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Mental Health

You Shouldn’t Feel Bad About Saying No to Things During COVID-19

It’s been around eight months since COVID-19 caused a lockdown in the United States. With many jobs and classes happening virtually, now more than ever, it’s easy to feel distant from those closest to you. The holiday season is rapidly approaching, and with it comes a stronger urge to be with loved ones. However, at this moment in time, there is nothing more important than doing everything in your power to keep your loved ones safe. 

There’s been a lot of mentions of your personal “bubble,” which refers to the people that you come into contact with on a regular basis. Even if you are attempting to keep your bubble small, it’s important to remember that everyone within your bubble has a bubble of their own. While you can’t control the people in your life, you can control what situations you choose to put yourself in. Everyone’s comfort level is different, and your individual comfort level is important. The fact of the matter is that if your loved ones really care about you, then they would be accepting and understanding of your comfort level. 

Photo by visuals on Unsplash

It can be hard to watch your friends constantly hanging out with one another, and social media can only amplify your emotions around this. Some people haven’t changed their social lives due to COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean that you should. You are always allowed to turn down any kind of invitation to hang out with friends, both with and without the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether you wish to turn down an invitation because you have a compromised immune system, you live with someone who has a compromised immune system or just because you wish to be cautious, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this.

sticky note that has "Stay home" written on it

While there are sometimes when it is necessary to be in a crowded space, like the grocery store, it’s important to remember that every time you leave the house, you’re running a risk. It’s important to continuously get tested if you have easy access to do so and to understand that a negative test doesn’t mean you couldn’t currently have the virus. With a large number of celebrities, as well as people in our everyday lives, continuously going out despite the current state of the world, it’s completely understandable that some people aren’t comfortable with seeing anyone. Along with the various levels of comfort levels in terms of going to events, everyone has their own comfort levels in terms of how they deal with people in their lives who are constantly disregarding the seriousness of COVID-19. 

Depending on where you live, there are different levels of guidelines that dictate how many people are even allowed to hang out. Sometimes it’s easy to feel like you’re obligated to go to people’s birthday parties, weddings or any other celebrations. However, COVID-19 doesn’t stop existing just because it’s someone’s important day. You shouldn’t feel bad about saying “no” to any invitations, and you don’t owe anyone a detailed explanation for your answer. Hanging out with anyone during a pandemic means you’re running the risk of contracting and spreading the virus. While there are ways to see people in a way that makes the safety of everyone involved a priority, it’s in everyone’s best interest to limit your social interactions.

Since we’ve been in a pandemic for as long as we have, people have started to get more lenient. However, it’s important to remember that just because you’re annoyed with the pandemic, that doesn’t make it go away. There are currently so many things that are out of our control, but you can control how much you put yourself at risk. There’s no need to feel guilty for being cautious. In fact, being cautious is the only way to ensure that there’s a way out of this pandemic. Just because you’re at a different place than the people around you doesn’t mean that you’re doing anything wrong. 

reuseable surgical mask with phrase \"don\'t panic\" on a pink letter board
Photo by Tonik from Unsplash

Since we’ve been dealing with the pandemic for so long, it’s understandable to get more lenient as time goes on. And if you find yourself uncomfortable with a proposed outing, there’s always the opportunity to encourage those around you to be more cautious. While some might think that you’re being too upfront with your loved ones, it actually reinforces the fact that you care deeply for them and want them to be safe.


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