Dealing with the COVID Blues
Updated: Jan 21, 2021
It's December - the final month of 2020. From devastating wildfires, to police brutality, to a global pandemic, 2020 has been nothing short of disastrous to say the least. We're all saying "hallelujah" to the end of one pretty traumatic year. However, we know the end of 2020 doesn't come with the end to our problems - the biggest being...can you guess?...COVID. Wouldn't it be nice if January 1st, poof, the world was back to normal? Don’t we all wish. So, how is everyone handling this widespread virus running rampant?
Everyone has been affected by COVID - whether you're rich, poor, educated, non-educated, black, white...every single person's life has changed from this pandemic. For some, it has taken more of a toll than others. It hit many of us hard in March when the world was literally shutting down and we were forced to sit in our houses and wait the devil out. None of us have ever experienced something like this in our lifetime, so it doesn't come as a shock that many of us are...well...unwell.
Some went weeks or months without seeing a single person, some were stuck in close quarters with big families. Whether you're an introvert or extrovert, this wasn't an easy feat. Our social lives were killed, and if you're an introvert, your space was intruded on. Space? Not an option. Need a break? There's nowhere to go!
Many of us have dealt with all of the feels. The sadness, the loneliness, the waiting game that just still hasn't come to a close. Some of us have lost people to this virus, some of us have gotten it ourselves. Some of us know healthcare workers who have busted their asses for nine months and have risked their own lives to help those around them.
The worst part of this, personally, has been no end date. No day we can mark on our calendars so that we can count down the days to when our lives can return to the pre-COVID days. Will we ever even return to something resembling pre-COVID days? Is there hope for that? Will the vaccine make this possible?
There are so many questions. And in the wake of winter, many of us are beginning to spiral once again as we inch closer and closer to a more lock-down state. While spring and summer brought outdoor options for gatherings, us New-Englanders at least are huddled back in our homes and limiting exposure once more.
And, so we continue to wait. But how do we deal with these roller coasters of emotions that COVID sparks?
1. Call a Friend
No matter your living situation, make sure you are making time to socialize - even if this is through the phone. So many of us have felt the severe effects of loneliness through this, and one of the best things you can do for your mental health is keep in close contact with those who you love most, whether this is a friend, family member, or partner. And no, don't just text them - pick up the phone and call or, even better, FaceTime so you can get as close to in-person interaction as possible.
2. Get Moving
I know. COVID has made many of us just want to sprawl out on the couch day after day, changing from our nighttime pajamas to our daytime ones. But we all know that we always feel better once we get our bodies moving - whether this is taking a walk, doing an online yoga class, or lifting weights in your garage, keeping your endorphins up is essential in helping not only your physical health but mental health as well.
3. Practice Self Care
It's easy to have your self-care routine fall off in the midst of a crisis. But one thing we all need to remember is that to get through this, we all need to take care of ourselves, whatever that looks like for you. Some self care tips that I find helpful are journaling your thoughts, making your favorite foods (and not feeling guilty for indulging in these), and doing at least one thing that you love each day; whether that is painting a picture, watching your favorite show, or reading a good book, just do something that makes you feel good.
4. Remind Yourself that this is Temporary
I know it feels like this is never-ending, but collectively worldwide, we are doing everything in our power to get a grip on this virus. There will come a day when this is not as not as bad as it is right now - whatever that may look like. We may have to continue wearing masks for a bit, and still take precautions, but there will come a day when we get to reunite with friends and family, travel the world, and go back to school. Remind yourself of this often.
5. Give Yourself Grace
Like I said, we've all really been through it this year. It doesn't matter if you didn't find love, didn't graduate college, or didn't pursue your dream job this year. If all you did this year was survive, then you should be proud of yourself. You managed to get through your worst days and you're still standing, still pushing through, still hoping for better days. It's okay to be sad, it's okay to cry, scream into a pillow, and watch the Notebook 47 times. Whatever you need to do, do it, and don't feel guilty for it.
Although our stories differ, we are all in the same boat. We are all praying in anticipation for what 2021 has to offer, but in the meantime, take care of yourselves and deal with the COVID blues how you need to. And if you need some reminders on some of the positives that this virus has brought us, head over to She Will Speak for my blog on some of COVID's hidden blessings. Sending love and positivity to all those reading this and I will see you in my next post. ♥