2020, also known as “the year of the Rona”, has been dropping new bombs on us since January. From the death of Kobe “Bean” Bryant and his daughter Gianna, to losing our beloved Black Panther, Chadwick Bosman, Covid-19 has single-handedly wiped out our summer plans, cheap vacations, and beach excursions. With fall rapidly approaching, seasonal depression has already begun to set in for some, and the upcoming election (remember to register!) has added more onto our plates as we fear about the future of our country in more ways than one.
With everything that is going on, it is important to take care of yourself. As someone who has also struggled with mental health during this pandemic, here are a list of four things I always try to remember when facing different life obstacles:
Your Time is Coming, Be Patient
Social media will convince you that you must be successful before the age of 25, but this isn’t true. You don’t have to use this time for anything other than what you desire to do. Stop focusing on those that got new cars, made it into grad programs, or started their own businesses. That was their dream, it doesn’t have to be yours. Especially when you don’t know what they had to do to make it happen. Everyone’s journey is their own. Their successes do not dull your shine or make you inferior. Your time is coming, so continue to work towards it.
Accept What You Cannot Change
After this pandemic is over, understand that there will be a new normal. While it may feel like the world is over, it’s not. There are people that will never stop wearing masks, there are anti-vaxxers that would rather braid freshly cut grass than get the Covid-19 vaccine, hand sanitizer will be in everyone’s purse from here on out, and if you even think about coughing aloud, don’t. These are unfortunate changes, but also ones we have no control over and that’s okay. Life will go on, and as long as you're able to surround yourself with people who love and care about you (and doing so safely), then this new “normal” isn’t so bad.
Stay Connected by Disconnecting
Being on different devices has become tedious. There have been many times I scrolled on Twitter for a few minutes, locked my phone out of boredom, and then turned around and got back on twitter minutes later. Social media is a nice way of keeping up with others while doing some extreme social distancing, but try connecting with the people in your household. There are many stories of people finding out more about their significant others and even siblings just by being on lockdown with them. We didn’t always have electronics, so think back to what you would do as a kid to entertain yourself. Tap into your creative side and explore what there is to offer offline.
Time seems to fly, but you have to stay grounded! Had dreams of writing your own book? Go for it. Starting a podcast or Youtube channel, learning to slay a lace front, or even establishing a workout routine are all things you have time to do that you might not have before. This pandemic has slowed the world by closing stores and taking away our various luxuries. Prioritize the things that matter and maybe learn something new. No you can’t exactly go out the way you want, but that doesn't mean you have to feel “trapped” in your house.
You’re Still You, Even In a Pandemic
You lost your spare time, not yourself. You are still you! Beautiful, intelligent, and destined for greatness. The world changed, but you didn’t. Ground yourself in the things that make you happy and try not to dwell on the things that don’t. When there is an interruption in our routine, it has the ability to throw us off. Just continue to remind yourself that this is temporary. We can’t control what happens in the future, but we can control ourselves and what we do now. One day, things will be under control and it will all go back to “normal”. In the meantime, continue to flourish.