After a year of COVID-19 and dealing with the stresses that came with it, we wanted to see how some of our Deseret News writers have coped. We asked them what’s helped them make it through the year, or really even just the day. Here’s what they had to say.
- Go for a run wearing my angry SpongeBob hat. This is a hat I stole/inherited from my children about 10 years ago. It is so ridiculous but always makes me feel better just putting it on. And it often makes the people I pass smile, too.
- Clean something like it is about to be inspected by Martha Stewart. I think a lot of us have felt helpless about our circumstances during the pandemic, and the easiest way to regain a sense of control is to organize/clean/sterilize something. Even getting a single drawer cleaned out makes a huge difference in how I feel about life generally.
- Listen to majestic hymns on YouTube. (The Tabernacle Choir has a great rendition of “O God Our Help in Ages Past” from 2014.) For me, classic hymns are like a portal to peace. And some of the videos show the lyrics, so I can sing along on even the third and fourth verses when I’m in the kitchen, preparing meals.
- I am carving out more intentional family time with Saturday movie/popcorn/puzzle nights with my college-age daughters and husband. I am also benefitting from more side-to-side conversations in the car or on the couch, where we talk about important things without declaring that they are important eye-to-eye talks.
- I am talking to my sister more often than when things were normal, by design. We get on the phone and chat for an hour or so a week, which is really lovely.
- And I haven’t given up lunch with friends. My pal Tia and I pull our cars up 8 feet apart in the parking lot of a store that is closed down, midway between us, facing in opposite directions. Then we roll down our windows and chat across the distance while we each enjoy the lunch we brought ourselves. Surviving just takes some creativity.
- I’ve been depressed for the majority of the pandemic. In the beginning, I tried to focus on the future, but now I just try to get through one day at a time.
- Over the summer, when many of the people and places I love were once again threatened by wildfires, Terry Tempest Williams wrote, “Grief is love.” From that, I wrote “Grief is love. Our souls long to love” on a sticky note and look at it every day. They bring me some solace.
- Besides just trying to remember that it’s OK not to be OK, I run almost every day. It feels good to be active, even if it’s just laps around my neighborhood. To focus on my breath, and, for just a moment, forget everything besides the joy of movement.
- I watch mind-numbing reality TV. Recently, I’ve loved “The Challenge” and “Pawn Stars.”
- I hang out with my baby. Having Murray in August definitely spiced up my pandemic experience!
- I listen to audiobooks. And I force my baby to listen, too! We’re a fun little book club.
- With the challenges facing individuals, families, communities and our nation, a little laughter could go a long way. Laughter lifts the heart, enlightens the mind and actually strengthens the soul.
- The certain answer during COVID-19: Be kind, smart and important.
- Linking and locking arms, in the midst of challenges, setbacks and difficulties is indeed a powerful, principled pattern for bouncing forward.
We hope something here strikes a chord with you as you carry on. It’s heartening to realize we’re not alone in the struggle, and there are good days to be had during the pandemic.