Chaos, confusion, coronavirus: How to avoid an apocalyptic mentality

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With the COVID-19 pandemic, classes being moved online, students moving out halfway through the semester, power outages from the fall semester and cities going on lockdown, it’s very easy to feel scared for the future. We live in a time of chaos. As hard as it is, we need to find ways to stay grounded, or else we’ll go crazy constantly thinking about these unfortunate events that are out of our control. Here are a few tips for grounding yourself so you can avoid an apocalyptic mentality.

Limit your time browsing the news

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been told to read the news daily in order to be a well-informed, responsible citizen. The 24-hour news cycle and the fact that news pervades social media can be just too much sometimes. Don’t feel bad about turning off these notifications or choosing not to look at the news for a few days. Try looking up positive news to counteract the overwhelmingly apocalyptic rhetoric of the daily news.

Structure is good

Flat out, these online classes suck. It is not equitable and is nowhere near the same standards of a quality learning environment that being in the classroom face to face with your professor and peers provides. Although it may be tempting to put off watching lectures or to not log into live lectures, keeping to the routine we each created while on campus is good for us. Retaining this type of structure gives us certainty in a time of uncertainty, which will help keep us sane.  

Do something fun, and don’t feel bad about it

In the midst of what seems like the end of the world, it’s OK to have fun. These momentous issues are not your fault, and while you can do your part to help mitigate them, you can’t do everything to fix it. It’s OK to bake some treats, engage in your favorite hobbies, watch movies and talk to your friends. Enjoying life will help take your mind off of spiraling into pessimism. 

Don’t isolate yourself: The key is social distancing, not social isolation

If you’ve gone home for the semester, you might feel inclined to stay in your room all day under the covers. It’s in your best interest to stay connected to other people. Having a network of support from the people you care about is important for reminding you that you’re not alone. If you keep the weight of the world’s problems on your shoulders, you will collapse under all that weight. Call your friends so you can hear their voices and remember that you have each other and that you’re not alone in your worries about the state of the world.  

Offer your help if you’re able to

If you are healthy and take the right safety precautions, you should offer to buy groceries for your elderly neighbors or to babysit your neighbors’ kids if they can’t work from home. Helping others is the best way to help yourself. Not only will this take your mind off of the constant feeling of impending doom, but volunteering your time and energy will show your community you’re all in this together. 

The next few months will undoubtedly be very challenging for our society. It might not feel like it, but we will make it through. It’s important to remember that we can only control how we react and live our lives as a result of these challenges. We at the Clog want us all to do the best we can to stay calm and grounded. Stay safe and healthy, Bears!

Contact Özge Terzioğlu at [email protected].