Living in Unprecedented Times

The year 2020 has definitely been a rollercoaster; from the coronavirus outbreak to the murder hornets to the fruit bats who are supposedly as large as human beings, this has definitely been a year for the history books. Due to the quick succession of most events in 2020, it might be a bit humorous to look back at the sheer number of things that have occurred. In fact, it might also be helpful to keep one’s memories about these events light and free of worries but that isn’t always the case. For a lot of people 2020 has been very stressful, so stressful that even the memes on twitter about how each month gets worse doesn’t bring a smile to their faces. This is completely understandable.

If you are one of such people, don’t feel bad that you can’t brush these events under the rug as quickly as everyone seems to be doing. Do not worry, your feelings are completely valid. In this article, I’ll be sharing some tips on how to stay afloat when you’re living in unprecedented times.

  1. Allow yourself to feel – It’s human to be worried and paranoid, it’s an evolutionary trait that has helped the human race survive this long. A lot of people are not facing their feelings concerning the sudden Covid-19 outbreak. They feel scared and hopeless but they refuse to face these feelings instead they try to avoid them. The problem with avoiding such feelings is that you can’t avoid them completely. Therefore, these unaddressed feelings are casting shadows on fear on your life because of the power you have unknowingly placed in their hands.

The first thing to do is to resolve your feelings. It’s okay to feel scared, anxious or even feel grief. There’s a lot of loss associated with COVID-19, whether it’s financial or even the loss of social situations. Perhaps you’ve been planning a birthday party for months and the quarantine didn’t let that happen or perhaps you just graduated and didn’t get a full ceremony. These feelings are completely valid and you need to address them in order to move on.

  1. Read reliable news sources – The importance of this point cannot be overstressed. It is extremely damaging to your mental and by proxy, physical health to ingest biased or untrue news stories at this time. Reading conspiracy theories might be enjoyable but for the sake of your health, stay away from them. Make sure you consult doctors or credible news sources for updates concerning Covid-19. For the economy, listen to actual economists. There are so many people sharing their opinions concerning these things on the internet and regardless of how many views they get, remember it is just their opinion.

The pandemic is an event that is completely out of your hands, the best thing you can do is follow social distancing rules. This tip can also be applied to other happenings that have left you uncertain of the future. If you’re going through a time like that, focus on just the facts. Do not let your mind run wild with theories on a situation you cannot control or majorly influence. This will only make you extremely stressed, anxious, and worst of all, you’ll be unable to address the issue. Protect your mind at all costs because you become what you believe.

  1. Practice Self Care – The word “self-care” immediately sparks images of a spa day or laying in a bath-tub surrounded by scented candles. While these are completely valid examples of self-care, it is important that we learn self care that doesn’t pander to capitalism. More often than not, self-care doesn’t equal an expensive face scrub or completely unnecessary shopping sprees. More often than not, self-care is work that needs to be done. Self-care is moving your body by going on a walk or trying a workout video on YouTube. Self-care is avoiding procrastination and staying ahead of your office work or school work. Self-care is taking the time to clean your space so that you can enjoy a clean space. Self-care is meditation. If you were worried that self-care seems financially expensive, it doesn’t have to be. Self-care is doing what needs to be done so that the future you –whether it be you in the morning or in the next ten years– has one less task to worry about.
  2. Adapting to change – This is perhaps the most important point we’ll be discussing in this article. If you’re going to survive and thrive in unprecedented times, you have to learn how to adapt to change. Adaptation has saved many species over the course of evolution and it can save you. The first thing to do is maintain an optimistic outlook. Being optimistic does not mean you are not allowed to feel negative, it just means you don’t dwell on such feelings.

Secondly, you must understand that change signals growth. If it’s not uncomfortable then it’s not going to challenge you enough to grow. The third thing to keep in mind is communication. Talk to people who have been in the same position you are now so that you understand how to move on. You also need to spend time reflecting on your life. Now, this does not mean you should spend hours wallowing in regret or despair. Try to acknowledge where you are presently and where you want to go. If you do not have a goal in mind, life can become a burden really quickly.

Finally, learn new skills. Social distancing and quarantine lockdowns mean that people are spending more time alone or inside their homes. This is a great time to learn new skills or brush up on skills you already have. Remember that change is a part of life and that it is essential for growth. If there is no change, there is no growth.

  1. Stay grounded – Flares of panic from the masses are never good. The sight of someone racing down the street is enough to send you into panic mode therefore you must protect your mind. It might seem hard to turn off the television or turn off your phone in situations like this but it must be done. Constantly scrolling and checking for updates is unproductive and unnecessary. Focus on what you can do and what you need to do. Drop the phone, drop the remote, the news will be there in the morning.

Without a doubt, living in unprecedented times is scary.
However, history is rich with lessons we can learn from. History may not have the exact combination of things occurring at the moment but they have certainly happened. So, whenever you feel like the world is crashing down around you, remember that there have been pandemics and economic pauses before. The world will bounce back and although it may not seem like it, everything will be just fine.