You may have noticed that we are in the middle of a global pandemic. These are some stressful times. Being in my mid-twenties, I wasn’t old enough to grasp the severity of swine flu, SARS, MERS, or the recession in 2008, but I can feel the full weight of what we are going through as a world right now.
This feels unprecedented. From people panicking and scurrying to stockpile all of the toilet paper, hand soap and hand sanitizer they can find, to the eerily quiet city streets. It’s a high-stress environment to say the least.
People deal with stress in different ways. Some people hoard household necessities, others cling to whatever normalcy they can by continuing their daily lives as much as possible.
There’s a lot of judgement about how we should be responding, what we “should” be doing, and what our finances should look like during this time. This is one of the most massive but unusual events in most people’s lives, so is there really a “correct” way to feel about it?
Since people deal with stress in different ways and we all come from different places of privilege, I wanted to cover different things you shouldn’t be ashamed of right now.
You do what you gotta do, okay?
11 Things You Shouldn’t Feel Any Shame About While Social Distancing
Credit card spending
If you work in one of the many industries that has been affected by social distancing measures, you might be unemployed for the time being. Which is scary. On top of how scary this already is, you might be short on money. If you need to put a little extra on your credit card, you should not be ashamed of it.
Mental health expenses
You should never be ashamed of seeking professional mental health care, but nonetheless, there is still a stigma around mental health. During this time, you might find yourself more anxious, lonely or depressed than normal. Just because you’re social distancing doesn’t mean you have to be totally alone in this, don’t hesitate to reach out. There are many virtual options for therapy that you can sign up for, like talkspace.
Taking out a loan
Whether you’ve lost your job, or you’re getting zero hours a week, it might be a good time to take out a loan. Especially with the Fed reducing the interest rate to 0%. If you’re a small business, you may need to do this as well, in an effort to keep employees hours up.
If you’re really pinched for finances, don’t be ashamed of needing to take out a loan. Nothing about our current financial situation is ideal, and if you’re one of the many Americans who are “temporarily unemployed” but you don’t qualify for unemployment, payday loans can be a good way to get cash quickly.
Not being able to cover your bills
If you aren’t working as much as you used to, or at all, you probably can’t make some of your bills. It’s understandable that you would prioritize your food and health over paying off your student loan or cable bill this month.
Borrowing money from family, friends, or clients
Don’t be afraid to borrow money from your grandma or your circle of support. They may be able to afford this extra time off or be able to work from home, but you may be struggling. If you’re torn between pride and putting food on the table, choose food.
If you work in any sort of freelance or service industry such as hair stylists, personal training, or photography, it’s okay to ask for/ accept bulk payments from clients. When your livelihood depends on a client physically coming in, you might be left with no choice but to close up shop.
Not being incredibly productive
I’ve been seeing a lot of people completely optimizing their extra time by knitting, building up their businesses, or super cleaning their house (which is great!), but not everyone is feeling up to creating or producing. If you need to take this time to just get your mind right, that’s valid. If you’re inventing something or building a business, all the power to you.
Generally being worried… or not being worried
You might be more worried than you normally are. Your mind could be full of “What if’s” and “When will this end?”. Maybe you aren’t worried, at all. Lucky you.
Wherever you’re at mentally, there isn’t a right or wrong answer. It’s normal to feel unsure during this time.
Not paying attention to every bit of news – feel free to get off the internet
It can be tempting to keep up on the latest updates on COVID-19. But just like during any rough time, the news is going to be FULL of points of view, sad, tragic, and catchy headlines. In an effort to protect yourself from being overwhelmed, it’s natural to want to unplug and stop paying attention to all of the noise.
Instead, you could try reading something to get your mind off all the headlines. Some of my favorites lately are:
- Money School: Become financially independent and reclaim your life by Lacey Filipich
- You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life By Jen Sincerno
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson
Signing up for TikTok
You may have noticed a surge in adults using Tik Tok. I’ve seen so many of my friends creating accounts and having quarantined dance parties. You may have thought of Tik Tok as an app primarily for teens, but with all this extra time on your hands, you might find yourself wanting to come up with a dance. And who knows, maybe you’ll go viral!
Going outside – the one thing you can do (for now)
Social distancing is going to make a huge difference in the spread of Coronavirus. Depending on what part of the world you live in, you may still be able to go outside as long as you keep your distance! Getting some fresh air can be incredibly helpful in maintaining some sense of normalcy and also give you something to look forward to during the day.
Eating all the junk food you bought for your quarantine
The corn dogs were cheap.
They sounded good.
Don’t feel guilty for indulging in all of your yummy snacks.
You’re doing the best you can
Humans respond differently to chaos and stress. One thing that remains to be true, is that we are all in this together and can help impact our communities and try our best to stay healthy. Our world will get through this. In the meantime, enjoy your snacks, wash your hands, stay home and create a Tik Tok account, and, while you’re at it try not to judge yourself!