Browse By

Jas & Jenna Explore Mental Health Tips During Quarantine

JENNA: Hello my name is Jenna Valentine and along side my friend BFF Jas we decided to give some advice on handling your well being during the world’s current events. We’re not doctors or mental health experts but we are two mentally unwell SW who are living in a time of crisis and want to offer our advice during this time.

JAS: please enjoy me givin the ol’ razzle dazzzle

It’s okay to feel however you’re feeling right now. There are no right or wrong emotions to have.

JAS: we are currently experiencing something none of us could have anticipated or planned on. It’s ok to feel disappointed or low energy, or feel the need to take more breaks than usual. The world is a very different place to exist in right now, and your emotional response to this is valid! Take time to identify and process your emotions as they come, but you don’t have to fight these emotions. Find ways to take care of yourself with these new limitations and understand it’s ok to sometimes do nothing at all

JENNA: Jas is right, none of us have ever gone through something like this. There is no right or wrong answer on how to feel. There are days I have taken a dramatic crying shower and can’t get out of bed. There are other days where I feel as normal as I can for this moment in time. The best thing to focus on is you aren’t doing anything wrong and everything your feeling isn’t wrong.

“I’m not feeling creative, and/or I can’t focus”

JENNA: This has been my entire brand since I was born, but joking aside this is for SURE a huge issue and stressor for me regarding Covid. I wake up most of the time with brain fog. I cannot focus, I don’t want to shoot or come up with any creative ideas. My brain is in PURE panic mode 24/7 and my anxiety/minor OCD is kicking in. I decided to shoot ONCE a week, Friday or Saturdays. If I don’t shoot these days, I don’t beat myself up over it. Even Jas told me to take a timeout the other day when legit everything went wrong, (my phone tripod broke and I cracked my phone all at once). However, once I start creating I feel inspired and I will go all day once I find my zone. My point is: it’s OK if you are not feeling it. Don’t force it. What helped for me was making a list of content I wanted to shoot and what site it was for. Even if I check off 4 things off my list, I felt accomplished and can do the rest at a later date.

JAS: Breaks are important! if it feels like everything is going wrong, it’s usually a sign you need to take a step back and do something to recenter yourself. Finding inspiration can be difficult even in the best of times. Ask yourself, what do you WANT to shoot? Making profitable content is of course very important, but sometimes to get yourself into the groove again, you need to shoot something you sincerely want to produce. And who knows, what started off a something you do for yourself may end up being very profitable after all. People recognize passion, let yourself create the content you want to see. The rest will start to fall into place once you get the ball rolling.

JENNA: I wanted to make an inappropriate funny about get the ball rolling but I have brain fog

JAS: just a ball rolling in the fog. poetry.

JENNA: That’s VERY Rupi Kaur of you.

Limit social media and news

JAS: This might sound hard or even impossible considering social media is our only way to connect with the world right now. but taking social media breaks are more important now than ever before. if you really need to scroll, make “happy” alternate accounts! I have an alternate IG and twitter that only follows things that make me feel good or excited. This way I can still feel connected to the world without having to inundate myself with the latest sex work drama or constant aggressive competitive nature of our industry, or the whirlwind of tragic news. Also: don’t be afraid to mute or unfollow people who make you feel bad. Following every successful performer is fine but if it starts to make you feel bad about yourself, consider seeking out other content creators who make you feel uplifted rather than insecure. As for news, try to limit how much you’re taking in, and avoid getting into arguements with people who will never change their minds or simply just want to rile you up and waste your time.

JENNA: HELLO THIS IS SOMETHING I’M WORKING ON. I will fully admit, even in CAPS LOCK, I have a full on problem putting my phone down. I love to touch my phone. I go into wormhole google searches which just lead me down straight to panic. I limit my news every day as much as I can. Please, don’t get me wrong. It is absolutely crucial to be informed about what’s happening. However, there is an absolute difference to being informed and just stressing yourself out more. I love the points Jas made about our line of work. It’s competitive and sometimes we do feel jealous about someone else doing better than us, even if we at the same time feel happy for that person. These feelings are normal, but you have to let yourself heal from those feelings. Give yourself a break, it’s OK. Last night I refused to touch all my content sites and I made myself watch 2 hours of Nailed It so I can focus on people making ugly cakes instead.

JAS: allowing yourself to disengage and watch people be bad at cake is a perfect break at a time like this.

JENNA: I went through my instagram archive to find this :

JAS: I love that scary cake man.

Somewhat of a Routine May Help

JENNA: Hear me OUT! “A routine? During COVID? That’s stupid Jenna I want to play Sims 4 until I pass out on top of my computer” OK SORRY, I am obsessed with Sims 4 right now but here’s the thing: having a schedule currently is making me feel more “normal” or tricking my brain into thinking we’re more normal. Waking up at the same time every day, working out, eating breakfast and showering before 4pm is actually helping me feel better. I know this varies from person to person, but I feel LESS guilty playing Sims 4 for hours and hours at a time being sucked into their adorable little corona free world if I have already accomplished parts of my schedule to the best of my ability. It might help you to have a list of things you want to do the next day. Write it out before the day before and try your best to get it done. Didn’t accomplish everything? No worries! There’s always tomorrow.

