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Give yourself grace

Updated: Mar 5, 2021

I would say that I'm going through a "senior slump," but it's more than that.

As we approach the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, in truth, I'm barely hanging on. Even with graduation in May, I can hardly see the light at the end of the tunnel.

My only consolation is that I'm not alone. My roommates, my friends, my family and practically everyone I know is feeling the same way: unmotivated and low-spirited.

For the first time in my life, I started an antidepressant. I share this because I want you to know it's okay to ask for help when you need it. It's helped me in some ways, but I'd be lying if I said that it's a miracle pill.

I've been trying, though, to do one thing for myself each day. It's not selfish; it's a form of self-care and so incredibly necessary these days. Here are a few things that I've been doing to keep my sanity in the chaotic world we're living in today. Maybe these tools can help you too.

  • Take advantage of the sun

There are real, science-based benefits to getting fresh air and some vitamin D. Make the most of the warm weather and take a walk, lay out to tan, or do work outside.

  • Make a vision board

I'm a visual person and seeing images of people and places that I love inspires me. Go buy a cheap poster board from Walmart or the closest drugstore, and make use of the old magazines you've been holding onto by cutting out images that bring you joy. Then glue whatever pictures and phrases you have to the board. Et voila!

  • Cook your favorite meal

Okay, I know cooking isn't always what a depressed person wants to do ... but feeding the soul is so helpful when you're down. Order a comfort meal for delivery and allow yourself to savor it! Enjoying food is part of the human experience, and it'll remind you of the small things worth living for.

  • Plan a weekend getaway

I recently went on a girls' trip to Savannah, GA, and it was such a nice escape. Even if you do not feel safe traveling during this time, it can be nice to get spend quality time with friends and those you love.

  • Watch a motivational TED Talk or your favorite movie

These days, even with so much more free time, I find myself needing to decompress by watching something mindless. I often like watching old movies that I've seen a million times, but other times I like to watch something that makes me think. TED Talks are a great source of inspiration for me and might just stir your curiosity in new topics too.

  • Practice mindfulness

I recently downloaded the Headspace app and have been practicing mindful meditation. It's a method focused on being intensely aware of what you're feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgment.

The most important aspect of mindful meditation is that it's a practice without being critical of yourself.

This leads me to my last point.

We need to keep pushing through times like this and it's not easy. I encourage you to give yourself grace when you're struggling and know that you're not alone. No body is perfect, and I believe we'll get through this if we just keep trying.

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