The world feels very noisy right now.
I don’t think there’s been a single day in the last eight months where I haven’t been bombarded by depressing news about the unrelenting coronavirus or the high-stakes upcoming election.
I have found balancing a full college workload under these circumstances to be far more insurmountable of a challenge, simply because I am constantly concerned with the state of our world while I try to focus on other things.
Yes, This is textbook anxiety.
Unfortunately, I have struggled for months to figure out how to overcome these feelings of grief, numbness and confusion regarding everything going on around us.
I’m very lucky, however, where I am at a point now that I realize these anxious feelings will not go away. But I can mitigate them to allow myself to temporarily drown out the noise around me and forget about the news temporarily.
Every night, I try to find time to cook myself a healthy, gourmet dinner.
I’m a vegetarian, so I try to conjure up new ways to incorporate protein and vegetables into my meals.
When I cook, I turn my phone off. Even if I know I’ll be cooking for an hour or so and may need to check up on something during that period of time, I turn my phone off anyway and cook in silence.
This allows me to focus on what I am creating and put all of my attention toward making a delicious meal rather than concerning myself with external distractions.
Does this cure my worries? Absolutely not.
But for just a few moments, the world feels quiet, and I feel at peace. COVID-19 does not exist during my cooking hour and neither do any of my other fears.
Returning to the real world after I’m done is a difficult transition, but at least I get to eat a good, healthy meal that I feel happy about.
I have also taken measures to remove myself from the news as much as I can, which sounds crazy considering I work for a newspaper and was the former news editor.
Every day for the entire semester I worked as the news editor, I was immersed in both local and world affairs. This was during a time where the primaries were taking place and COVID-19 was sending the world into a frenzy.
Every day, I would read about the trauma and troubles our world was facing.
For my own mental health, I applied to become the investigative editor this semester to remove myself from daily news coverage. With this new position, I focus on longer-term projects specific to Lehigh and the surrounding Bethlehem area.
I am slowly getting myself back on Twitter to become a part of the daily news loop again.
Easing myself back into this has allowed me to rejoin a community that I love while not being inundated with pessimistic thoughts.
I am excited for the future of news that doesn’t feel like loud noise as we eventually round the corner of this election and this virus. I love this community, but recognize it’s always important to take breaths and allow yourself to be alone with your thoughts.