In the midst of today’s events regarding the COVID-19, many people are carrying out their social responsibilities by practicing social distancing, self-quarantine, and by following state-specific stay-at-home orders. While we stay inside, it is also important to take care of ourselves. Here are some tips and tricks that I have found helpful in maintaining some positivity during these times.
As a result of the current events regarding COVID-19, there are people who are facing disruptions of their everyday status quos. There are people who have had their lives put at risk while others have lost their loved ones. A million things have been closed and cancelled, and there is a lot of uncertainty when looking forward. College students are included in this frenzy of events.
During these times, it is important to think about all that we do have and the opportunities we were lucky enough to be a part of. If your family and you are in good health, that is something to be grateful for. There are many people who are not so lucky.
My naïve college-student-self was at first very upset by the news regarding a cancelled graduation ceremony. I felt as though I was missing out on something extremely important in my life. Now, I am simply grateful that I was lucky enough to afford a college experience, to learn and grow and meet people, and to be ready to move forward onto whatever comes next.
To dwell in everything that has been disrupted or cut short will not help make the day go any easier onto the next. Instead, it helps to think about all that we do have, the people we love, and the compassion we should be showing for others during this time.
As we continue to distance ourselves physically, it is important to remain connected to our loved ones. Luckily, we have many ways to stay connected: call, text, Snapchat, Facetime, Skype – make it happen!
We are able to check in on one another, so do it. Make sure you are showing your support to friends and family, staying informed and caught up regarding their health (mental and physical).
My mother has started to have group video chats with my siblings and I, showing us how to cook certain recipes. It has been extremely helpful to see and speak to them each day.
Limit your internet consumption
It is essential that we stay informed. I do so daily. However, it is also important not to sit on your phone reading news update after news update after news update, or posts and comments on the timelines of your Facebook or Twitter pages. Constantly reviewing negative content will likely add stress and anxiety to your life, so try to control what you can control.
Limit the number of sources you utilize for news updates, hit the appropriate button to individuals adding unnecessary content to your feed (unfollow, mute, block), and find some time to take in positive content.
Appreciate your household
Now is the time to get along with your housemates/significant others/relatives. If you don’t know your roomies very well, get to know them! You are stuck together, after all, but that shouldn’t have to be a bad thing. You have each other – company, companions going through the same things. You have a support group, so go on and support one another.
Make plans with them. If all are feeling well, start family-movie nights, group dinners, game nights, etc. Spend time together.
Also, communicate. In this situation, it is a good idea to remain open and honest with those who live with you, especially regarding expectations, health concerns, and other cohabitation topics. Make time with one another positive and fun.
Maintain a routine
Many of us have routines that we carry out day to day. Obviously, most of these routines will be disrupted by current events. Do what you can still do. If you like to wake up early and get some exercise, do it. If you like to read or cook at certain times of the day, make it happen.
Waking up only to move from your bed to your couch to watch TV may grow mind-numbing after day four. Make a plan to get things done and stick to it. Challenge yourself!
Try new hobbies
There is a lot we are unable to do at the moment, but that does not mean we are unable to try new things. In fact, now is a good time to try things you have not had the time to do before.
Want to get more physically fit? Start running. Look up work-out videos online. Start doing yoga with the roomies in the living room.
Want to enrich your perspective or jump into some escapism? Read some books, watch some documentaries, learn something new.
Live beyond yourself
Remember that you are not alone in your suffering or struggle. There are others who are experiencing the same things, and others who have far worse situations. What may help you avoid a world of self-pity is to think about other people and to show compassion.
Yes, I urge you to take care of yourself and acknowledge your emotions resulting from today’s and tomorrow’s events, but consider acts of selflessness. While making decisions such as social distancing, sanitizing and staying at home, you are doing your part for your own health as well as for the communities you are connected to. When feeling the call from self-pity, remember that we are acting together to protect everyone, including our parents, grandparents, roommates and their loved ones, and so on.
This pandemic will not last forever, but the compassion and care we have for the people around us certainly should. Let’s do our part to take care of each other and ourselves.