Y’all we are all in some interesting times. While everyone is panicking and stocking up on all the essential items, it is so easy to get caught up in this and feel like there is nothing left to do.
For those of you who were supposed to graduate this year at some point, it can feel really overwhelming and hopeless- at the same time. It’s like all this hard work that was going to pay off, somehow is being put on hold because of this virus.
I don’t need to go into any more detail about how terrible it is and how it affects us in so many ways, you can pull up the news and social media to read more about that.
What I want to talk about in this blog post, is how we can shift our perspective and therefore focus on the things that we can do, in the midst of this crisis we are having. So this blog post will be broken up into 2 parts: What you can do and things to keep in mind. Let’s get started!
So before I even begin, I want to stress the importance of focusing only on what you can control. With everything that is going on, trying to control everything makes you lose focus on the things that matter and the depth of things that you can do.
What You Can Do
Here are some things you can do during this shelter in place.
Learn a new skill
Whether that be cooking, learning a new language, or learning how to dance!
Right now, I’m currently learning how to speak Portuguese on my own time through apps like Duolingo.
At the start of the new year, I also began dance classes at a Dance studio. I started learning all ballroom dances, which has been really cool! What my dance studio is doing now is they are conducting Zoom video conferencing for the lessons.
You could also look for any and all ballroom dancing videos on Youtube. You can log on and teach yourself how to dance hustle,swing, tango (both Argentine AND American!), Bachata, Salsa, you name it, it’s out there!
Keep a journal. With what’s going on, this is the time to really be in tune with yourself. We are taking on a lot more responsibility and figuring out how we can help not just ourselves, but our families as well.
It’s really important to keep a document of this because I think this is one of those moments where we’re all gonna be like “Hey remember that time when coronavirus was a thing?”
I don’t know about you, but I always like looking back at old moments in time. Truth be told, I sometimes look and read through my old journal from high school and I get chills!
Granted, high school troubles are nothing like the times we’re living through now, but I did go to school around the time that hurricane Sandy hit. Nevertheless, I documented a good bit about that.
Reading is one of my favorite things to do! I haven’t been able to read this semester because I’ve been busy with classes and interning.
However, since school’s been cancelled and my internship no longer has hours for me, I can catch up on reading anytime I’m not catching up on schoolwork.
Reading can not only open up new worlds for you, but it can also help you become well-spoken. So who knows if after this pandemic you’ll come out more eloquent in the way you speak and carry yourself!
Binge on Netflix
There’s a ton of shows you could binge watch so there isn’t much to explain here.
Be there for your family
As I’ve said before, this is a tough time for all of us. In some way, for some of us who go to school far from home, it feels weird to even co-exist with the same people we tried to get away from.
This is a time where we need to get used to our new living arrangement. If you’re like me, and you live at home with family, it can be hard to sometimes realize that you need to focus on what you can do for your family. The way I see it is, their needs come first.
Being in the young demographic is a huge advantage for me because the virus isn’t as common in people my age, as it is in people who are in their 50s and 60s.
What I’m saying here is, whether you’re working from home or catching up on schoolwork, be open and ready to help out your family. The way we can get through this pandemic, is by being present to each other and communicating with each other.
This may be a good time for you to sit down with your parents, family members and spend some quality time with them. So put your phones down and make the most of those times together.
Hangout with friends (But with a twist!)
Y’all the power of technology allows us to have the amazing opportunity to connect with our friends near and far, right from the comfort of our own rooms!
I present… VIDEO CHATTING!
Pick a time and decide to meet through Skype, FaceTime or Zoom! It is so easy to connect with friends. For me, this has been one of my many highlights during this time. I hope this encourages you to look for some creative ways to meet up with your friends.
Things to Keep in Mind
Look, I get feeling hopeless, depressed and even anxious about the whole situation. We didn’t ask for any of this to happen and we didn’t expect something of this magnitude would happen–but it did and it’s affected just about everything in our lives.
So in this section, I’m going to be talking about what we can do so that we can ultimately redirect our thoughts.
Develop an attitude for gratitude
Gratitude is one of the most powerful forces, right next to forgiveness.
The gratitude exercise is perfect for this time because this serves its purpose in making us feel better and more importantly in control of our lives.
Instead of thinking about all the things that are out of you control, like national news stories and new developments in your local news, hone in on the things that you were able to do today.
Did you wake up feeling well-rested?
Were you able to work from home?
Were you able to walk out the door, mask on and gloves on, to do some food shopping for your family?
Were you able to deep clean and organize your room?
Be thankful for all of that. This is a time to realize that clothing and fancy things don’t matter anymore, what matters is the safety of your family and how you are doing your part in making sure that you keep yourself and your family safe.
This is a time to really think about what you are doing to contribute to the greater good in your life. One little session doing the gratitude exercise can really put into focus of all that you’re doing in the moment. It puts the control back in you and your needs.
If you’re scrolling through social media…
Please please please inform yourself. Do not believe everything you see on social media and regard it as gospel for your everyday life! Social media has been spiraling a little bit when it comes to news. In fact, some countries have sent out false claims saying that the US is going to be on lockdown, instilling this unnecessary fear in many Americans who look at social media as their news briefing.
Because I gave up social media for lent, I have been relying on local news and national news outlets for all my info on what has been going on.
This is the time to really download the newsbreak app on your phone and get up-to-date with the news that is going on in your area.
By doing this, you can weed out what you think might be true, what might not be true and what you know to be trustworthy. You will feel much better knowing and understanding what is going on, without all the noise from people commenting online.
Make a conscious effort of checking in with others
if you live on your own, check in with your friends and family members. It can be really hard being away from home and holding down the fort all alone.
So send a quick text, schedule a facetime call and make sure your loved ones are okay and that they know you are okay as well!
If you’re a Graduating College Student, Listen up
I get it. All this hard work for nothing. We have worked so hard to focus on finishing up on time. I get feeling angry, depressed and even at a loss for words. We feel robbed.
But I want you to be aware of something: nothing in this life is ever easy. This has been something that I have been thinking about. I’m not mad, I’m not sad, but I’m coming to terms with this reality and I think that if it’s the best choice they can make in a time like this, then so be it.
Yes, I get that this presents new challenges of remote online learning and making the time to connect with professors and other classmates, but don’t give up now.
This isn’t a time to be angry, this is a time to look for alternative solutions.
So while online classes aren’t your thing, find a way to make online courses work for you.
If you can’t stare at a computer screen for long periods of time, try printing out any handouts that the professor uploads.
Try taking notes on any powerpoints.
Maybe while you’re doing these assignments, you can listen to music…
Whatever works for you and helps you get through, could help you in your success in school.
Remember, no challenge is too big. We can get through this.
Lastly, take it day by day…
Whatever the situation is, make sure to train your mind to take it day by day.
What’s important is getting through each day, being present in the day and realizing that you are doing all you can to make the most of this quarantine.
Remember, none of us were prepared for all of this, but now we are working towards enforcing those measures of being home and staying safe.
Taking it day by day, ensures that we are doing everything we can. In doing so, it helps us focus on what we are also doing now. In fact, you’ll find that it goes hand in hand with gratitude.
Make sure to be kind, not only to yourself, but to others as well. We’re all going through it and it’d be really shitty if people went out of their way to make our lives a living hell… All I’m saying is, please be kind and respectful towards others. At this point, no fight is worth winning anything. What matters right now are our safety and our families. That’s it.
I hope all of you are staying safe, paying attention to local and national news outlets, and keeping up the hope and faith that we will come out of this stronger.
Sending a ton of love and light your way,