What a fucking whirlwind.
One day I was in line at Disneyland getting to ride the new Rise of the Resistance Ride and the next thing I know I’m being sent home to telecommute. I’m seeing rising numbers of infections. I’m seeing my parents get sent home without pay for the unforeseeable future.
Us with an Alpaca pre-COVID. This alpaca probably already knew about COVID and thought we were dumb for coming out to play.
We live in unprecedented times. Does anyone remember SARS? Yeah, this shit is way worse than that. I was also a kid who did not earn money or have to provide for anyone, much less myself, when SARS hit.
Amidst ALL of the the chatter on social media, I find myself standing in a the eye of a metaphorical tornado of news reports, family pressure, and quarantine. As a queer, womxn of color, this shit sucks.
I wanted to write a blog post for all of my POC and QPOC family out there. You’re not alone and I’m right there with you. I feel the same ball of anxious energy in my tummy. I have trouble sleeping at night no matter how much I work out.
We cannot change the situation, but we can empower ourselves to change our mindset in the most loving and caring ways possible. Here’s my COVID-10 survival guide, Q/POC style.
*DISCLAIMER: I am not a therapist nor am I trying to be one. I am not saying if you take my advice you will get better or be better. Please note these are my personal experiences.
#1: Look at your budget and be realistic with yourself on where you’re at financially.
I know this seems counterintuitive. Xiaopan, why would I want to freak myself out more? Figuring out what you really have in the bank in terms of liquid cash will give you a crystal clear picture of what you need to do. It may not reduce your stress, but it’ll be the truth. Instead of sitting in a dreary, anxious cloud of “I don’t know how much I have and I hope it’s enough, I think it’s enough”, take charge and take control of your financial destiny. Trust me, it’s one of those gets worse before it gets better situations.
Some of us need to stay busy and DO SOMETHING in this time and trust me, this will give you plenty to do. I did this today and panicked for a hot second, but was able to regain my footing and figure out how to create safety nets for myself and my family.
#2: Write down all the negative things you’re saying to yourself right now. No filter, just write (or type).
This method isn’t for everyone. If you’re like me, trying to replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts isn’t effective and actually makes the negative thoughts come back stronger.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying wallow in your misery. Write down the negative things and then go over them one by one and try asking yourself these questions:
For example, a negative self truth I have is: If I don’t give my parents money immediately if they need it, I am a bad daughter and a selfish one. They might not love me anymore.
#3: Connect with other human beings.
Zoom is one of the best tools to do this. You can create a free account and create a meeting link. Send this link to friends and you can all see/hear each other and catch up. Their stock is worth something like $29 billion right now btw (no big deal).
I find that when I am alone too much or in my thoughts too much, I feel really isolated and have no touch points to ground myself. I need affirmation, even if it is hearing another’s voice. You’d be surprised at how you can brighten your day by seeing a loved one or friend you trust.
My favorite games to play virtually are: Settlers of Catan (they have a GREAT iPad app and you can play with up to 3 people for free) and Jackbox – Drawful (they are offering this game for free if you download Steam and Drawful).
#4: Fill your tummy with food that makes you happy and comforts you and maybe eat it with friends virtually OR watch your favorite Netflix/Hulu/Disney+ show or movie.
Food is one of my most positive memories and anchors in my life. It makes me feel loved and happy, all the flavors bursting in my mouth! Think about what food you are craving and indulge lovingly. I wouldn’t recommend eating way too much and then not being able to move after. A lot of fast food places and restaurants are offering curb side services. OR make that box mac you’ve been saving. Heat up that Hot Pocket in that freezer. Make some sweet potato fries.
#5: Learn something new.
There are lots of colleges and small business owners that are offering free or heavily discounted classes. I’ve seen stuff on budgeting, investing, photography, wedding planning, etc. Now is the time to take advantage of this stuff because at a normal time (oh how I miss the normal times…) it’d cost something.
On Wednesday, I offered a free course on Lightroom and Visual Cohesion on your Instagram feed. It was totally free and I accepted donations if folks were willing to give, but no pressure if not. I’ve been getting a lot of feedback that it was super helpful and gave people stuff to do even after the course was over.
By the way, if you’re interested, I’m offering lifetime access to the replay of the course (I recorded it, duh!) and a bonus module on editing with Lightroom mobile for $33 (valued at $333). Now’s the time to start that passion or side hustle Instagram and start it off on the right foot. I talk about values, branding, colors, AND teach you how to edit iPhone photos. Sign up here.
I hope y’all are doing okay. Please know I am in this with you. I love y’all.