11.27.2020

Since the pandemic began and we were pushed into lockdown, our mental health has been greatly impacted. Some of us have to experience isolation, stay indoors, some of us have lost our jobs, our businesses, and some of us are suffering financially and emotionally. With quarantine put back in place, a lot of people are spending this Thanksgiving apart, through Zoom, or social distancing.


I know that many of you are perhaps experiencing Zoom or screen fatigue, or are perhaps feeling depressed, lonely, tired, bored, etc. It's hard to take care of yourself, let alone celebrate a huge holiday and another upcoming one, when you're confined within four walls. 


Despite the distance, we're all still connected through technology! Whether it's Zoom or FaceTime, sending memes on Snapchat, sharing and liking photos and videos on Instagram, and messaging on Facebook, just know that you are not alone. I hope that this Thanksgiving, you took advantage of this revelation in our generation to be responsible and keep your families and friends safe and distanced. It's not easy being so far apart from the people you love, but I hope you all did the right thing in taking the precautions in light of coronavirus!


Now that Thanksgiving has passed, Christmas is just around the corner. Things will definitely be different, and some traditions have to adapt for the circumstances. You may feel lost, depressed, hopeless... but I curated a list of tips to help you survive the Holidays in this time of uncertainty. 



It may feel like things will be different this Christmas and New Years, but that shouldn't stop us from moving forward and at least enjoy the remaining time of 2020! When facing with uncertainty, the very first step you need to do is to take care of yourself. Take care of your body and especially your mind. I've been trying to stay active by going for walks, particularly around this huge field outside my house - it's a nice breathe of fresh air, especially after finishing three consecutive Zoom classes!



One thing I've been trying to push myself to do, and perhaps something you may consider, is to try therapy. I've tried therapy once before when something very personal happened to me and has helped a lot; I've heard many great things about it. I stopped going because of its high costs, but I learned only recently that universities offer free counseling to students. If your college or institution offer free counseling, take advantage of that! Talking to a professional and receiving professional guidance may help. 


As a writer, journaling and writing also helps me, not just keep myself sane, but take care of my mind and improve my writing skills. I try to write poems as much as I can, following a goal I set myself this month which was to start working on a manuscript / putting together a poetry collection. That's another step you can also take in this weird time in your life: set yourself some goals. Whether they're big and ambitious, or small and easily achievable. Having a goal or a set of goals gives you a purpose, and helps drive you forward when you feel stuck. 



Plan your days. Writing to-do lists and writing a plan for each day helps, just like the previous point, give you a sense of purpose and a drive. I have a workflow of using my daily and weekly planner to plan each day and the conceptualize my week. It's helped keep me organized and productive for school (especially as I'm taking 5 classes this semester). I've been meaning to write a piece on the PassionPlanner - I guess that's one thing I can add to my plan for this week!


The past couple months, I've also been buying and reading a lot of books. Reading helps feed and nurture the mind, and has definitely helped in improving and finding my writing style – as Virginia Woolf said, 


"Read a thousand books and your words will flow like a river."


(It's so poetic!)


Since my November goal is to put together a manuscript of poetry, I've mostly been reading poetry books. I recently bought Deaf Republic by Ilya Kaminsky (an interesting epic on the politics of war and democracy - you can read more here), and House of Light by Mary Oliver. I'll definitely write reviews about them - I don't think I've ever written a review on a poetry collection, but that also another thing I can add to my list!


Of course not all these advice are for everyone - we all have different ways of coping or taking care of ourselves. I hope all of you are doing it the healthy way, and I also hope some of these advice help you in some way. If you have any piece of advice to staying sane and healthy and taking care of yourself, list them in the comments below 😃


It's not always easy to take care of yourself, especially if you feel trapped like most of us are feeling in the midst of this pandemic. But, always remember, this just a temporary setback and things will return to normal, if not better, eventually! 


Some words of encouragement: stay strong, and keep ploughing forward.


December book announcement!


It's been a while since I last posted about my book club (5 classes can make you take a step back!) but this December, I'd like to announce the next book to read for my book club:

In Five Years – By Rebecca Serle


Instagram

nicole isabel. Theme by STS.