It’s a weird time, friends and loved ones; we’re all feeling disconnected and scared, and many of you are, too. Many of us are simultaneously hyper-plugged-in – to Twitter, to the news, to Instagram, to seeing that dumb “Imagine” song posted everywhere — and isolated, feeling like the only person alive eating noodles with butter for breakfast at 11 am and panicking a little when you can’t know how everyone else is spending their time because no one has posted an Instagram story for 20 minutes. We’re here to share a little about how we’re spending this time and what rituals, routines and practices are helping us get through this period; share yours with us too?
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Carrie Wade, Writer
Lately I’ve found comfort in the idea of “Best Next Choice”: I can’t control much of anything about what’s happening right now on a global scale, and none of us truly knows what’s coming each day, but what I can do is make the best possible next decision with the information I have.
For me, that’s meant social distancing as well as staying informed via local news sources; I use national sources to keep up more broadly, but focus most of my attention locally, since that’s where I can learn a) the most relevant new developments and b) how to put my financial resources, such as they are, to immediate and meaningful use. I’ve found that balance of news consumption extremely helpful for keeping panic spirals at bay. When the “rules” for how to navigate are changing by the hour, I don’t actually want every piece of information I could possibly get — I want to know what I can and should do right where I am. So far that’s looked like donating money to local orgs and businesses, heading out to my parents’ house to give them peace of mind (and a designated grocery shopper), and staying inside except for a daily walk as far as possible from others.
I’m sure I won’t be the only person in this roundtable to recommend meditation, but if it at all appeals to you, I’d say now is as good a time as any to start. I fell off the meditation wagon for a bit but it’s safe to say I am back on now. And I’d be remiss not to share my feel-good show of the moment: The Repair Shop on Netflix. As we all face a wildly uncertain present and future, it feels great to watch some stuff get fixed.
Drew Gregory, Writer
I really want to write something here that is inspiring and hopeful and brings comfort to whoever reads it. But I’m trying to be easier on myself through all of this and I know it might just not be possible. Some days I won’t be able to write or say or do the perfect thing that helps others, some days I won’t even be able to get out of bed.
As of writing this I’ve officially been completely self-quarantined for a week. Much of that week was spent trying – and failing – to maintain my usual work-from-home habits and trying – and failing – to convince people in my life, especially my roommates, that they needed to take this seriously. I’ve felt despair at what I initially perceived as selfishness and nihilism, but now view as something more complex. We’re all totally unprepared for circumstances like this and that’s going to manifest for people in different ways. It left me extremely agitated to watch people I share a space with who have the option to stay home choose otherwise. But in the passing days my anger has subsided, and, I guess, been replaced with something closer to sadness. Never have I wanted less to be able to say I told you so.
The past week I’ve been confronted with the extent of my mental illness. I feel like the tricks I’ve spent the past five years learning to manage my OCD no longer apply. How do you stop irrational thoughts when they’re no longer irrational? How do you check in with reality when reality is itself so terrifying? Previously, thoughts like if I don’t do this basic task perfectly my parents will die could obviously be acknowledged, considered, and let pass as a false intrusive thought. But now even the shred of truth attached to it has overwhelmed me. My roommates coming in and out and inviting their partners to come in and out and friends to come in and out doesn’t have me worried for myself. I just can’t silence the thoughts of all the people they’re spreading it to – people who still have to go to work, people who don’t have homes, people who are immunocompromised. Then I think about them spreading it to me and who I might spread it to when I do ultimately have to leave to restock on groceries – even if I do so with precaution. This has me rationing food in a way that I know isn’t healthy as someone who on a good day doesn’t have the best relationship to food. I’m also worried about all the people I know and don’t know who are now out of work. Before the quarantine began I was trying to find ways to make more money and given some of the work I do I know I could keep doing that – I want to be someone who can give money to those who need it instead of being yet another person who will need to ask for help. And, yet, I’ve never been less productive.
