Three Things I Do to Cope with 2020


People say this year has been tough, with the pandemic and the election, and everything else. To me, it is what it is. I try to not let the external events get to me, but there are times when I feel down and anxious. I guess that's just part of being a human.

About 30 minutes ago I was feeling down. Then I started playing my guitar even though it was really hard to sit down. Realizing that I would have to use my brain and my arms and fingers, I reluctantly played the first song. Soon after, I played three more songs. And just like many times before this, I felt better afterward.

Another activity that I did consistently when the weather was warmer was taking a morning walk. I'd wake up around 7 am during the summer months. After a cup or two of coffee, I take a 25-minute walk around the neighborhood behind my apartment. It's great to have the time to myself and think about nothing, something, or everything for about half an hour. My work day would then start at 8 am after I come back from the walk. This year, I walked every day from July 6 to October 15 without fail. Now, the weather is colder and the sky is darker. Consequently, I take fewer walks.

The last thing I do on a regular basis is writing. I've been writing on a private journal for the past ten years. Every three or four days I'd write something, even if it's just a record of past events. Sometimes I write about my feelings. It's soothing and feels like I'm in therapy. When I read my earlier entries, I can tell that my writing skill has improved. As a side effect, this helped me become a better communicator.

Except for buying the guitar initially, all three activities require little to no cost. Yet, each of them has brought me joy and kept me afloat during the tough times and the good times.

What are your go-to activities to alleviate stress and reduce anxiety? Feel free to let me know in the comments.