Our new normal has ushered in many changes to our society, our emotions, and our daily routines. We’ve shown ourselves that we are a strong and adaptive community. We’ve allowed ourselves to grieve the cancelled events and the array of disappointments that COVID-19 has caused. But I wanted to point out some things that have not changed in the midst of the pandemic to share a bit of hope and consolation for the time before this all started.
Books hold steadfast through centuries of change. A good story can always sweep you away, inspire you, or educate you regardless of the condition of the world around us. And if you’re not a book person, there are still movies and shows, even current blockbusters that are currently available to rent on Amazon Prime.
We still only get 24 hours in a day. Take this chance to really look at what you’re giving your time to. Are you spending too much of it online, scrolling, watching the news? Maybe now you can really hone in on what deserves more of your attention, like time with family or time nurturing yourself, and demote the things that waste it and leave you drained and unfulfilled.
Social distancing and isolation can make it seem like your social circle have grown extremely small. But your friends are still around. Don’t let this be an excuse to drop off and go MIA. Get creative with connecting to your friends. Host movie night watch parties, use virtual meeting apps to host your own dance parties, or simply check in once a day to see how they’re coping. We all need our support systems more than ever right now, so remember to keep in touch.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday are still the best days of the week. Have a Fun-Food-Friday night dinner where you make a new recipe, give yourself a little shopping spree on Saturday, and soak up that Self-Care-Sunday vibe. Just because the work week looks a bit different doesn’t mean the weekend has to be any less epic.
True, this pandemic has been a downer this year, but there are still plenty of things to laugh at. Funny pet videos are still on YouTube as they always are, and memes are exceptionally on point about all this. Find a funny show or movie and let yourself laugh out loud. Tell your family or friends a joke once a day. Give yourself reasons to laugh because humor hasn’t gone anywhere.
I don’t think self care can be stressed enough in the midst of all this. While it can include the simple task of being gentle with yourself as you take on each day, it can still also include the facials and manicures too. Even if your favorite salon is closed, nail polish and a face mask are just as effective at lifting your spirits when used at home. Indulge a little. There’s time for it now so enjoy taking care of yourself in all the ways you couldn’t before.
Even with most locations closed and gatherings restricted, the seasons and holidays are still rolling around as usual. With Mother’s Day around the corner, strive to make the holiday memorable despite the restrictions. Handmade gifts and cards arriving in the mail are always sweet and meaningful even if you’re not the most creative. Fill your home with spring scents or hail in summer with fun colors and refreshing meals. There are still plenty of ways to enjoy the seasons and to celebrate from home. It only takes a little imagination to create a whole new tradition.
In the same vein, birthdays never change. Now more than ever we need to celebrate life and the special people we care about. As each birthday comes let it be a reminder that we’re here, we’ve survived, and we have so much more to look forward to. Don’t try to erase this year by not celebrating our life moments. The challenges of this year are opportunities to make more meaningful memories.
Wether you’re a religious type or not, trials have a way of blocking our spiritual focus sometimes. Remember to take time to tap into faith or to simply tap into gratitude. Find reasons to see and embrace the bigger picture and seek out the good in all of this.
Don’t forget what you set out to do this year. This isn’t a complete set back, but rather the reason the get creative and step out of your comfort zone, reimagining how you achieve your goals, not the goal itself. And with all the new flexibility in our schedules, try to pinpoint the activities that bring your the most joy and fulfillment. Nourish your passions, make a habit of it so that when this all does change again, you won’t lose sight of what truly inspires you.
Brittany Hopwood was born and raised in Broward County and completed her Bachelor’s in English from the University of Central Florida. As an avid writer and artist, she spends most of her time designing new pieces for her self-care jewelry line, Violstones, and revising her most recent novel, written this past year. Her passion for writing and overcoming mental illness has lead her to develop a devotional Ebook based on her experience with overcoming severe depression, which she hopes to release later in 2020.