In these trying times, life is difficult. It is unprecedented, uncertain and extremely unnerving - but I want to share ways to cope, and, hopefully, to grow. I hope these things that I practice will also help you.


1. Stay aware but beware 

With an onslaught of information on all social media outlets and television, we are constantly exposed to the topic of the virus which makes it difficult to think about anything else. More than that, the information may or may not be completely valid – this leads to confusion, misinformation and panic. I have, time and again, found myself trying to navigate through this sea of information but what helps is, firstly, using trusted sources and, secondly, verifying from healthcare professionals.


2. Get creative!

Pick up that project you have wanted to do for so long – yes, the scrapbook, the photo album, the guitar you have wanted to learn. Follow the tutorial and make something you will be proud of! Creativity not only helps us stay distracted from that sense of isolation or fear but you end up with something you will cherish. The sense of making something with your own hands, be it a painting or a good meal, is unmatched. I spend most of my extra time writing and having fun with photography and art direction – it is a great escape. So let your inner painter/musician/photographer/chef (or any other talent you want to learn or polish) fly out in all its glory!


3. Self care

While we take care of others around us, of our households, of our studies and work-from-home, it is easy to feel the effect of isolation, so self care is very important. I try to follow a routine – getting ample sleep with a consistent pattern, eating healthy, and working out can do wonders for energy and strength. Early morning yoga, for example, helps you stay calm and grounded. Check out some videos on meditation!


4. Entertain yourself

Times like these bring to light the importance of artists in our lives. Thanks to writers, filmmakers, musicians and artists of every other kind, we have a variety of content at our fingertips ranging from TV shows and movies to books and songs that we can entertain ourselves with. (I admit I have been hooked to “Gilmore Girls” on Netflix). Listen to that podcast, join that online book club, and finish that TV show!


5. Remember: you can only help yourself with what you can control

Some things are just out of our control. What you can do is maintain social distancing and follow the prescribed rules, such as using masks and washing your hands, so keep doing that. These are things you have control over. They will make you feel like you are doing your part and protecting yourself and others around you. But panicking and over thinking will not help matters. I find it helpful to focus on the things that I can do – taking my online classes, studying, spending time doing things I enjoy, and being mindful of my blessings. If nothing else, at least counting our blessings like being close to family, being safe in our homes and having the privilege to stay home, will show us some sort of a silver lining.


Written by Zarlasht Kamran | You can find Zarlasht on Instagram by the name Tasveerikahani

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