As we write this, it is a matter of great grief that we have lost thousands of lives across the world to COVID-19 and the stats add to the anxiety. It’s natural to feel overwhelmed and hopeless especially with news of hospitals and medical frontliners pushed to the brink and the poor being impacted by this crisis.
Amidst this, probably from the comfort of a well-stocked, self-quarantined home, young urban millennials, like us, fight a different, yet tangibly real battle, ongoing in the battlefield of their minds. For every millennial facing difficulty, adjusting to recent life-changes, here are 3 strategies to protect your mental health in this #newnormal.
1. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE GUILT-RIDDEN BECAUSE OF YOUR PRIVILEGE
The privilege of having a home to be self-quarantined in, food on the table and Netflix to shoo away the boredom, as you practice social distancing, can sometimes make you guilty and keep you from letting out your feelings of fear and anxiety. We want you to know that it is completely okay and healthy to allow yourself to feel whatever you are going through. Your privilege does not cancel your personal struggles. Your mental health is important! Take time to process your feelings, speak to your quarantine partner or get on the zoom call with your favourite person! P.S. have you heard of this cool new face-to-face social media app called Houseparty?!
2. PRODUCTIVITY IS NOT A CONTEST
It looks like everyone on Instagram is spending their social-distancing hours exercising their way out to a great bod, perfecting their Dalgona coffee or learning some fancy new language, while you are cooped up in bed binging on the latest season of Money Heist. #FacePalm! Pause. Breathe. It is okay to do your own thing! Of course, we wouldn’t ask you to Netflix away the pandemic. Find a craft or hobby you really enjoy. Take that calligraphy class online like you’ve always wanted. But, stop comparing your journey with others. You do you! BTW, did you know that Fender is offering three months of free online guitar lessons to see you through the lockdown!
3. KINDNESS IS ALWAYS ON FLEEK
This is one truth that is timeless — doing good always makes YOU feel better! Now that you’re done processing your feelings, take out a few moments from your day to think of creative new ways to help someone in need. You can start a GoFundMe page for a financially struggling freelancer, offer to buy groceries for an elderly neighbor (while following WHO safety guidelines), or send a funny meme to someone.
It’s time to replace the sound of panic and fear with reason. As UN Secretary-General António Guterres puts it, “This is a time for prudence, not panic. Science, not stigma. Facts, not fear!” Remember, you are not alone, we are all in this together.