These sure are uncertain times, aren’t they? I didn’t expect for us to be in a full pandemic within the first quarter of 2020. But like many in these uncertain times; I’ve been trying to find new solutions to dealing with overwhelming problems.
Now here’s where I have to say I’m not a doctor, not a professional and little more than a person who has been given a microphone because of the vast power of the internet. So listen to local authorities, listen to experts and all that jazz. Here are just a few of the ways I’ve been coping so I won’t be giving any medical advice or anything whatsoever.
So: how have I been coping?
I’ve been working from home and I’m incredibly lucky to be able to do so. But working from home means that I have to be even more strict about my routine. Anxiety loves routine and I had one in place. Get up, get dressed, go to work, leave work, come home, chaos.
Having that routine disrupted by working from home (which I know is a huge blessing) has not been the easiest on my mental health. So I’ve been getting up, getting dressed, having breakfast and signing into work from my dining area to mimic as much routine as possible. I go to lunch, and I relax as much as I can when I’m done with my work day.
I’ve also been trying to get out of the house responsibility. I’ve been taking walks. Those walks have featured an old anxiety-friendly favorite: Pokemon Go. The goal-driven game is nice as a distraction as I take small walks around my neighbor to get some fresh air after my work day.
Speaking of: I’ve been playing a lot of Pokemon. It’s nice to just sit and make curry and work on shinies as a means of distraction when I have downtime or am spending time at home over the weekend. I’ve also been playing Just Dance because of course I have.
I think there’s something about social distancing that I wasn’t expecting which is how instantly lonely I felt. I’m an introvert, sure but I also love human interaction. I spend hours on the weekend at the local card shop talking to friends. I podcast with a dear friend. I go out to eat with friends. I’m out quite a bit considering that I don’t get a ton of power from people. I’m an introvert in that I don’t get a lot of power from random people. But I also love my freedom. I love being able to go to the mall, the fabric store, the card shop. I love being able to leave my home as a means of distraction from when my thoughts turn cruel and overbearing.
I can’t do that in a pandemic.
The existential crisis over what is essential has been incredibly distressing and being “encouraged strongly” to remain inside has been less than ideal but let’s go over a few of the things I’ve been doing to fill my time when I’m not working.
- Talking to friends. Not just online but physically talking. Carlos and I have a standing weekly call and it’s been great to hear his voice and talk about what we’re doing and how we’re holding up. I’m also doing more on Discord and rejoined my friends on Gendou there. It’s like being home again and I love it.
- I’ve been doing a lot of reading. Fanfiction, books for the podcast, articles, everything. I’ve just been consuming content and it keeps my mind busy when I start to get nervous about the whole pandemic thing. It’s a good time to go through my backlog which is…too many damn books.
- Exercise is something that I hate doing but honestly playing Just Dance and being able to go for short walks has been a glorious thing to do in my down time. I look forward to being able to get off of work and go for a short walk around the neighborhood or change and play a few songs on Just Dance as a reminder that I am very out of shape but it’s still a fun challenge.
- I watch a scary amount of television and movies and Youtube videos so here are a few of the things I’ve been watching and I will accept no judgement. This is a pandemic; I’m allowed some questionable watching choices:
- Air Disasters
- Criminal Minds
- Deadly Women
- Forensic Files
- Avengers: Endgame
- Live: PD
- Law and Order: SVU
- It’s Alive with Brad Leone
- Binging with Babish
- The Take’s deep dives on Game of Thrones
- Lindsay Ellis videos
- Gourmet Makes
- Crash Course
I set some goals for this whole thing which was to get back to cooking. I’m doing more shopping than I ever have and eating at home more in my entire adult life. I’ve been talking to friends and staying optimistic. I am trying to stay informed and continue to do the things that make me happy.
We’re going to get through this. I believe we’re going to get through this.
Stay safe. Stay strong. Stay healthy.