Just take it day by day

To call the last few weeks overwhelming would be an underestimate. It’s evident from the myriad of disturbing TikToks I’ve scrolled past since quarantine that social distancing has gotten to the majority of us. 

I get it, I know it is not fun to be stuck in the house all day. During the “early” stages of quarantine, I often caught myself complaining about everything that had gone wrong in the past couple of weeks. Even more, I felt exhausted all day. Aside from studying for AP exams, being on Zoom 25/8, and getting lost on the “wrong side” of TikTok for a minimum of three hours a day, I wasn’t doing much else. 

On the rare occasions when it wasn’t 40 degrees out, I’d go on a walk or a bike ride. Still, it was a repetitive cycle of being tired and negative, which took a toll on my mental health. 

In the past few weeks, we found out the remainder of the school year was permanently canceled, as was our in-person prom, and that our graduation had been delayed. In all honesty, it feels like there isn’t much to look forward to anymore. At least for me, I’m stressfully anticipating my AP exam days. After that, there’s just a lot of uncertainty left of what I’m going to do next. 

I don’t know what summer is going to be like or feel like. I don’t know if we’re going to end up having a traditional graduation and get to have the all nighter at the beach with our whole class. I don’t know if I’m even going to be able to physically attend college next fall. Again, it feels like everything going on around us is constantly out of our control. 

It’s a good time to not only count blessings but to focus on yourself. Learn how to be there for yourself and to be your own ‘best friend.’

Which unfortunately, it is. We can’t control what’s happening whether it be in the media, in hospitals, or just in our own neighborhoods. As cheesy as it sounds, the only thing we can control is how we respond to the rapid changes. 

There isn’t much advice to give; just try to take it day by day. Read a good book, meditate, paint, draw, sing, dance, go on a walk, practice a sport or another language, learn a Tik Tok dance, there’s so much you can do. 

It seems like an obvious realization, but for me it took weeks to fully understand and implement that mentality in my life. It’s hard to go from struggling to get out of my room all day to attempting to be productive. Undoubtedly, this has been one of the hardest transitions I’ve had to go through and I know others feel the same. 

Now’s the time to take a break from the distractions and do things you never had the time to do. Chances are, if you grind out your homework early enough, there is enough time to try out some new hobbies or have that physical and mental “glow up.”

Think of quarantine as an escape from the outside world. It’s a good time to not only count blessings but to focus on yourself. Learn how to be there for yourself and to be your own “best friend.” Learn that it’s okay to be alone and to take a break from everyone else for a bit to mentally recharge. 

I’ve been doing all of those and it’s truly given me more clarity about where I’m at in life than I had before. So, I encourage everyone to embrace the emotional overload and unpack those feelings of resentment, frustration, anger, whatever you want to call it. At the end of the day, just understand that it’s okay to live in a time of uncertainty and that this is a time when both the world and you can experience growth.