I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve found myself staring at blank screens a whole lot in the past few weeks. Either that, or I’m staring at one of my many to-do lists that feel as daunting as a computer with too many tabs open, you know those tabs that you can’t close until you finish what needs to be done within them, even though once you start something in one tab you have to do something in another tab until they’re all done…
Which means they never get closed.
Does that make sense?
A few weeks ago, I asked you what makes a good story because I’m in the middle of my senior project and I was genuinely curious. A lot of you added to my list, saying things like good stories needed to be relatable, a world you could pick up and get lost in, something you can care about, and so many more reasons why a story might be good to you.
Beyond my senior project, I asked you that question for another reason: I wanted to get excited about something again, the way I get excited about stories and writing and getting lost in other worlds the way I can so easily with good stories. So today, I don’t have another question for you; I actually have something for you instead.
I’ve got a reminder. Though for a lot of people, it may feel like there are so many things cancelled, not everything is. Right now some people are feeling unsafe, we’re missing sports, friends and in person classes, graduations, birthdays, mother’s day that just passed, and so much more.
So here’s a reminder of a few things that are not cancelled if you’re open to them.
For people a lot of people, this can be a really stressful time, but if no one has told you this yet, here is your reminder that self-care has not been cancelled—it should be something you focus on now more than ever. This is not a “rise and grind, self-care now and harder than we ever have” kind of thing, what I’m saying is that these are times when depression and anxiety is statistically on the rise due to the stress, turmoil, and isolation of the world around us. So, pay attention to yourself and what you need, whether or not that involves asking for help to. If you have to ask for help, do it. Take care of yourself.
Even at a distance, music is something that travels. For me, I find that music is something that tends to be an escape for me and if you’re in the same boat, you’re in luck because artists are still producing good work right now. Whatever platform you listen on, a lot of people use it as something to dance, relax, smile, turn up… whatever it takes. For the love of a good beat and whatever dance floor that has maybe become your living room these days, take it from Meredith Grey and dance it out. Because music is alive and well. Use it as a chance to take a break and shake your body out a bit.
Regardless of how you keep up with the people you love, don’t stop doing that. It’s important to check in with other people, not only for them, but for yourselves too. There is a problem with getting in physical contact with others but aren’t issues with social contact or so many other ways of distanced physical contact. We can drive by our friends’ houses and leave gifts by our parent’s front doors (if it’s safe to do so). Just like offering groceries and so many other ways of being in contact with one another, there are ways around the isolation. We just have to put the effort in.
With so many people feeling as though they’re stuck inside, we’re all online much more often these days too. That being said, I know that plenty of us are either working from home or taking classes online as well and this involves too much time staring at screens. However or wherever you do your work, getting outside and into the sunshine is just as important as getting the work done because as they say, too much work and no play wastes the person inside away. Or maybe I’m the only one who says that. But right now, it’s true. Take a breath of fresh air, whether the sun is shining or not, and try to get outside when you can if it’s safe to do so in your circumstances. More than just getting up, it forces us to take breaks from our screens for at least a little while. Do what you need to for your body.
Just because we can’t see everyone else right now doesn’t mean that we can’t still offer kindness to the world around us. If you have a chance, find ways to volunteer (safely) or help out around your community if people around you need it. There are shelters looking for people to take foster animals, elderly or immunocompromised people looking for help with groceries/other chores, and so many more people that could use a hand and would appreciate a small act of kindness. As the world keeps moving, we have to keep adjusting around it. So try to be kind to those who need it and be kind to yourselves in the process as we work our way to a new normal.
That’s all I’ve got for you today, hopefully just enough to remind you that you’re human and everything going on isn’t quite where we saw 2020 going. But hopefully you’re doing the best you can and that’s all anyone can ask for.
Be kind to yourself today, listen to some music as you get in a little sunshine or catch up with a loved one, and I’ll see you next week. Happy Friday everyone.