JAS: Routines can really help provide you a sense of normal. And guess what? Having a routine can mean whatever you want it to. Since time doesn’t exist anymore, beating yourself up over being productive during a certain time frame isn’t needed. For me personally, my routine starts whenever I wake up. I have a daily list of things I like to follow, and sometimes that routine starts at 8am and sometimes it starts a 1pm. What’s important is that you’re doing what works for you. If getting up at the same time every day is what you need, then by all means do that!! But you don’t have to say “screw it” because you woke up at noon, and you keep waking up at noon, and now you’re in an aimless cycle. My “morning” routine is sacred to me, and I make sure I get that self-care wakeup boost regardless of when I decide to start my day. Go easy on yourself! Let yourself have a 2pm morning if that’s what it takes to get your day going.

JENNA: Jas sometimes my morning routine is me waking up at 9am and touching my phone and petting my cats for over 2 hours until I forget I have other things to do.

JAS: hey it’s a valid morning routine if it makes you happy and gives you some sense of normalcy!

JENNA: here’s a photo of the cats because it’s important.


Helpful Things To Do When You’re Feeling Bad

JAS: This answer will be different for everyone, but for me my most successful solution to this is meditation. I typically meditate anywhere from 20-40 minutes a day! Occasionally I just get a good 5 minutes in when I first start my day. But if something happens that sets me off, like I have a bad social interaction or something just isnt going right, I put on my headphones, open up my meditation app (Insight Timer is my favorite) and I recenter myself. Usually after a good 10 minutes or so I’m back to being my funloving self. Oh yea, and meditation doesn’t have to be just sitting on the floor with your legs crossed. If that’s too rigid for you, try laying down and doing some Autogenics, or try meditation while doing yoga/stretching. For me a big part of this is sensory deprivation, so an eye mask and a comfy pair of headphones go a long way.

JENNA: HELLO LEO HERE, I love self care! LOVE IT! I agree with Jas, this will be different for everyone. Mine is changing my sheets, taking a shower, then laying on my clean sheets with my extra squeaky clean flesh prison. I also love dramatic candle lit baths, watching a movie that will make me cry (Edward Scissorhands anyone?), doing my extensive skin care routine, and eating a dessert.

JAS: all of that sounds delightful. would you eat a dessert from Nailed It?

JENNA: I have never said no to a cake in my life, even if it has that weird melty man on top of it.

Maintain Social Connections

JENNA: Before Covid if someone Facetimed me I would scream and press deny. Now I cannot stress how important it is to talk to your loved ones and see them face to face on the phone. I’ve been home since March 15th with absolutely no in person contact. No boyfriend, no best friends, no family. It’s been ROUGH. As much as I’m a homebody not having these regular interactions is really affecting my mental health., Face timing and being in contact with everyone has helped a bit. I even downloaded an app called “House Party” which I cannot recommend enough. You can play games and see each other at the same time.

JAS: I couldn’t agree more about the facetime, I used to HATE it. like… I would literally never answer a facetime call. Now I love it. Reach out to your friends!!! Play a game together, get on facetime. My friends and I have made a point to do a group facetime every Tuesday night and it’s the highlight of my week. Make plans with someone to have a facetime party or date that you can look forward to. You don’t have to give up your social life just because you’re stuck at home, and I bet your friends would be happy to see you on their little pocket screens

JENNA: my friend Sara keeps FaceTiming me after an edible kicks in and I feel like this:

JAS: I think that is my favorite look of yours

You do not have to come out of quarantine with a new hobby or a new talent. Whatever you do during your time is okay

JAS: our society is obsessed with productivty, there’s no denying that. But if you haven’t become an expert violinist during this time or you haven’t written the next great literary masterpiece, that’s totally ok. You’re not on a sabbatical, it’s a pandemic. Do your best to take care of yourself. We are all just trying to get by, and you should only take on a new big project or hobby if you really want to. But not because you think that’s what’s expected of you. Don’t beat yourself up for trying things and deciding you hate it or you just don’t have the mental capacity right now. Despite what some might want you to believe, these are *not* ideal conditions for productivity.

JENNA: I don’t know why people are putting this insane idea that we have to a traumatic event with a new skill. Sure, am I happy I am learning not to burnt toast? SURE but if anyone expects any new hobby or skill out of you because you were stuck inside for months those people can legit fuck right off. There are no rules on how to handle yourself in a pandemic or how to manage your time. Do you want to play Animal Crossing for 4 hours one day and then binge eat a pizza? Sounds great. If someone put a puzzle in front of me right now I would hulk smash it.

JAS: I have a new custom video request regarding a puzzle

JENNA: that sounds like a nightmare dude

JAS: we hope that if nothing else, this has helped make you feel a little less alone!

JENNA: UNTIL NEXT TIME! (I’m so awkward)

More Self-Care Toolbox Articles

Sultry Sitara on Handling Microaggressions
TricksTreats on Sex Worker Safety
Maggie McMuffin on Spotting, Preventing, and Healing Burnout