One thing is for sure, I don’t think anyone expected 2020 to shape up like this when that New Year’s Eve ball dropped at midnight. It seems January 1st was so long ago. Everything has changed. School days have turned into distance learning, long hours at the office turned into working from home, hectic weekend schedules filled with sports turned into more hours than you know what to do with.
It has definitely been a trying time for me mentally. The anxiety of the unknown has definitely had my mind and emotions all over the place, and I know I’m not alone. Through trial and error, I found some things that have helped ease some of that anxiety. If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, I hope some of these tips and tricks work for you as well.
Listening To Music
I’m so grateful that my husband got me Air Pods for Christmas. There have been countless times that I’ve just had to tune everything and everyone out and just listen to some upbeat music. I mean, how can you not be in a good mood when listening to Dance Monkey or Bohemian Rhapsody? If you’re having a rough time, put on your headphones and blast some music that has always made you feel like dancing. It’s an instant mood lift.
I used to journal a lot in high school and college, but then life got in the way. I got too busy. Now, I’m the complete opposite of busy. I started journaling through this pandemic. While I don’t do it every day, the days that I do it helps. There is something about getting your thoughts down on paper that makes you free of them. For me, it’s also a way to get to my true feelings. I tend to keep a lot of things bottled up inside, and as I’m writing, everything just starts to flow out. It’s a great relief to write those feelings down and then put them away. It relieves the burden on your mind.
Stick With What’s Comforting
In stressful times I always try to go back to what gives me comfort. These can be TV shows, movies, or my favorite bands. There have been nights where all I did was watch my favorite episodes of Friends just to have the comfort of knowing what happens next. I started watching The Twilight Saga again, this time with my daughter. I’m a big Queen fan, so I watch their Live Aid concert on YouTube. All these things are old and familiar to me. They provide me comfort. Find things that bring you comfort. Whether that be rewatching your favorite movie from when you were a kid. Reading your favorite book. Or go back to binge-watching The Tiger King (seriously what is ACTUALLY going on in that show?!).
It’s Ok to Not to Be Ok
Finally, acknowledge that this is a hard trying time in our lives. Your feelings have value. Even if those feelings go against what everyone is telling you to feel. Validate your feelings. Allow yourself to feel sad and grieve. Allow your children to grieve and vent their frustration to you. No one wants to be stuck in the house all day, isolating themselves from their family, friends, and the entire world. No one wants to see awful news stories of the number of people sick climbing. It’s ok to be sad or mad. It’s ok to cry. It’s ok to laugh. It’s ok to feel.
What are you doing to cope during COVID-19?