The Quarantine Crash. It’s the feeling of utter defeat, exhaustion, and boredom from being cooped up and crammed down. There are days that I feel great. I’m checking things off my to-do list, I’m being productive and feeling good about all that I’ve accomplished. Other days, I’m a pile of bricks taking up space on the living room floor. I feel useless and can’t convince myself to do anything other than eat cookies and watch reruns. Now, I’m not one of those people who believe you have to start a business or lose 100 pounds during quarantine. If you manage to do all that, fine and kudos to you. But there shouldn’t be any pressure to be extraordinary in the midst of abnormal time. We are people experiencing the unimaginable and we have to process it all in a way that’s healthy and realistic. I do however believe you need to take care of yourself. The tips below are all about being proactive. By having a list of things you can do, it can keep you from doing the things that spiral you into a crash. This is about not allowing the crash to crush you.
1. Create a playlist. Almost every music app has a playlist option that allows you to combine songs in the perfect order in the way you love. Gather together your favorite mood music and create an hour’s worth of jams at least. It could be your favorite old school tunes, a little gospel inspiration, your feeling something sexy set, or a combination of it all. Then plug the playlist into your big speakers and let the music fill you up. Music is practically magical and can change the atmosphere. Dance to it, meditate or clean the house. Either way, creating a playlist is fun and enjoying it is sure to give you a boost.
2. Listen to a speaker. Ever heard something so inspiring, you felt good all over? Well, consider what some inspiration can do when the quarantine crash is upon you. Either Ted Talks or Spoken Word (just search on YouTube), hearing someone speak life is a great way to feel connected to your own. Unlike music that you can tune out, hearing someone speak requires you to tune in. Be intentional about creating an atmosphere and then soak up the good vibrations. Think of it as meditation. Make a cup of tea, get comfortable, and listen real good. You’re bound to walk away feeling empowered and energized.
3. Take a class. Okay, I know you’ve seen this one a lot but I swear to you, you won’t regret it. And I’m not saying that just because I teach them. Find an interactive class that requires you to log in, set intentions, and interact with people. This is much more than a lecture. This is you getting out of your comfort zone and into a different space. Even from home, you can be transformed into the zoom room and engage in a writing workshop, an art class, or a lively discussion. This can seem very scary. However, strangers are the perfect people to let loose in front of. Who are they gonna tell? To find classes, search local events, or ask social media.
4. Get to know yourself. I have always loved asking myself tough questions. (Maybe because as a kid, I liked to sit in front of a mirror and pretend like Oprah was interviewing me.) In answering those questions, I’ve had some serious revelations about myself. You can do the same. Just find a list of questions that challenge you and commit to answering them all. Warning: This can be emotionally exhausting so I don’t encourage you to do this is you’re already feeling sad. In exchange, find a list of light-hearted and fun questions. Maybe even a journal prop and write It’ll change your mind and refocus your energy.
5. Read. What? Read. Yes, Read! Education and development have always had a way of making people feel empowered. Why? Because we all appreciate intelligence. Example: Do you know that nothing starts with N and ends with G. (Okay, I hope that made you giggle.) But my point is, learning something new can empower you to travel down a new thought path. A book, a short story, an article, a lecture, an essay, a speech. But don’t just browse through Facebook, read with the intention of learning something new. You’d be surprised what new things might interest you.
6. Hobby This is so cliche’ but let’s take up a hobby. I started gardening and have been considering clay sculptures. I saw it on Youtube. There’s no talent you can’t have with hard work. Pick something you’ve wanted to try or have been meaning to start and making a hobby of it. Set aside a few times a week where you’ll learn about it, practice, try again, try again, get frustrated, try again, and then eventually wanna show your momma like “Look what I can do!”
These tips seem easy enough, right? Trust me, I know what it feels like to want to spend an entire day in bed or on the couch. However, every day has something to offer. It might be as simple as discovering a new song or as epic as making a new friend. But you’ll miss out on the adventure if you disconnect. Be intentional about practicing preventive crashes. Fill your calendar with things to do and after you’ve put in the work, treat yourself to ice-cream and reality tv! You owe it to yourself to take advantage of every opportunity and to feel the good vibrations.
PSA: Now, more than ever, our mental health is being challenged and its healthiness is a priority. The quarantine crash is not a medical disorder. Nor is it a substitute for legitimate health concerns and this article is not a treatment plan. Continue to seek counsel from mental health professionals and follow any regime they have provided. I believe that with the right support system and a willingness to do the work, we can all survive this.