How to remain calm in the midst of a pandemic

When the panic and anxiety become overwhelming, there are a few things we can do to chill out.

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Here are some of the items I've been interacting with throughout this whole pandemic.

In the wake of everything going on, it’s only natural that we students are stressed beyond belief. Everything is changing so quickly and, if you’re like me, you don’t do well with change. As a senior, this was probably the worst year for this. The thought of school being closed for the rest of the semester due to the coronavirus and missing most of the things that make senior year so important makes me so anxious. It’s been a struggle to stay sane locked up in my home.

We’re all stressed and nervous and we want to stay calm but we have no direction. So, here are some tips I’ve accumulated over these last few days of quarantine. 

Try to maintain a consistent routine. I know it’ll be tempting to stay up until the witching hour and to sleep until the day is almost over, but don’t. Although school is out of session, it’s only a matter of time before it or online classes start again and you will want to be present for those. Allowing yourself to fall into bad habits or lose your routine will ultimately hurt you in the long run. 

Take advantage of this extra time. To keep myself busy, I’ve been watching Netflix shows I was saving for the summer and reading the books I wanted to read but had no time for. I’ve also played an unhealthy amount of the Sims (don’t judge, my Sim just finished college and is a journalist now so there) because I never had the time for it when school was in session. I have a rough estimate of two games, three books, and a 50-episode TV series to blast through and I’m nearly done with about a quarter of it. These fun things are an excellent way to stay sane and, trust me, you’ll feel so much better after taking a small break from all of this COVID-19 craziness.

Stay on top of your schoolwork. This is the one I struggle with the most (I say as I sit down to write this article a week after it was assigned). It’s hard to want to feel motivated to get your things done. With all the uncertainty going around, we have no urge to do anything. However, it’s crucial that you stay on top of the things you have to do. Life doesn’t just stop when we enter quarantine and we are still held accountable for things that have always been our responsibility. Carve out time in your day to do the things you have to and get them done. 

Remember to breathe and tell yourself it’ll be okay. If you let yourself fall into the negativity, you’ll find it’s very hard to get back out again. Don’t cave in. There are so many ways to keep yourself out of that negative mindset like reading books or listening to your favorite music. If you need music suggestions, we have an awesome column here called “Mav Hits” that can help you find some new music to listen to. If music isn’t your style and you need to talk, reach out to your friends and family and see if anyone will lend an ear. Make sure to get out the negative emotions when they come so that way they aren’t festering in you and taking you and your mental health down. 

Remember that, although school and other things are canceled, the most important things like relationships and friendships are not. I don’t think I’ve seen my dad this much in years, but he’s been home for the past week constantly and life sure is interesting when all four members of my family are home. The endless Phase 10 and “money mancala” games have been entertaining as heck and that’s one thing that’s kept me sane. Another thing is keeping in contact with my friends. While I don’t advise going over to each other’s houses (it’s called social-distancing for a reason), Face Time, Google Hangouts, or just general phone calls are an excellent way to stay in touch. Odds are your friends are as bored as you are and a simple phone call will brighten their day tremendously. It can be as beneficial for them as it is for you so just give them a call and talk for a few hours if you want. 

I know that this whole situation is scary and that we have no idea what we’re doing half the time, but it’ll be okay. We’re getting through this one day at a time and before we know it, life will resume and we’ll all look back on this and say, “Yeah, we survived that and we did pretty good too.”

Hang in there, everyone!