New Brunswick — If you’re feeling down in the dumps lately, you’re not alone: mood and mental health are at an all-time low for everyone, and with good reason. All it takes is one internet doom-scroll to see that the world is basically ending and there’s nothing you can do about it.
You can change your overall reaction to the constant barrage of grim news, though, with these handy tips:
- Take a soothing bubble bath: But remember that water is a precious, limited resource and you’re robbing future generations of it with each luxurious soak.
- Count yourself lucky you got fired from your job: Take a moment while sitting in your Tostito-crusted pajamas to think about all the former co-workers still stuck in the office during a global pandemic. That would probably actually be worse than being at home eating chips and watching Sex and the City reruns. At least you can collect E.I.? Until it runs out…OMG, then what?!? There are no jobs to be had except for fast food or retail — jobs that guarantee you’ll suffer abuse at the hands of hundreds of Karens who are angry about vaccines. Push those thoughts aside.
- Go for a walk outside: Just make sure to wear a mask in case you pass strangers who could transfer COVID-19 to you through the air. Take time to smell the roses. Figuratively, of course — your mask should cover your mouth and nose at all times.
- Fantasize about all the fun times you used to have…before: But don’t live in the past! Remember that time you went on vacation to Cuba? That may never happen again, but if you try really hard, you might be able to recapture the feeling of serenity and wellbeing you experienced when lying on a beach in the sun drinking complimentary mojitos. Probably best not to look at the photos, though — back then you were a lot thinner and seeing that will only make you feel worse. You can at least relive it by getting really drunk and passing out at 7 p.m.
- Take up a new hobby: …If there are any remaining pastimes you didn’t totally exhaust by the end of last March when this was all a novelty. Baking sourdough bread…no, not that…hm…well maybe getting together with friends over Zoom for a trivia night? No…that one’s beyond played out. Surely to god there must be something left to do or learn. Perhaps you could finally write that novel? Just don’t set it in current times because nobody wants to read about the pandemic.
- Get another pet: But we just read that, apparently, people can actually pass coronavirus on to their cats? Jesus, what’s next??
- Eat a healthy diet: But remember that the grocery store is a hotbed for viral transmission and prices on fresh vegetables and fruit have skyrocketed just in the last year or two. Tell yourself you’re grateful for that $7 organic bell pepper and those $9 free-run eggs as your bank account steadily and scarily dwindles.
- Plan a fun road trip: But don’t actually go on the trip — have you seen gas prices lately??
- Become your own boss: It may finally be time to give in to that annoying girl from high school who keeps messaging you about her pyramid scheme. Why not? Is there anything left to lose?