We definitely are in strange times. Just two months ago, most of us never would have thought we would be on lock down with grocery stores and pharmacies ransacked and essentials hard to come by. Most of us never saw times like this, it is reminiscent of the Great Depression and Spanish Flu outbreaks. People are scared and the government isn’t offering a lot in ways of easing the tension we feel. So how do we cope? I work for a company that has been deemed essential, so a lot of my days are like my normal routine. However, I still have to find ways to unwind and take away some of the stress I still feel over it. Here is how I cope.
The first, and easiest has been music. Music has been an important part of my life since childhood. There are genres I haven’t listened to in a long time and with not being able to go many places, it has offered me an opportunity to dredge up some of those. Being an XGener, the 80s was a big part of my music influence, so this was a good place to start. My Spotify has lists of things like Siouxsie and the Banshees, the Cure, Michael Jackson, Paula Abdul, and many more. Just putting on a pair of headphones and zoning out to music gives me the ability, for a moment, to forget all that seems to be falling apart around me.
I’m also a gamer and before the current stay at home order came down, I started loading my Xbox with my old 360 games. The tops ones have been Portal 2 and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I have got back into some of the games on PlayStation that I haven’t quite finished and started making progress again, Borderlands for example. With the state of things, Borderlands seems to fit in very well. Switch has been anything I can get my hands on. And my fall back is PC gaming. World of Warcraft has become a big thing for me again. I have started gearing up with the current expansion, and it’s been fun. But I also fall back to some classics like Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines. Gaming definitely has an immersive effect that can ease you away from the Covid-19 scare.
Streaming services are almost like a longtime friend, with all that’s going on. Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and Prime video are on almost every day. Though I have to say that I have been re-watching Lost Girl on Netflix the most. Sadly, Netflix is removing it from their lineup on April 17th and I will no longer have access after that. <insert pouty face emoji here> I have watched anything that comes up free on Prime and some of them have been utterly strange and laughable. Simon, King of the Witches probably the most so. It was filmed in the 70s and is about a witch who lives in the sewer. The effects are decent for the time and budget, the plot is easy to follow but laughable dialogue and acting. Not a bad watch if you are looking for something different.
The biggest thing that has helped me through all that is going on is my boyfriend. He is very pragmatic when it comes to all of this. Where I tend to get a bit paranoid thinking about government conspiracies and freaking out about where this will all end up, he is more the type to think about how it is affecting his day to day life. He takes the fear in a measured stride and as such becomes a calming influence. Talking and being near him allows me to loosen the knot that seems to perpetually be in my stomach. It helps when you can have someone to voice your concerns to and someone who listens to them without dismissing them as some delusion. He is really good at asking me about what the thoughts are behind my worries. Giving me a chance to see the pieces a little more clearly, as opposed to the jumbled mess that looking abstractly causes. I don’t think he realizes how much he has this kind of an effect on me. It is nice that he can get me out of my head.
Yes, times are strange, right now. We hear that they will get better, but we often can’t see beyond what’s in front of us. That is why the small distractions can be the most impactful. They let us escape from the madness that goes on in our heads. We each need to find the ones that can help us bring the fear level down for a bit, a chance to process and release. We have to, we can’t run around in a hyper alert state for extended periods because it will only burn us out. How are you coping with all that is going on? I would love to hear about your escapes and what works the best.