The silence has become very loud lately. We’ve all settled into our new social distancing realities and some semblance of routine. However, in between distracting ourselves from the news and consuming the news, many of us are coping with anxiety. And while no surprise, it’s not a comfortable or sustainable state of being. I’m no mental health professional; I’m just a highly sensitive person who is passionate about wellness and conscious living. After lots of guided meditations on Instagram live and self-care tips from wellness gurus, I’ve deduced that the best way to manage anxiety surrounding issues we cannot control is to fill our time with that which we can control.
Reality looks different for each of us these days, but I think most of us can agree that we’re living our best elastic waistband life. Whether you are conducting Zoom conferences from the cleanest corner of your apartment or rearranging your skincare vanity, you still have the option to wear your comfiest bottoms. That is why, as a Leo sun and Taurus moon, the EMBE clothing joggers were true love for me. I want to embrace that quarantine life of Netflix and carb loading without sacrificing style. In short, sometimes making the effort to get ready can help: spending time getting creative in your closet or trying neon eyeliner is good for the soul. Who cares that no one will see it irl — that’s why social media exists. Don’t forget to tag those small businesses though; they need the love right now. Plus, who doesn’t love those extra endorphins we get from our very own self-induced confidence boost?!
Despite the time-suck that is social media, these platforms are really helping humanity come together these days. The news is grim. And while it’s important to stay aware and informed, we must take care of ourselves first. “You can’t water a plant from an empty pot” and all that. Consider researching local initiatives and organizations tackling the COVID-19 disaster, and volunteering with or donating to one that speaks to you. Perhaps cook a meal for an elderly neighbor, or, in my case, order a meal. And really, this is a win-win situation because it helps those in need and makes you feel like Mother Theresa for a solid few minutes. If you don’t have the means to donate, getting the word out on social media is imperative. There is no kindness too small.
Social distancing is allowing us a unique opportunity to dedicate time to being creative or imaginative again. It’s state-mandated, so take advantage! We have more time to build pillow forts with our kids or time to experiment with a new living room layout. I’ve read about some plans to learn a new language or develop a new app, but in the event that’s not your speed, there is a happy medium between binge-watching all of Kim’s Convenience and writing your memoir. (You should watch Kim’s Convenience, though.) Museums are offering virtual tours, making art and history more accessible than ever. Fitness instructors and personal trainers are offering free online workouts. Now you can tell your friends, once and for all, that bellydancing just isn’t for you. Ultimately, flexing our creative muscles is really a form of self care. It is time that we are committing to opening our minds and feeding our souls, hippy-dippy sound baths optional.
If you have time to dedicate to these personal growth opportunities, it is a luxury. However, it’s also perhaps the greatest act of service we’ll see in our lifetime. We can stay home for the greater good. When anxiety sneaks up again, relax your jaw, ease your shoulders, and know that online cooking demonstrations are just a click away. And, if we’re really lucky, so are our loved ones. It’s scary knowing we are in control of more than we’d like to believe, but liberating too. Staying in is [legally] the new going out, so fill it with all the things you love! Order fresh flowers, light your favorite candle, thank your service workers, and zen out. Remember when we asked if this meeting could have been an email?