island and create your own home. I play it nonstop and I find that whenever I’m stressed out, it helps calm me down. I also love to play cooking games on my Nintendo Switch.


Another thing I like to do to help me relax is baking. Not only is the process super relaxing, but I get to enjoy a yummy treat after. I like making all sorts of things. The most relaxing part of baking is decorating.

Reading a Book

Before bed, if I feel like I can’t fall asleep, I love to read a good book. It helps calm me down and I feel like I’m transported into another world as I read each page. Some people prefer reading on their phones or Kindle. To me, reading a good old fashion book is the best. I love going to the library with my little brother and picking out 20 books at a time to read.

Sometimes though, I just want to forget about everything and relax on my phone as any other teenager would. Whether it be scrolling through TikTok or playing Roblox, I feel all my stress melt away.

Talking with Friends or Family

An important thing that really helps me de-stress is talking to others. At least three times a week, I FaceTime a family member or friend and vent to them about everything that’s been happening. This helps me because I know that the person I’m talking to is listening and I can trust them with everything. With COVID-19, it’s been especially hard not being able to see loved ones, and this is another way to make it feel like they’re not so far away.

Going for a Walk

My final and favorite thing to do when I’m stressed is go outside for a walk. I use my Quantum Edge 3 Power Wheelchair with iLevel® technology and drive around my neighborhood. The fresh air helps calm me down and I love seeing all the pretty leaves as they’re changing during the fall. I hope after reading this, you get some ideas as to what to do when you’re feeling stressed. Mental health is so important and shouldn’t be ignored!

About Sakina Shamsi: Sakina lives in New Jersey with her parents and brother. Although she has spinal muscular atrophy type II, Sakina lives a full and independent lifestyle. She is active in the disability community and enjoys horseback riding, baking and crafting. Click here to learn more about Sakina.