When it comes to the pandemic and Covid-19, millennials have been finding ways to cope with the last year as a result of having to be indoors most days, out of work, not being able to see friends and family as much, and managing to stay sane. To my surprise, when I posted my question via Facebook, I received a lot of positive feedback about different coping activities and it seems as though many people tried their hardest to take advantage of the downtime they had, which is inspiring to read.
I know that for myself (and I am sure most), the past year has been a physical, mental, and emotional rollercoaster. Before the pandemic, I was in the works of starting a dance company, just got promoted to assistant manager at work, just moved from Escondido back to the “gayborhood”, was about to start a brand-new live show at local bar, I mean, the list goes on. My depression and anxiety became intensified not being able to work and do what I loved, which was dance. Not only that but drinking alcohol started happening earlier and earlier until it got to the point where I was taking a shot every other hour to calm down the nerves. Thank goodness for my best friend, going to the gym, and being able to teach dance via Zoom! If it wasn’t for these three things, coping with the pandemic and stay at home order would have been much more of a feat. OH! I cannot forget to thank my local dispensaries and the legalization of marijuana in California because according to the feedback I received, it seems like I am not the only person who has been smoking like Snoop Dogg to deal with the day-to-day struggle that we call the “Pandemic Life”.
So, what have we been up to during this pandemic?
Social Media – Of course because we are not able to be around all our friends at the same time so social media has really kept us connected and able to share information. On the opposite side of the spectrum though, some of us have had a tough time scrolling through all the drama and have given those social apps a break for mental health sake. Either way, remember that there is always a healthy balance and there is nothing wrong with taking a step back for yourself.
Home Cooking – A lot of us have picked up cooking at home! Something that I can even attest to. I was not the type of person who cooked but once the interest started, I began to love it! Cooking breakfast foods like French Toast, Steak and Eggs, to dinner foods like Spaghetti, Hamburgers, and Tacos. The only problem I have is cooking too much food and I’m still learning to cook for one, but I guess that is a good problem to have.
Tik Tok – That’s right, Tik Tok. As much as we cringe when we hear those words, we all know what it is, and we all have seen the videos. Even though most of the app is full of people trying to dance their way to “clout”, I have actually learned quite a few things from Tik Tok videos like card games, how to actual put in a garbage bag, and, okay, I admit it, dances.
Live Streaming – Because the pandemic has been a struggle for most of us financially, we have been using different and any avenues to make some extra money for the month. Many Drag Queens were doing virtual shows, some have been selling baked goods, and others are making Onlyfans! Creating private (usually sexual) content so that people can purchase a subscription to view it. Others have taken to twitter to share their content. My opinion, if you are making money and not hurting yourself or others, you do what you need to do, boo! Sex work, in my opinion is not something to look down upon because it is labor and it is work. Some people believe that it is all pleasure and games but there is a real preparation, market, promotion strategy, and work that goes behind being a sex worker
Some other positive feedback I received:
- Going back to school and/or finishing degrees
- Playing video games
- Spending more time with family
- Working out more
- Quitting drinking and/or smoking cigarettes
- Adopting pets
- Starting a small business
- Learning a new language
- Sought Financial Advisory
- Working on Mental Health
Now, there are only so many hours of the day that you can keep yourself occupied and distracted from the world that is. Many of us have been watching our lives away with Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, YouTube food eating ASMR, and any other platform we could get our hands on or in this case, eyes on. Sleeping excessively some days because somedays, trying is just way too much.
Lastly, and maybe not so much on a positive note, we have all be working on our mental health and working on ourselves in general. Something like this, especially during a pandemic, can definitely take a toll and it is an everyday practice that has no ending point. I commend every person who has taken that hard look in the mirror and has been able to fight through his, her, or their personal obstacles because it is rough. I must say, that I do love to see that we are able to speak on our mental states a little bit more (at least in my group of Facebook friends) because it is important to have an outlet. Some of my friends have even expressed receiving professional help and being prescribed antidepressants. It takes courage, strength, and determination of wanting better for yourself to ask for help. Do you feel like you have made any strides when it comes to the past year? Maybe you have just been working on staying at homeostasis and that is fine, too. As friend told me recently, there is no time like the present and if you feel in your heart that there is something you would like to do, I say, do it! When are you going to really get the chance to explore what you like and get to know yourself like this?