By Nevaeh Gable, 8th Grade Student

The pandemic has been challenging for everyone. With limited things to do I had a lot of time on my hands and could see how the first few weeks of isolation were taking a toll on myself, my family and my friends. So, my dad and I decided to take action and flip any sort of negative energy we had burning in our brains into something positive.

Working on our mental health takes time and, unfortunately, journaling and meditating isn’t for everyone. Luckily, 52 Card Pick Me Up is. That’s the affirmation card game my dad and I created during quarantine. It’s a playful spin on a game you might have played when you were younger called 52 Card Pick Up, where someone throws a deck of cards into the air and tells another person to clean it up. Well, our game is a little bit different.

There are four suits: Affirm, Act, Feel and Need. Each category has 13 colorful cards with different words on them. For instance, the Act suits have cards that include the words ‘have grace’ and ‘smile.’ If you pull one of those cards in the morning, hopefully it resonates with you and maybe you’ll refrain from honking your horn at someone taking too much time to cross the road. Instead, the card that you chose earlier in the day that said ‘smile’ might pop in your mind and you’ll choose patience and to show some pearly whites instead.

The suit labeled Need will give ideas on things you need to help in one way or another. For example, the card that says ‘exercise’ comes to mind. When you get the choice to plop down on the couch to watch TV or take the dog for a walk, your dog is probably going to win. But don’t get me wrong, not all of the cards spark emotions similar to that of puppies and rainbows. Some have the words ‘anxious’, ‘excited’ and ‘angry’ in hopes of creating a positive mindset that will help you work through those emotions should they occur throughout the day.

So, how is the game actually played? I personally like to choose two cards from each suit every morning and see which ones resonate with me. I’ll them keep those in mind and when certain circumstances happen throughout the day, my brain reverts to remembering the cards I pulled and, in most cases, end up reacting differently than I normally would. This is a good thing.

52 Card Pick Me Up can benefit people of all ages. Little kids can start to learn the words and what they mean, putting them in a better place than a lot of adults. Teenagers can help identify what they’re feeling and how to best move forward with tough emotions. Adults have so much to worry about that they rarely have time to work on their mental health and the cards are a simple and easy way to check in with themselves. And finally, the elderly can use this affirmation card game because no matter how wise older people might be, there is always room to grow.

During quarantine, my mental health and relationships haven’t been great, and I often don’t know what I’m feeling or what I can do about any of it and end up either exploding later or just being frustrated. Since I started drawing the cards, I’ve become more aware of what I’m feeling and am able to easily identify the best ways to handle my emotions. 52 Card Pick Me Up has really helped me keep clear of the dark side and I believe it will bring a lot of light to your life too.

If you’d like to help me on my entrepreneurial journey and work on yourself too, visit