Okay, so that’s me being honest about where I’m at. But it’s also leaving out the fact that I’ve cried as many happy/comfort tears this week as I have sad/scared tears. Something about the current situation has heightened everything for me and filled me with levels of gratitude I didn’t know possible. I feel grateful for the friends of mine who have taken this seriously and have comforted me when I felt insane. I feel grateful for my best friend who is checking in on me via FaceTime multiple times a day. I feel grateful for my friend who scheduled a FaceTime hang out for later in the week when – unknowing to her – I was feeling my loneliest. I feel grateful for my friends who invited me to play games on Google Hangout after my worst day this week. I feel grateful for the journalists I know who are continuing to write important coverage even as they’re struggling themselves. I feel grateful for the friend who sent me a quarantine playlist. I feel grateful for the people I’m getting to know better with this excuse to chat online. I feel grateful for the organizers and activists who are providing practical aid to those who need it most and pushing politicians and companies to act responsibly. I feel grateful for the book I’m reading – Vivek Shraya’s The Subtweet – that’s good enough to actually pull my attention away from Twitter. I feel grateful for all the other books on my shelf that are giving me something to look forward to. I feel grateful for Fiona Apple, Solange, Ingrid Michaelson, and Carly Rae Jepsen. I feel grateful for Glee, yes Glee, for providing a silly and necessary distraction. And, most of all, I’m grateful for everyone at Autostraddle who has been enthusiastic and practical in their determination to meet this crisis with love and action. I honestly don’t feel like I’m there yet, but witnessing that level of focused selflessness has inspired me to try and get there – not out of guilt or self-judgement, but from a place of possibility.
Kamala Puligandla, Editor-in-Chief
I like rituals, they help make me feel at ease, and allow my body and mind to kick into modes they already know. I’ve gotta say, a lot of my rituals are off now that we’re social distancing and since I just can’t tell whether or not I should be outside if other people are outside! Also my life/love/writing practice is heavily reliant on being able to go to talks, events, dinner, drinks, film screenings, strange installations with friends and pack on to each other’s couches and discuss all the things we’re reading and thinking and feeling and lying awake at night anxious about, and for me, there’s an energy in the being together that ignites new ideas and tangents that follow that are — though I’m in love with text — impossible to mimic in written form and lost in virtual space. So, let’s be real, I feel flattened and less magical.
I have fear for everyone’s livelihoods and what it means to be separated from sources of joy, and feel uncertainty about our future, but I also am CHILLING. Because I know that’s something I can have control over. I can make my apartment into a deep chill station. Every night I turn on my purple light and smoke a joint and listen to Alice Coltrane while I watch the smoke curl around my (thriving, btw) money plant. And then I read aloud to myself (and sometimes to friends) and laugh loudly at all the ridiculous parts, and eat forkfuls of mint chocolate chip ice cream but do not allow myself to chew the chips until all the ice cream parts have melted in my mouth. I could probably do other things. But I’m not. I’ve also gotten in my car a few times to scream sing while I drive the 2 North into the Angeles Mountains.
I went to Joshua Tree right before this pandemic got very serious and my friend Angela had me empty a bunch of pitchers into the sand at sunset and asked me what I wanted to be rid of, what had helped me arrive where I’m at, but wasn’t serving me anymore. And I dumped several large pitchers of impatience water out into the sand and watched them get sucked back up into the earth. So now I’m learning to wait and see — and as an Aries in Aries season, this is no small feat — but I am pretty sure this is how I’m going to keep my cool for now.
Ro White, S L I C K Editor
Right now I’m focusing on supporting my own health and survival and supporting the folks around me. I made a list of all the ways I’d like to spend my time at home. If I feel lost, I have something to return to. The list includes everything from “practice writing topical jokes” to “have a solo dance party” to “do some push-ups… more than 10!”
I live alone, which feels scary right now. Every morning, I check in with a friend who also lives alone. We’ve made each other out “designated check-in buddies,” and our morning ritual of, “Hey! You still healthy and safe?” makes me feel a little more at ease.
I’m used to going to a rock climbing gym several days a week to keep my physical and mental health in check. Lately, I’ve been going for long walks outside instead. On those walks, I’ve been checking in on friends and family who live in different parts of the country.
I’m writing more, but I miss live performance. I’ve been organizing some livestream shows with pals, and I’ve been going ham on Twitter with dumb quarantine jokes. Humor is leading my right now. Any time I can make people laugh, even if it’s not in front of a live audience, I feel a little more like myself.
