“I’m just feeling so…STUCK!” I vented to my best friend (through a text message, of course). Within 4 days, COVID-19 had wrecked my plans for at least the next couple of months.
Now, I’m isolated from my friends and school community, while managing the burden of 15 hours of online classes and worrying about a global virus. You probably know exactly how that feels; everyone is in a similar boat right now. It’s enough to drive anyone crazy. But the good news is that we’re not alone and there are ways to make this more bearable.
So how do you stop feeling like COVID-19 is holding you hostage? Here are four things that have helped me:
(1) Breathe. Take a moment to let yourself pause. Set aside dedicated time to stop and rest. I’ve started doing yoga and having self-reflection each day. Having time that is intentionally set aside to be a quiet moment is important to regaining balance in an unbalanced time.
(2) Try something you’ve never had time for. Develop new interests! Even if you don’t pursue them further, it’s a way for you to gain new experiences while you stay inside. I’ve begun learning a second language, developing new chess strategies and trying new recipes. If you feel like giving something a shot, go for it! What do you have to lose?
(3) Get creative. Take time to express your feelings. Whether that’s journaling, painting, or making music, be sure to acknowledge what you are feeling. It’s okay to be experiencing worry and sadness. Instead of just trying to move past them, allow yourself to express them in a creative way.
(4) Celebrate the little victories. No matter how you’re feeling, you are doing well simply by choosing to persevere. This is an unprecedented time of change, and you are moving through it in the best way you know how. Celebrate the little things you accomplish; whether it’s getting out of bed in the morning or taking a final exam. You deserve a chance to recognize the good things you’ve done. A little celebration can look however you want it to. Maybe it’s making brownies. Maybe it’s watching your favorite show. As long as it brings you joy, go for it! You deserve it.