Like many of you, I’m currently stuck at home unemployed, binging shows and oddly feeling deeply guilty… guilty for being young.
Recently, a handful of Millennials and Gen Zs participated in an Instagram poll about whether they shared a feeling of guilt in response to the COVID-19 virus. Particularly about carrying the virus without knowing.
91% of the participants (from ages 16 to 44), agreed to feeling guilty or responsible. Most of us struggle with the fear of being asymptomatic human virus sprinklers.
Because of coronavirus guilt and fear, anxiety episodes and depression are surging – so what can we do to regain some balance in our lives?
Meme hunting and Netflix helps, but they sure aren’t the solution. To help guide you, I’ve pulled together some do’s and don’ts while we ride this bad boy out.
Get Some Sun
In 2020 the trend is to stay home, where possible/relevant, for obvious reasons.
I’ve always had a hard time dealing with closed spaces, and the idea of being home feels rather suffocating than the modern backpacker dream.That being said, there are some tricks to ease the feeling of confinement.
If you have a backyard/terrace/balcony/window make that a safe space. From now on, make this your go to for whenever you start feeling a bit anxious or cabin feverish. Decorate it if you can, throw pillows and blankets, make it as comfortable as possible. Bring an instrument, a book, some tea or simply sit in the sunshine and breathe. And while you’re at it…
Cut The Crap
Saturating your mind with constant coronavirus content isn’t the healthiest thing to do with your free time. I’ve been doing it for months now, and tbh it only makes it easier for me to spiral. A friend of mine gives herself ten minutes of coronavirus news a day, and says cutting down has definitely helped her. So, maybe just give it a go – it’s pretty hard to avoid right now, so start small.
The thing is, being present is the best remedy against unnecessary apocalyptic thoughts. One way to get better at this is to practice mindfulness.
When being mindful, you help remind yourself that this situation is only temporary.
Video, Video, Video
We’re lucky to be able to connect in such a modern way. If you’re missing boo, light a few candles and have a video chat date. It’s funny, cute and super endearing. There’s nothing sexier than being socially distant, amirite?
You can also use all this free time to (actually) catch up with mates! Video chats have proven to be good for you, so get your mum / bestie / Whatsapp group on board. Think game nights, play games like trivia, Cards Against Humanity, or just anything that’ll have you all feeling like you’re together for a few hours. Add some bevs and you’re easy for a Friday night at home, sans anxiety. We’ve got a list for online game ideas for your next Zoom hangout here.
This may become a bit irrelevant as Australia starts to open up again, so think about those interstate or overseas buddy who are worth dialling.
Mix It Up
Another tip to fight the anxiety, boredom and the ground-hound day feeling is to *drum roll* try something new!
Go get a plant and try not to kill it, or better, get yourself some seeds and try to grow one from scratch. Pro tip, if you can’t get your hands on seeds, go raid your fridge and plant some squash, pumpkin or avocado seeds!
You could also do as everyone seems to be doing and get on the Tik Tok train. To be fair it’s heaps of fun and a good distraction.
You could even try to study a new language. Duolingo is my go to free language app, easy to use, fun and very educational. I’m already on level 2 of French! Oui oui mes chéris! (That’s french for get off the couch, babe).
Open That Can Of Feelings
I won’t deny it; current times are fucking rough! What’s happening hasn’t been experienced before and it’ll go down in history. So, it’s A-Okay to feel a bit blue – but honey, bottling up emotions or feelings won’t make you feel any better.
Call a close mate or your mum and try to be honest with how you’re feeling. Don’t undermine the power of a chat. Opening up with someone close will reduce your anxiety and make you feel safer. You might feel a bit awkward at first, but always remember that you’re not alone! You have family, friends, the internet, and trained professionals too.
After all, this is the time for us to be kinder and show up for one another. Stay safe, and don’t forget to eat.
If you are struggling don’t forget that are support networks available. Contact Headspace, Beyond Blue (1300 22 4636), Lifeline – 13 11 14.
Image Source: Anthony Tran