Heather Hogan, Senior Writer & TV Editor
I have such vivid childhood memories of Ronald Reagan’s attempted assassination, the Challenger exploding, the Cold War (and so many major movies grappling with nuclear proliferation). I remember sitting on the floor of my living room eating a grilled cheese sandwich and playing with Legos as NBC News broadcast SCUD missiles falling on Iraq the night the first Gulf War began (and every night after that too, until it was over) (well, “over.”). Columbine. September 11th. My main focuses in college were the women’s labor movement in World War II and the Rwandan genocide. My senior year, I was reading through Time magazine articles from 1944, and came across a photo of FDR right before his third election; he looked like the ghost of a man. And beside it, a poll that basically indicated an overwhelming majority of Americans thought it was the literal end of the world. My great-grandmother grew up on a farm during the Great Depression; my great-grandfather was drafted into WWII; my dad’s generation watched the Vietnam War on the news every night while eating dinner, assuming all boys would eventually be drafted into it. My sister was sounding the alarm on climate change when she was in the fourth grade.
This pandemic is, by far, the most horrifying thing that has happened during my lifetime, and I know for a fact that the world will not look the same on the other side of it. None of my lived or learned experiences with large scale tragedies compare to this — but growing up always aware of those things that had happened and were happening, with high anxiety and superhuman empathy and not a lot of parenting, I have always held the truth in one hand that the world can be cruel and terrifying and mercurial, while holding the truth in the other hand that I have to excavate hope and humor from my experiences to make my life worth living. In third grade I wrote a story called “My River of Sadness” about how sadness flowed through my body like blood, always, and that’s never not been true. But it’s also always been true that I’ve found things to be grateful for and joyful about. Those mental and emotional and spiritual muscles are getting the biggest workout of their lives right now, but they’re also muscles I’ve been flexing for as long as I’ve been able to form memories, so I know they’re capable.
My partner, Stacy, and I are full-on self-quarantining in NYC. I have been for almost two weeks and she started four days ago. We want to go at least 14 days since the last time we were in contact with other people before we venture out to do a food and toiletries run and return back home, with the most safety precautions possible this time. Like basically everyone else I know, we have symptoms of either colds or allergies or anxiety or COVID-19, so we’re trying to be extra extra careful.
We’re trying to keep ourselves on a similar schedule to the one we had before we squirreled away. Waking up at the same time, starting and ending work at the same time at the co-working station we’ve made out of our kitchen table, eating dinner at the same time, and getting into bed around the same time. I’m doing at-home physical therapy every single day and also meditating. We’re building in time to hang out in the little isolated back alley that people mostly use as a driveway behind our house, walking and stretching and jumping around in the sun, tossing a football, thinking we might eventually try to get our hands on some badminton racquets. We’re both playing video games we love, watching our favorite shows and movies, reading books, and encouraging (sometimes firmly!) each other to stay off social media. I’ve started using Instagram stories again for the first time in years to act like a clown away from Twitter. I’ve also been cooking a whole lot more and delighting in trying to stay present with all the scents and sounds and textures and colors of the ingredients, and taking joy in the way a meal comes together and sustains us. I’m finding great comfort revisiting the foods of my Southern upbringing. Biscuits! They’re what’s for breakfast!
I’m also trying to stay connected to my closest friends via texting, social media, and online gaming. My regular D&D group got a Roll20 one-shot going last weekend and it was an absolute delight. I have another one scheduled for tonight, and another one for this weekend. It’s not the same as being at the same table for a whole day of course, but still hilarious and heroic and captivating. I’m starting a co-op Stardew Valley farm with a dear friend. I’m calling my family more, just to check in and share stories. It’s comforting to hear how they’re going about their daily routines too, while social distancing. I’m trying to find a good online situation to get a regular game of canasta going with my grandparents. Carmen and I are planning to start a non-dystopian book club here at Autostraddle. I love seeing what my friends are cooking and reading and how they’re getting some sunshine on their beautiful and handsome faces.
And of course, I’m trying to figure out how to use my resources wisely to help as many people as I can who need financial support during easily the scariest economic situation any of us have ever encountered on such a broad scale. I’m grateful to the threaded Twitter lists and the curated link round-ups of humans and charities to support. I’m going to try to be extra strategic with my money in the coming months so it can have the maximum impact on my community. Whatever I save from not going out or ordering in, I plan to give back to the people who made going out and ordering in possible before they lost their ability to work. Instead of buying just… stuff, I’m going to make sure people in my community can eat.
I’m also trying to laugh as much as possible. Laughing and making other people laugh always makes me feel better. When my great-grandmother died when I was 12 and when my uncle died when I was 20, my grandmother — daughter to one, mother to the other — walked around at the funeral home and asked everyone to tell her a funny story about her mom and her son. I remember so many tears during those days, and so much joy too.
