We’re all being affected by the stress of COVID. Students have been worrying daily about the way that life will look in the future. These times may cause anxiety and social isolation can lead to loneliness and dependency on social media. Your classes may now be completely virtual, or you might be approaching the hybrid model with caution. Missing your friends and being stuck at home isn’t always easy. Homework is piling up and the procrastination levels during the school year have never been higher. Maybe you’re already sick of your siblings- or even your parents.
We’re all in the same boat. The stress is high. It’s a weird year, one filled with uncertainty and change, but there are always ways to cope with that stress.
Self-care is especially important now. Some people might see it as sitting down with a cup of tea and a book, while others see it as popcorn and a movie. Whatever it looks like for you, you should try to fit it into your schedule. Sometimes we need to make time for ourselves. It’s important to eat well, sleep well, and keep positivity in your life. It’s most likely easier said than done, but sometimes you just need to put your work down and understand your limits.
Limit your media
The news is daunting nowadays. The papers and media are all filled with how many COVID deaths there have been or the upcoming election. News channels are biased towards their own political affiliation which makes things even more confusing. If you’re going to watch TV, try to stay away from the news. It’s become toxic and unhealthy to be watching it 24/7. While it’s important to know what’s going on around you, it can get too much. Try to stay away from pandemic movies too, they might cause more anxiety.
Social media has become the main way to connect with friends, but it also has its toxic aspects. It’s ok to watch a few TikToks, chat with friends on Snapchat, and post on Instagram. But if you find yourself thinking about it a lot, try to put your phone down and go outside for a breather.
Find ways to focus
We’ve all felt unmotivated at some point in our lives. Now that there are fewer restraints on our schedules, that motivation tends to disappear. Establish a routine. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. This creates structure, and is conducive for motivation in your everyday life. If it’s difficult to focus because of family members, talk through the problem with them and explain how you are feeling. Allow yourself to stay in a focused area to work- one where there is minimal distraction.
Seek social interaction
Obviously, right now it’s hard to be with friends. A zoom “girl’s night”, discord voice chat for when you’re playing video games with your friends, or even sitting in an empty parking lot, six feet away from each other, will help encourage a sense of togetherness. It’s healthy to be with people- to be with friends. When you’re planning events, remember that it’s important to keep social distancing guidelines in mind. The barrier of a screen can be difficult to deal with, but it’s always important to check up on your friends every once in a while just to see how they’re doing.
Make time for your partner if you’re in a romantic relationship. Now more than ever relationships are being strained because of distance. If your parents won’t allow you to see your partner because of COVID, you can always plan FaceTimes or Zoom dinners. You can also send care packages and gifts.
There isn’t much we can do about the state of the world right now, but it’s important to remember that we can still take care of ourselves and our community. It’s important to keep ourselves healthy and strive for the best outcome. With all the uncertainty, we can only hope that this will end soon, but for now, we can still enjoy what we have.
Support your local businesses, from hair salons to restaurants, while also making sure you’re safe. Support your friends and family because they are also supporting you in every way that they can. But make sure there isn’t too much on your plate and that you have time to care for yourself.