By Calvin Denson Lehman
Clearly, things have changed. Our lives have been upended. Friendships and activities have been left without closure. Everything is quiet and lonely. Many of us, myself included, have had to move back home. This is a troubled time, dear ones! But I am still here, still writing, and still willing to advise. If you have any problems (you probably do) or are desperate enough for human connection to consider being pen-pals, feel free to write in at firstname.lastname@example.org, or anonymously, at https://tinyurl.com/wla8k9a! As usual, I am not a licensed therapist, but I am stuck in my house for the foreseeable future, so I definitely have time for you. Feel free to ask me anything!
This week, however, I’m not answering any questions. I’m sure we’re all stressed. I’m definitely stressed. So this time, I’m providing some tips and tricks for surviving quarantine! Not physically, but emotionally.
- Stay connected! Obviously, you should follow the rules of social distancing and stay at home. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t continue to connect with your friends! Set up specific times to call them. Start playing video games or watching TV shows together. Use the resources we still have to stay in the loop. Your connections are more important now than ever before, especially if you’re physically isolated.
- Be creative! Is there a hobby you’ve been considering, but never had the time to try? Now is the time! Bust out those colored pencils! Dust off your sewing machine! Start reading again! It’s easy to fall into listlessness just sitting around the house and liking things on Twitter. I think you’ll be happier if you spice things up a little!
- Stay active! Get outside, if you can. Move around. Breathe fresh air! Even if you can’t change up your surroundings that much, every little bit helps. I’ve rediscovered the Just Dance games, and I’m playing them religiously.
- Practice self-care! In my opinion, this one is the most important. We’re being stretched thin right now. This is something none of us could have expected. It’s okay to be upset, to grieve what you have lost. It’s okay to cry if you need to. Be gentle with yourself. Take care of yourself. Watch your favorite childhood TV shows. Dress up, even if you’re not going anywhere. Have a tea party. Do your hair. Take some time to relax, try meditation on YouTube or take a nap. Run a bubble bath. Breathe.
We’re going to be okay. You are not alone in this situation, even if you’re alone in your room. This is an anxious time for a lot of people! And it’s understandable to be upset! But it won’t be this way forever. We’re going to get through this, one day at a time.
Stay healthy and stay safe.