The world has been super crazy these past few months. We’ve had the threat of world war, a pandemic, protests, and even murder hornets! It’s totally natural to feel anxious or stressed during this crazy time; trust me, we’ve all been in a "2020 funk." I’m no therapist, but I have a few tips for how you can deal with the trials of 2020 from the socially-distanced comfort of your own home.
Watch a New Movie
Nothing transports you out of the real world like a good movie! I prefer watching comedies to help distract me from my worries. A new movie I enjoyed was Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga. It’s a hilariously delightful movie, and it’s even funnier if you used to live in Europe! Another great one is Jumanji: The Next Level. I love how it is set in a video game; it really engages the audience! There are plenty of other new movies on other streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney +, so you’re bound to find one that you like!
…Or Watch an Old Favorite!
There is something so comforting about watching your favorite movie for the bajillionth time, and sometimes watching The Princess Bride AGAIN is what you need to get out of your head. My go-to favorites are the live action The Cat in the Hat and all four of John Mulaney’s Netflix specials. I know just about every word, but I can always count on them to make me laugh when I need it most.
Sometimes creativity is the best medicine. Whether it be painting a picture, writing a song or a poem, or coloring a coloring book, artistry can be super relaxing and cathartic. Plus, when you finish a creative project, you feel super accomplished! During COVID-19, I’ve taught myself how to sew. I’ve embroidered one of my backpacks and sewed a bucket hat from scratch! It’s a great way to kill all this time we have in isolation, and you end up with some super cool end products!
Take a Self-Care Day
Let’s be real: sometimes we all need a little time to relax. It’s totally okay to take a self-care day! Put on a face mask (skincare face mask, not coronavirus face mask), read a good book, or make your favorite treat! I love to make smoothies as a little self-care day treat. I just use fruit, ice, and some juice to make a yummy drink for me to enjoy while relaxing on my back porch with a good book.
Most likely, part of the reason you are feeling down is because you haven’t seen anyone outside your family in the past few months. Fortunately, we live in a digital age; all of your friends and distant family members are only a text or Zoom call away! (I don’t suggest seeing anyone in person just yet, but if you do make sure to maintain social distancing and wear a mask!) I recommend playing games over Zoom with your friends. If you haven’t done a PowerPoint party yet, you HAVE to! Everyone makes a silly PowerPoint about whatever topic they want, and then they screenshare to present it to the group! It is a blast! There are plenty of other games to play too, like board games or trivia, so get creative!
Shake Things Up
Sometimes, the monotony and repetitiveness of the days can drive you crazy, so try to shake things up! Change your daily routine, reorganize your room, try a new hobby/fashion choice/hairstyle that you’ve never tried before, or have a “camping trip” in your living room. I dyed my hair pink in May with temporary dye, and it was super fun to change up my look for a couple of weeks. Every time I looked in the mirror, I was surprised by my pink hair, and it really helped me feel like my days weren’t all alike. If you do end up changing some part of your physical appearance, make sure it is temporary! You don’t want to be stuck with your quarantine decision for six more months!
Now is the time to work out! Exercising is an AMAZING mood booster; when you work out, your body produces endorphins which help you feel happier. There are plenty of other upsides to exercising: better sleep, lower risk of certain health conditions, strengthens your muscles, and so much more! Listen, I was NOT an exercise gal until quarantine. I started riding my bike in the evenings in April, and since then I have worked out almost every day! If you can, I recommend running or biking outside. As long as you maintain your distance and/or wear a mask, you should be able to do that safely, and it is really nice to get outside at least once a day. Personally, I find going outside really helps boost my mood, hence why I enjoy riding my bike or jogging outside. If that is not an option for you, YouTube has plenty of free workout videos you can try. There are literally thousands of choices, so I’m sure you’ll find something that works for you! Where I live, the weather is often rainy and hot, so YouTube workouts are my go-to when being outside is unbearable.
Do Something for Someone Else
This is one of my most important tips. I believe that doing something for someone else is one of the best ways to help you get out of a slump. By making someone else happy, you feel happy and accomplished. You can write a letter to an old friend, send a care package to your grandma, make a pillow fort for your little brother, or make dinner for your mom! I love writing letters and giving gifts; seeing the reaction on their faces or receiving a thank you text fills my heart with love and joy. I’ve also been volunteering at my local food bank when I can. It is hard during the pandemic, but when possible, I try to give back to my community.
Mindfulness comes in many different forms, but the three I’m going to talk about are journaling, meditating, and turning off your phone. I find that spending a few minutes everyday just to be mindful in your journal is very soothing. I personally keep all of my journal entries either in my bullet journal or a digital journal, but I encourage you to find out what works best for you! As for meditating, I use the app Headspace. The free version comes with lots of different guided meditations, and it makes meditation far less daunting and way more fun! Spending only three minutes a day focusing on your breathing can really help you refocus your brain and relax; I definitely recommend giving meditation a shot! Taking time away from your phone is ultra-important. Don’t deny it; everyone’s screen time has been through the roof since COVID hit. We’ve all been reading the news and scrolling through social media, and we all know firsthand how overwhelming that can be. Because of that, it's important to take some time to log off and be present in your life. I took a brief social media hiatus recently and it was so freeing to unplug for a few days. If you haven’t already, take some time away from your phone! Trust me, you won’t regret it.
Understand That It Is OK!
It is 100% okay to feel overwhelmed, anxious, sad, or “out of it”. We are in the middle of several history-making events, so you have the right to feel all of those things. Don’t beat yourself up about feeling down and reach out if you need help. Your parents, friends, teachers, and loved ones will always be there for you.
Hopefully, some of these tips can help you get out of that 2020 funk. Keep on pushing; we’re over halfway done with this crazy year!
Bloom is not a source for mental health help, but if you or someone you love needs help during this tough time, check out our Resources page for links to mental health resources. If you are unsure how to protect yourself from COVID-19, click here for the CDC's instructions. Bloom/this article is not sponsored by any of the brands/products mentioned in the article; they are the recommendations of the author.