A How-To Guide On Staying Sane While Staying Isolated

Journal Thoughts

It seems like the world has come to a temporary halt. I’m not sure about all of you, but these past few months have felt like I’ve been living in a dream that I can’t seem to wake up from. (Though, not the good kind of dream, of course.) Even with things slowly starting to open back up, these feelings haven’t lessened any.

Wherever you’re from, whatever your current living situation may be, please know my heart goes out to you. I am thinking of all of those who have gotten sick/know someone who has, those who don’t have a good home life and are stuck in a toxic environment, those surviving off of what little food is left in the house, those who have lost their source of income and are unsure of how to pay their bills now, those whose mental health feeds off of social interactions, those whose major plans have been drastically changed or cancelled, and those who are just struggling to cope during these weirdly terrifying times.

I’ll be honest– waking up everyday, I am hit with a feeling of helplessness. The things I’ve been looking forward to for months– concerts, vacations, my summer job– all have become a source of sadness as each and every one became cancelled. And yes, I am completely aware that these “hindrances” that I’ve listed may seem like shallow, first-world problems, but everyone deserves a right to their feelings.

However, as with everything, I always push to look on the positive side of any situation. Although the current state of the world is worrisome, exhausting, and simply scary, there are still things we can do to help our mental states. If you’re sick of everyone being overly optimistic in times like these, then feel free to hop off. I am not saying everything is going to be okay and disregarding all of the damage being done to practically every aspect of life. However, I also am not going to sit here and let it get the best of me.

So, if you’re having trouble finding ways to alleviate some of your anxieties, here are few things that I’ve personally done at home that are helping me to stay as sane as one can while in quarantine.

Picnicking Through a Pandemic

Journal Thoughts

(In the safest way possible.)

Close your eyes and think back to your last trip to a restaurant. You and your closest friends all squeeze together, practically on top of each other inside a cozy booth, as menus are passed around the table. The options seem endless. You have no idea what you’re in the mood for, though, your stomach is teased by the juicy scent of a meat-lovers’ pizza crisping in the oven. The restaurant is bustling with people laughing and chatting. You look around to see what others have ordered: gooey garlic bread; heaping mounds of buttery, twisted pasta; a sizzling slightly-pink steak. Your stomach grumbles in its empty state. Flash forward and its past dinnertime. Your bellies are slightly rounder and filled with carbs, but now your tastebuds crave sweetness. You stand in line outside on this warm spring evening, waiting for your mint ice cream to be handed to you. Couples and giddy children huddle beside you underneath the light of the shack, as they share chocolatey licks of their cones and spread ice cream around their lips. 

Now, forget everything you have just imagined. Picture the opposite. Picture restaurants with giant “CLOSED” signs dangling in their windows in the middle of the day. Picture vacant parking lots and barren streets. Instead of bumping into neighbors and sharing friendly conversations at your local supermarket, you’re now rushing down the aisles in hopes of avoiding all contact. The shelves look as if they were ravaged through by animals. Bread and eggs have suddenly become a scarcity. People’s faces are draped with tight surgical masks, bandanas, old scarves, or anything else they could find to cover their mouths. Bare hands are a rarity, and instead they’re now hidden behind rubber barriers. This is the current state of the world that we’re living in today, and it feels like a scene straight out of a horror movie.