What is Social Distancing? Can we handle it?

Guest Writer: Sydney Paulsen


We’re nearly through April of 2020, and though most of us feel like we’ve been cooped up inside long enough to last the rest of the decade, we still have no idea when things will return back to “normal” (though let’s be honest, that definition is always evolving and it’ll probably take awhile for us to catch up). Though one would think we’ve had time enough to get into a sort of routine or groove by now, most of the people I’ve talked to still feel less than motivated and have fallen into a creative rut. Even I’ve felt glum lately, and “working from home” has been my norm for the last four years! So, in light of all of this, I’ve conjured up a few things that could perhaps blow the blues away and make us feel a little lighter in spirit and a smidge more productive. 


The Out of Doors

Although social distancing is incredibly important, so is your mental and physical well being. Enjoy the sunny (or rainy) April days by jumping in puddles, filling your lungs with the fresh air, taking your bike out for a ride, or walking along your street. (Chocolate helps too, but that probably doesn’t need to be said). I’m lucky enough to have a backyard to soak in the sun, but even if I didn’t, I’d find my way out into the breeze somehow. The days I don’t take a few minutes to enjoy the world outside of my room, I’ve noticed my anxiety and stress have a much stronger hold. 


“Socializing” but 2020 Style

My brother lives down the street from me, and I’ve really missed hanging out with him and his wife on these lovely spring evenings. One solution we’ve found is to have “social distancing” parties! Either across the street from one another or across the yard, we’ve placed lawn chairs, cooked our own food, and chatted while playing music from a portable speaker. Although it doesn’t quite make up for our late movie and game nights, it’s so refreshing to change up the usual indoor eating schedule and exit the house to see a friendly (albeit faraway) face. 


Create a Daily Routine 

I think all our brains are freaking out a bit not knowing what to do without the lack of daily structure and routine. Even though most of us have been cooped up inside for long enough to get into a sort-of-kind-of groove, it’s still easiest to let the melancholy settle in. Motivation is my foe at the moment, but I know that when I do make a to-do list and stick to it, my brain is so much happier. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day fills the slightly chaotic void, as well as taking scheduled breaks for going outside and eating lunch. 


Make your own mask:

Who could have ever predicted that all our favorite YouTubers would be showing us how to make masks? DIYing masks has never been easier with the expanding array of tutorials out there on the internet right now. It seems like everyone has created a their own version of a pattern, and whether you have a brand new sewing machine or a dollar store needle and thread kit, you now can easily be just a little bit safer when having to make an essential run outside of your house! I have plans to sew a few in different fabrics to match my favorite outfits. Who says quarantining can’t be fashionable? 


Alternatively, don’t feel like making a mask, or you’ve already sewn too many to count? Plunge into that long list of “someday” projects you’ve always wanted to attempt but never had the time or gumption. I’ve started painting again and am finally making some custom t-shirts I’ve always wanted to design. 


I could go on and write a list of a six hundred and three ways we could be spending our extra time, but more than anything, give yourself (and those you’re quarantined with) a dose of grace. Life’s tough for each of us right now, and the more often we can smile and spread kindness, the easier our days will become. Call a friend, write a surprise letter to a faraway relative or a childhood bestie, and don’t lose hope. We’ll be okay.

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