It’s been 11 days. 11 days since I packed up my belongings and journeyed the 5 hours home from Drake University’s campus.

An extended Spring Break sounds better in theory. The reality is we college students are mourning, both the loss of our independence and what was supposed to be the third semester of the “best four years of our lives.”

This was not how it was supposed to be, but this is necessary.

A New Decade

As we welcomed in the new decade, 2020 waved its chaotic hello back with wildfires, a potential world war, caucus screw ups and all. However, I don’t think anyone, except maybe the writers of The Simpsons, was expecting a repeat of the “Roaring 20s,” especially so soon into the decade.

With the crashing stock market and the global COVID-19 pandemic, both will have lasting effects on our economy that will force the United States to digress. Looking to my own peers, many have lost their on-campus jobs that allow them to continue to enroll our university every semester. Not to mention all the businesses that will go bankrupt as a result of temporary shut downs. But despite the hardships that 2020 has brought, we will continue to take on life one day at a time, even though it might be hard.

Since leaving Drake University on March 13, I, like many others, have had a hard time adjusting to this temporary lifestyle.

Thankfully, I am able to say that my family and I are all currently healthy and have been taking precautions to maximize our own health and the health of others. We have all made sacrifices by continuing work and education at home, cancelling travel plans, and making the choice to brew coffee at home instead of buying it at Starbucks. While I can’t tell the future, I can say that I personally believe these sacrifices, no matter how minor, will benefit all of us in the long run.

Prioritizing Self Care

I think the hardest part of quarantine has been finding ways to stay informed, yet distract myself from the anxieties brought on by the COVID-19 media coverage. Lucky for y’all, I am here to share my own personal hobbies and strategies to help you cope during these rough times. But first, I need to emphasize something:

It’s okay to be stressed, anxious, and emotional during this time.

This is new to all of us and I can admit that personally, the impact of COVID-19 on my life so far has made me feel all of the above. The only thing we can do now is teach ourselves how to cope with this temporary way of living and make lemonade out of lemons.

The following are ways to practice social distancing and cope with emotional distress during this time:

  • Meditate (I use Headspace)
  • Call/video chat with a friend
  • Start a social media account for a pet
  • Update your resume
  • Set time limits on social media/news apps
  • Read a book
  • Listen to a podcast
  • Make a vision board
  • Get dressed even if you won’t see people
  • Complete a puzzle
  • Draw/Paint
  • Set a routine
  • Look through old photos
  • Make a new playlist
    • Check out some of mine here
  • Do some spring cleaning
  • Take a bath
  • Organize files on your computer
  • Have a self-timed photoshoot
  • Go for a walk
  • Watch an interview with your favorite celebrity
  • Take a drive
  • Write a letter
  • Binge watch a TV Show
    • I’ve been mostly binging episodes of Conan and The Simpsons
  • Learn to cook something new
  • Write in a journal (You are a primary source during this time)
  • Clean your makeup brushes

Please continue to wash your hands and socially distance. I wish you all good health.