By Elizabeth Fedrick, PhD, LPC

Does anyone even know what day it is anymore?! Every day blurring into the next. Wake up some time mid-day. Shuffle out into the kitchen to see if maybe the food fairy came while I was sleeping to bring something, really anything, that I haven’t already had every morning on loop for weeks now. Slowly, and quite unenthusiastically, shuffle back into my room; confined to the same four walls that I have spent 90% of my time in over the past six weeks or so. I open up my laptop and halfheartedly start clicking through my homework assignments. Yep, not any more exciting than the last time I clicked through. At that point, I maybe dabble in some non-required homework, but also, maybe not. Finally, mom shouts in from the other room, the dreaded reminder to “get started on my schoolwork.” And so, I do. I finish within a couple hours and am quickly back to trying to find something to cure my boredom. I text a couple friends… try a new show on Netflix… and watch the hundred millionth TikTok video of the week… Until finally, I am too bored to take it anymore, and head back to bed. Ughhhhh. When will this quarantine ever end?!

While we might think that watching that hundred million and one TikTok video is the solution to our misery; unfortunately, that might not actually be the answer. Instead, consider some of these ideas for managing the sadness and stress of our current situation:

Stay connected. Engage virtually with friends and family as much as possible. Now is the time to call, text, and FaceTime to your heart’s content. Try using other platforms, such as Zoom or Facebook group video chat.

Keep a routine. Going to bed at a reasonable time (preferably before you see the sun rising), and waking up before 3pm each day, are very admirable goals during this time. Oh yeah, and showering and brushing your teeth daily will also earn you a gold star. Eating on a normal schedule and engaging in physical activity daily are also wonderful ways of taking care of yourself.

Try new things. This is a perfect time to try new hobbies (painting, gardening, baking, learning a new language, balloon animal designs, bird watching… no? too far?) You get the idea. Up until this point, life was often too busy for “new things”… here is your opportunity.

Track your experience. This is likely a once in a lifetime experience we are living through. Though it is certainly not an ideal experience, it is perplexing and unique, and therefore a fascinating experience to write about. Journaling is a great way to help cope and process through the current situation and will also be a very interesting thing to look back on in 20 years.

Seek help. It is really important that you tell a trusted adult if you are struggling with coping through this experience. It is an undeniably difficult experience for everyone, but if you are consumed with worry or sadness, please reach out to an adult for help.

Yes, you are correct. This situation is horrible, agonizing, and straight miserable. And quite honestly, there is nothing anyone can say or do to make this situation feel good. However, there are a lot of ways in which we can cope with the situation and try to make it at least more tolerable. We encourage you to pick a couple, if not all, of the above suggestions to help feel better… They are definitely worth a try!