Keeping calm, carrying on


Some are calling it Corona-cation; others are calling it the end of the world,” but one thing is clear to everyone:  there are no answers and no absolutes right now.  

“We have never lived through anything like this before,” Andrew Cuomo, New York governor, said. 

Not only is a presidential election on the horizon, economic markets are also unsteady, and to top all of that off, every day seems like a pandemic overload with social media and news outlets going wild to relay an overabundant number of updates about Covid-19. 

Stress and anxiety caused by all the craziness from external sources can be exhausting. Based on a poll from the Talon’s Instagram page, 71 percent of respondents felt scared about the upcoming weeks. With social distancing, or the strategy of limiting outside interactions such as school, work, restaurants, gatherings in order to limit the spread of a virus such as Covid-19, it can be easy to feel even more isolated and therefore more anxious.  

Personally, I am crammed in my house with my family, and we are all trying to find a sense of normalcy. My sister is home from college, and both of my parents have been asked to work remotely, so our kitchen table has become a makeshift office space. I do love my family, but the tensions over elbow space and who gets the best chair have definitely been on the rise.  

There is a light in this strange Black Mirror or Twilight Zoneesque time, and it can be found in routine. By creating a daily ritual similar to that which one would follow during the school week, being productive and calm becomes easier.  

  1. Set a wake-up time, and stick to it. 

Waking up at your usual 6:30 A.M. may not be necessary for the next few weeks, but setting an alarm to coax you out of bed sometime before the clock strikes noon can help keep circadian rhythms in check. Sleeping in every day seems luxurious, but it will lead to feeling like every day is a Saturday which is not great.  

     2. Schedule daily exercise. 

Whether it is a short walk outside to get some fresh air or a body-weight workout full of intense push-ups, moving your body in some form is more important than ever. Exercise releases endorphins, a chemical which increases happiness and decreases stress levels. Including movement in your day can help fend off the “Corona Blues” which is critical at this time. 

     3. Take time to connect with others through technology. 

The Centers for Disease Control recommends staying home and avoiding interacting with others as much as possible. This can have a negative effect on mental health, though, so be sure to find ways to remind yourself and others that no one is alone in this. FaceTime or Skype, phone calls, and even a quick text to a friend can be a great reminder that there are still other humans outside, and we are in fact not living in silos.