All of which is to say that I’m really scared and sad, which is a feeling as familiar to me as my own face, and I’m hopeful and grateful too, which is also familiar, and I’m trying to balance those things and remain grounded in the moment as much as I can.
Rachel Kincaid, Managing Editor
In some ways it feels dumb to talk about how my life is different now than it was a week ago – I already worked from home, and what was previously something of a personal disadvantage for me (working online in an unstable industry) now feels like a huge privilege; my work is suddenly much more stable and has a much more reliable future than many other people in my life. I do have cold/flu symptoms, but no fever and relatively, can’t complain. At the same time, the reasons why I’m suddenly in this privileged position are not great! It’s very difficult to worry about so many people I love, and be relatively helpless to support them; one thing I’m grappling with is that my brother, who has always been the one of us who’s Doing Well comparatively – straight, male, physically healthy, stable jobs in moving/construction that pay well and are reliable careers longterm – is suddenly in a lot of uncertainty; he’s likely to get laid off and is risking a lot of exposure if he doesn’t, and his history as a heavy smoker puts him at risk. I’m also noticing how much a lot of mine and others’ pre-existing Issues are getting exacerbated by this crisis – if you have baggage around uncertain, unsafe or unstable past situations, have lived with martial law or state violence, have had reason to fear scarcity or poverity or food insecurity, are sensitive to feeling trapped or unable to move freely, or any of a dozen other things, this is probably really tough right now! I know it is for me.
At the risk of sounding extremely corny, the things I’ve been relying on are the things I’ve been lucky enough to get a chance to learn in therapy over the past few years: I try to sit and breathe through intense bad feelings until they subside a little and when they do, trying to think through whether it’s a rational reaction to what’s happening or whether I’m reacting to What It Symbolizes To Me; I try to fact-check what I’m thinking and feeling to see if the intense story I’m telling myself is completely accurate or if I’m being somewhat all-or-nothing about it (“I need to reach out and ask if anyone can FaceTime if I’m lonely” is different than “I’m all alone at the end of the world!”). I try to remind myself that however intensely bad I’m feeling right now, and even if I can’t force myself out of it, I’ll feel different eventually if I wait it out, and will be able to re-center on doing what I can to help. I’m focusing on keeping my field of vision close, if I can; if I can’t know or plan for what will be happening in a week or a month or a year, I can keep myself from spiraling about it by focusing on what I can do this afternoon, or tomorrow, even if it’s only making a FaceTime date. I’m giving myself permission to be exhausted – whether it’s the allostatic load or the work in trying to figure out how to deal with this or just lethargy from being in the house all day, I could absolutely fall asleep at any given moment. Most of all, I’m trying to choose to actively focus on the things I can do – I can still impact the space around me by arranging it how I like, cleaning and doing laundry; I can still work on projects at my job that will make a difference in this time (although I know that isn’t an option for everybody); I can donate to others who need it and encourage others to do so too; I can check on the people in my life and sometimes when they need small things I can help get them. Today I sent 200 nitrile gloves for my mom because, as a gay, I knew someplace that still had some in stock. (She works in healthcare and will use/share them without hoarding!) She sent me some Irish soda bread; I can eat that in my kitchen and call her before I go to bed, and so I’ll make sure I do.
Riese Bernard, CEO
I’d been invited on a press trip to Columbus, Ohio, from March 12-15. I flew out on Tuesday to see my family first. Wednesday is when the terror really set in. Things happened quickly. When this started feeling less like the myriad large-scale tragedies we’d endured before and more like something that would set a dividing line right down the middle of civilization, marking a clear before and after. Surely they’d be cancelling the trip, I thought. Visiting restaurants, going to a hockey game? It wasn’t cancelled and therefore on Thursday evening, my aunt dropped me off at the trendy hotel in Short North where the trip was to begin and I checked in and got my free greenish cocktail with a decorative toothpick and I went up to my room and I sat on the bed and I read the news for the 55th time that day and my bones and my face felt hot and I opened my laptop and I booked a flight home for the next day. I’d seen my grandma in her assisted living facility the day before. Visitors were barred the day after.
I flew home Friday and have been in social isolation ever since.
I miss people. I miss my friends. Drinking tequila on the roof, playing games we make up as we go along.
