Note: this article is part of a new series, ‘Vigornia Advises,’ in which our writers will answer reader questions and offer advice. You may submit questions to either of the two faculty advisors, or comment directly on this or other advice columns, to ask a question.
A global pandemic is not your average life experience, but it is something that we are learning through together. Coming up on almost a year of chaos like no other, we have pieced together a new normal, bit by bit. As we have seen, life isn’t perfect, but I hope I can provide some advice to those in need.
How can I still connect with my friends if I am not allowed to see them in person?
This year has been a great experimentation of the virtual world. Although we can’t interact with each other physically like in the past, it is still important to utilize our useful virtual tool to connect as much as we can. Here are some ideas:
- PowerPoint night: bring your friends together over zoom to present PowerPoints about a topic of your choice! This is a chance to share a fun presentation; it can be funny, silly, or about something you care about deeply.
- Game night: Again, over Zoom or FaceTime, come together to play rounds of cards or games on online websites.
- Movie night: Certain television platforms, such as Netflix and Disney+, give us the ability to send our friends a link to watch movies together and chat in the chat bar.
- It might be difficult to find opportunity for outdoor activities in this weather, but if you are in desperate need of some in-person, socially distanced, ideas you could always go for a walk, have a picnic, or you could meet in a parking lot and talk through the cars (masked!)
- Be creative! These are just a short list of ideas, but I advise you to take creative liberty by trying something new, while still taking proper precautions.
What can I do to stay motivated?
Being at home can be tedious, repetitive, and emit an overall un-motivating energy, but it is important to stay on track. You could…
- Organize your space. Organizing your computer desktop, Spotify or other music playlists, your room, or anything else you think is detrimental to your motivation might inspire you to be more active. A clean space, in my opinion, is one of the best places to set down the first layer of motivation.
- Schedule out your time using a planner or other device. This might bring some more structure and control to your day.
- Find a new hobby!
- Take breaks. While it is important to stay active, it is also healthy to give ourselves a break to recharge. Some options:
- Physical activity.
- Listening to music. Experiment with new genres!
- Clean or help out around the house.
- Paint, draw, bake, or watch television.
What should I do if my friends are pressuring me to hang out with them unsafely?
If you do not feel comfortable in a situation, I think the best thing to do is to talk honestly about your concerns. If you express your honesty, they will listen and understand. You could also address the seriousness of the situation at hand and let them know how important it is to take precautions. Remember: you have the right to keep yourself and others safe.
How can I deal with anxiety about going into public?
I would first recognize that it is valid to feel this way. The virus can be a scary thing and you may feel a loss of control to keep yourself, friends, and family safe. The best way to ease these worries is to take proper public health actions such as wearing a mask, staying distanced, using hand sanitizer, and washing your hand for at least 20 seconds. Take a deep breath and try to unwind, whether by disconnecting from social media, distracting yourself, or having conversations with those you trust.
I hope my advice helped bring some peace of mind, but as I said before, I still encourage you to spring some more ideas off of this list and be creative. If you have any questions for the advice page, feel free to email The Vigornia or comment directly on this article.