1. Just because you’re stuck inside alone doesn’t mean you need to spend time alone. You can call up your partner to have a dinner date over Zoom. You can start watching a movie on Netflix at the same time as your friend so you can text about each scene. You can play multiplayer games over the internet. You can still get in some social interaction, even if you aren’t going to step outside your own home. Don’t keep yourself isolated emotionally. Otherwise, you’re going to get restless.

2. You’re not the only one who’s feeling this way. You might be disappointed or angry or bitter about the fact you had to cancel something important to you. A vacation. A wedding. A graduation. A party. Even though you’re allowed to be upset about the things you’ve missed out on, you have to remember you’re not the only one in the world experiencing loss. Everyone is dealing with a similar sensation. We’re all going through this together.

3. Others aren’t as okay as they seem. You might feel like everyone around you is being productive. You might feel like you’re falling behind because you haven’t learned a new skill or figured out your life’s purpose. But everyone copes in different ways. Some people need to distract themselves by keeping busy with work. Other people distract themselves with television shows and books. You can’t compare your coping methods. Just be happy you’re coping at all.

4. Don’t hesitate to spoil yourself. You might not want to spend extra money on a subscription to a new streaming site or an expensive video game, but if it’s going to help your mental health, it might be worth the price. If it’s going to give you something to look forward to every single day, if it’s going to help you climb out of bed in the morning, it might be worth the splurge. If you can make it work, you might as well treat yourself.

5. You’re allowed to feel a mix of emotions. You’re allowed to be pissed at the world for falling apart. You’re allowed to be upset about the suffering around you. You’re even allowed to be relieved certain plans were canceled. Don’t feel guilty about any of your emotions. Let yourself feel. Let yourself cry. Let yourself scream into the void. We’re in the middle of unusual times. It’s okay if you’re far from okay.

6. You have an entire future ahead of you. On any average day, you’re probably too busy to stop and reflect on your life, to ask yourself whether you’re happy, to decide which direction you want to go. Now, you have more time to plan. You might not be able to take any exciting vacations or run marathons or sign up for cooking classes, but you can plan out all the things you want to do in the future. You can come up with a list that will help you moving forward — or you can simply relax for a change. You probably need it. TC mark


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