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Kristen Bryant / Her Campus

No, I Didn’t Take Up a New Hobby and Here’s Why

Every time I go on my phone all I see are people on social media showing off their new hobbies that they’ve taken up or all the new recipes they have spent this time perfecting.

At first, I saw these posts and immediately thought of all the productive things I should do during quarantine.

I made plans to get back into cooking, paint, reorganize my room and to study for the LSAT. 

Pretty much, I planned to do everything I didn’t have time to do before.

But in doing months of neglected activities during a time that is already stressful, I found the tasks doing the opposite of what I intended them to do.

All these activities like painting and cooking are intended to be stress relieving, but to some people adding extra things to check off a list can add more pressure.

A day does not have to be chock full of productive activities for you to feel accomplished.

It’s OK to not feel up to trying new recipes and to start a workout routine.

During this time, when everything feels uncertain and like the world is upside down, it is OK to take time for yourself and to do what you need to, to feel right.

That’s why I’m here to reassure you that it’s OK to take time for yourself, especially if it includes these actions.  

Stay in your room all day 

Some days it can feel like too much to even get out of bed, which is understandable.

It’s hard now to take time for yourself when you need a mental health day, because college students still have the added pressure of school.

But with all that is going on in the world, when you start to feel yourself burnout, you can take comfort in taking time to yourself.

If you continue to push yourself when you’re burnt out, you will make yourself feel worse and your emotions will bubble up inside of you.

Everyone understands that what is happening in the world is strange and scary.

So, if you have to tell your professors or parents that you just need a day to do t take time to make sure that you are alright, do it.

I spent the other day in my room all day watching bad rom coms trying to distract myself from everything going on. 

Tune the world out 

Spending hours scrolling through social media and seeing everyone’s opinions and all the productive things they do during quarantine can be too overwhelming.

This is especially true when you are feeling swamped and like you can’t get anything done.

I’ve learned that it can be beneficial to your mental health to turn your phone off or to leave it in another room for even just an hour and do something else to take your mind off things.

It can be hard not to compare yourself to others; it’s human nature.

However, we have to acknowledge that people are different and they handle things in their own way.

A lot of people  want to connect with their friends through social media since they can’t be physically together anymore.

But some people need to be alone during this time and unplug.

Take time to yourself without your phone in your hand or the television on.

It can give you a sense of peace during a time when one might feel inundated with everything being broadcasted. 

Distract yourself 

While to some people unplugging and taking time to yourself is the best way to make sure they are OK during this time.

For others, they do need something to distract themselves.

I can be a very anxious person, and sometimes the best thing to do is to go on social media and just mindlessly scroll until I forget what I was even upset about in the first place.

But the way I choose to distract myself might be very different than what helps another person feel relaxed. This is the most important thing to remember.

We are not all the same, and if someone chooses to distract themselves by exercising more or by trying out elaborate recipes, it doesn’t mean this is the right or only way to distract oneself.

A whole variety of ideas for distracting yourself during this time, that can appeal to those who need time alone and those who need more structured activities to do, including starting a new show on Netflix, painting, taking naps, starting a new book series, doing zoom calls with a group of friends or doing nothing at all. 

The situation we are in is unprecedented.

Everyone is affected by what’s happening differently, and everyone needs to do various things to help them feel better during this time.

Even though what we see on social media makes it seem like we have time to be productive and to take on all these new hobbies, this is not true.

It’s OK not to be OK.

What’s important is that we check in with ourselves, ask for help if we ever need someone and to keep in mind that we all process and deal with things differently. 

Caroline is a fourth-year sociology major at the University of Florida. She is from south Florida and loves to travel, cook, read, and listen to true crime podcasts.
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