Social distancing, social isolation, quarantining… whatever you want to call it, staying at home during a global pandemic is creating the perfect environment for anxiety to creep in and permeate our thoughts. Here are a few social distancing reminders that will help you fight back.
7 Social Distancing Reminders
You don’t have to be productive.
There are a lot of people saying that now is the perfect time to learn a new skill, tackle your TBR list, deep clean your house, work on various projects, etc. And those are great ideas! But it’s also okay if you don’t want to do any of that stuff.
You do not have to renovate your entire house or organize your bathroom if you don’t want to. The most important thing you can do right now (aside from staying home) is take care of yourself. Pay attention to how you’re feeling– now is not the right time for everyone to be productive.
Most of us will probably have some days when we’re productive and other days where we’re totally lazy. I’ve had a few days where I’ve been super productive and worked on some stuff around the house, changed my sheets, vacuumed, etc. but I’ve also had a day (okay… multiple days) where I did nothing except play Animal Crossing.
It’s okay to grieve cancelled events.
It’s completely fine to be upset that your vacation plans got cancelled. It doesn’t make you selfish to be sad that something you were looking forward to is no longer happening, even if it seems small.
I also think it’s an incredibly common reaction! I had some summer events that have already been postponed/cancelled, and one that is still up in the air.
You can take a break from the news.
When it became apparent that this situation would become global, my anxiety was so bad that I had to go through social media and mute every single word related to the pandemic. I am still extremely careful about how/when I browse Facebook, Twitter, and even Tiktok. (You know it’s bad when the most positive social media is INSTAGRAM, haha) I do not watch any news networks at all.
I need to choose when and how to engage with that information to keep my anxiety under control. If I didn’t do that, I would constantly be a nervous wreck. I now keep up with the latest information by checking the statistics at my own pace.
Your emotional response is valid.
You might be scared. You might be angry. You might feel sadness. You might feel none of those, a mixture of those, or something completely different. You may feel completely different from day to day or from hour to hour.
There is no right or wrong way to feel about a pandemic. Keep checking in with yourself, and make your mental health a priority as much as you can right now.
Related: Self-Care for Low Mood Days
It’s okay if you gain weight.
There is so much more to life than being small. Try to remember that diet culture pushes this idea onto us that we need to be thin. Diet culture tells us that even in the face of a global pandemic, gaining weight is one of the worst things that could happen to us.
This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t exercise if you want to– just that you don’t have to. You are not a failure if you don’t maintain (or start) an exercise routine during a quarantine time.
Also, please reconsider sharing COVID-19 weight gain memes. You have no way of knowing who is going to see them– they can be triggering for those with eating disorders.
Be thankful for those who are essential.
It might seem like everyone is at home, but there are so many people who are still working right now. Please practice kindness and compassion when you’re at the grocery store or getting carryout. Check in (from a distance!) with your essential friends.
Thank you so much if you’re reading this and you’re essential!
This is not permanent.
The situation will eventually end, and we will be allowed to frequent restaurants and spend time with family and friends. I know it feels like it’s going to last forever… it feels like it already has.
However, it would be irresponsible for me to act as though there will not be some changes to our world after this. Some post-COVID predictions may ring true, and some may not… no one can know with certainty. We just need to be aware that there will be some changes.
Hopefully, whatever happens once this is over will lead to the creation of a stronger, kinder world.
COVID-19 Relief Organizations
I didn’t feel right making this blog post without providing something actionable. Here are a few causes to consider donating to if you can– please note that they’re US-based because that’s where I am located. You can also use this tool to find local organizations. Don’t feel bad if you financially cannot donate!
Center for Disaster Philanthropy COVID-19 Response Fund
This organization focuses on nonprofits and non-government organizations working directly with some of the the most vulnerable populations, including disabled folks, older adults, hourly workers, immigrants, individuals in the gig economy, and others who are disproportionately affected by the pandemic. You can donate to their response fund here.
Feeding America is a network of 200 food banks across the US.
Relief Fund for LGBTQI & BIPOC Folks
LGBTQ+ and BIPOC (Black and Indigenous Queer People of Colour) individuals are at a higher risk of exposure to COVID-19. Members of both communities (especially where those lines intersect) disproportionately lack stable housing, are food insecure, and tend to earn less. This GoFundMe prioritizes the most marginalized individuals who have applied for aid via their survey.
If you are feeling isolated and alone, feel free to reach out to me on social media. Right now, I’m most active on my Instagram because it’s the social media that I find the least upsetting at the moment, but I am also on Twitter.
If you need professional mental health resources, here is a resource guide created by the National Mental Health Alliance.
Stay safe out there!
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