It’s odd. My fiance left me in November 2016, and if you read my writing often you’re likely already aware of this, but I was then alone in a house in rural Michigan that we owned, and oh I was alone. I saw nobody. Texted a lot. I stocked up at the grocery store so I never had to leave. I barely remember those ensuing weeks, my depression was so endless, the solitude so cavernous, my fear for the future of this country looming over everything. Sometimes this reminds me of that time. Being profoundly alone and terrified for how Trump’s presidency could hurt vulnerable people. Worried the world was about to end. Selfishly preoccupied that I’d be alone when it did.
This feels like that sometimes, my coping mechanisms oddly familiar. But of course this is so much worse. So many sick, dead, laid off, scared. I’m scared for people who will get sick with other things and not be able to get treatment because the hospitals are already flooded.
I feel lucky to be employed, to own a business that has somehow been able to survive through so much. I feel lucky that every day I can pay queer people to write and draw and think and talk, people who need work now more than ever, who’ve lost other jobs and who are scared.
This next part I need you to read as if the job I am writing about is not running this very website because I don’t want it to seem like a passive-aggressive solicitation for funding — it isn’t, and don’t donate because of it — but I want to talk about these feelings because I do imagine somebody reading this might also be a small business owner and be experiencing similar panic. I’m terrified by this widespread job loss, I’m scared we won’t be able to raise the money we need to maintain the budget we started last summer. Prior to this we were finally— finally, after ten years of constant struggle — on the up and up financially, confident our community could support us and we could continue supporting them. The economy was the strongest it’d been in years. Now we’re looking at something far worse than the recession of 2008. I’m pissed at this incompetent government. Widespread access to testing could change everything.
But. Nothing about the structure of our business relies on a space we can’t access, and most of how I’m coping is figuring out how to make the most of that: how to give people community and bring joy and support to everybody who is scared or sick or in social isolation. It is an honor and an opportunity I am so grateful for. I feel best when I’m able to give paid work to people who need it.
What do I do.
I exercise every day — strength training or using the stepper (similar to this. Making lists of tv shows/movies is somehow relaxing for me. I walk my perfect dog Carol, b/c fresh air is nice. I’m in a near-constant group chat and other one-on-one text conversations, I face-time or zoom with friends. Reconnecting with people I’ve not spoken to in a while is probably when I’m happiest. I work on my book. I do the hard jigsaw puzzle I gave up on before. I take pictures of myself, consider posting them online, and then don’t. I’m reading mostly dystopian fiction, marathoning Grey’s Anatomy. I’m writing this, now.
Stef Schwartz, Vapid Fluff Editor
I work in live music, and spring is our busy season. This happened so, so gradually and then quite suddenly, and our industry is devastated right now. A lot of my focus is on my colleagues and how we’re all taking care of each other through this. It’s not just musicians who are out of work, it’s everybody who travels with them, tour managers, techs, merch, plus venue staff, security guards, bartenders, door staff, sound and lighting, stagehands…. We’ve all been checking on each other pretty regularly, particularly folks who have developed symptoms. The worst part across the board is the uncertainty as to when this will all be over, or what things will even look like for us then.
I live with a roommate, who also had his girlfriend come stay with us, and while they are both very nice this is a very small apartment for three people! I spend a lot of time in my room with the door closed, and if I’m being honest, I’m struggling quite a lot. I sleep at weird hours, I’m never hungry, I cannot motivate myself to actually do things at specific times. For the first few days, I also felt sick, but was advised by a doctor to not bother coming in for testing if I didn’t think I needed to be hospitalized. My symptoms were mostly minor and I’m feeling much better now, but I’m still pretty pissed about how unavailable proper testing still is.
While I do feel unstuck in time, I’ve found that structure helps. I am, for the first time in my adult life (sorry), a making-the-bed person. Playing bass is always good for my mental health, so I made a playlist of my favorite songs to play and run through it once a day. That helps me get out of my own head and simultaneously feel a little more grounded. I’ve also ordered a bunch of stuff to exercise with, as I’d only just joined a gym and don’t want to lose the (very small) benefits I’d already accrued. I bought a lot of fun things to cook but haven’t had much of an appetite, hoping that turns around as I adjust to this new reality. Keeping in touch with friends has been crucial.
The thing is that I love spring; I’m coming out of a winter slump, work is busy, the weather’s getting better, things are turning green, and I’m usually in a pretty good mood this time of year. It feels like the universe is trying to force me to have a depressive episode whether I like it or not — it often feels like my only options are to do the things that severely depressed Stef would do. I’m working overtime to avoid falling back into that trap by making lists of all the possible ways I could be improving my situation, and then committing to those things instead. It’s harder than it sounds.
Vanessa Friedman, Community Editor
It really depends on the day.
I am a very anxious person, I work in digital media, I’m Extremely Online, and I live about 8 miles away from New Rochelle, where the second known case of COVID-19 in New York was diagnosed at the beginning of March. I have been sort of waiting for this level of panic for…a while. In some ways, it is almost a relief that we are finally taking this seriously together. I’m not sure if that’s fucked up to say; I’m sorry if that’s fucked up to say. I just want everyone to be as safe as possible, and we can’t do that if we’re not on the same page. It is a relief to feel that many (not all, but many) people are finally on the same page.
I was supposed to be in Portland this week. I’m on spring break from school and I was excited to go back to the place I consider home and see my friends and my girlfriend. I was excited to attend birthday parties, have a lot of sex, enjoy the magnolia trees, and maybe casually look around for jobs that might be available to me come June, when I graduate. I started having second thoughts about the trip the week the man in New Rochelle was diagnosed, I tried to reason with myself that it would be okay to fly to Portland even if I got stuck there, and then finally, on Thursday, I admitted to myself what I had already known in my heart for a few days: knowing what we did about the virus and the way it is spread (and not knowing all the things we still don’t know), there was no way I could fly on Friday for what was essentially a vacation. What if I had been exposed to the virus and I brought it to Portland? What if I became exposed on the 6.5 hour plane ride? I did not have a reasonable place to self-quarantine for 14 days upon landing in Portland. I wanted to be there so badly – I wanted the option to quarantine with my girlfriend, I wanted to go hiking with my best friends and maintain 6 feet of distance, I wanted to weather this pandemic in the place that feels like home to me even if I haven’t lived there in almost two years. But I couldn’t do it. It wouldn’t have been right, and I would have regretted the harm I may have caused. If someone else had asked me what they should do, I would tell them not to go. I called my girlfriend and my best friend. I cancelled my ticket. I made plans to hunker down in my studio apartment in Yonkers.
The hard thing about being a person who deals with anxiety is that so often it feels like my job is to reassure my brain that whatever it happens to be panicking about at any given moment is not grounded in truth or reality. When things actually are incredibly scary, when the future is filled with questions that do not have answers, when things actually are potentially catastrophic, I find myself at a loss with how to tell my brain to calm down. I keep telling my mom, who also deals with anxiety, that while it is appropriate to be worried and appropriate to take all the precautions we are able to take, panic doesn’t serve anyone. That’s true. But I still panic sometimes. I understand when she does, I understand when anyone does. We have not lived through something like this and our best tool to fight it is to put physical distance between ourselves; it is painful and it would be weird if it didn’t feel painful. I’m trying to remind myself that: this is painful and my brain’s response, to recognize and internalize and try to manage that pain, is not just an anxiety response. It’s reality. This is our reality. It’s not okay, but it’s okay. You know?
I think I feel guilty for having a hard time with this so far because I am objectively pretty okay, on an individual level. I have a home. I live alone. I have enough food to stay home for two weeks minimum, probably much longer. I have enough unread books to stay home for two years, minimum, probably much longer. Two of my three income streams have not been affected. My parents are staying inside, my brother is staying inside, most of my friends are staying inside if they can and taking as many precautions as possible when they go to work if they are unable to stop working. I am okay, for now, kind of.
But also – I am not okay, because this is not about us as individuals. I don’t want to celebrate being fine if the people I love, the people in my community, the healthcare workers putting themselves on the front lines, the humans keeping our world functioning at a very baseline level through this crisis, are not fine. I am not fine because I know this is bad and I know it is going to get worse before it gets better, and I know I can’t coax my brain into understanding exactly how bad this is going to be because we have never been here before and we just don’t know. I am managing these feelings, the feelings of not being fine, by limiting my social media and news intake (especially Twitter), looking for ways to help the people in my community (both locally and online), checking in on the people I love, pouring my energy into my Autostraddle work, trying to go for a walk every day (and not being mean to myself on the days when I don’t manage it), making food I like to eat, planning FaceTime dates, and trying to envision all the ways we can continue to take care of each other. I’m also trying to sleep more and drink more water.
And – some days I just cry. And that’s just how it’s going to be for a while. It’s not that it’s okay – it just is.