By Amber Hunsicker
COVID-19 has affected all aspects of our lives, including in the love department. We’ve been stuck quarantined, forced to wear masks everywhere we go, told to social distance and, most importantly, instructed to wash our hands and sanitize everything!!!!
Valentine’s Day has just passed. It was a much-needed reminder for all of us to take the time to celebrate love for ourselves and one another.
How do you show you care about others at a time like this? How do you find love or a partner? Where do you meet friends? How do you take care of yourself? Our world has changed but we need to continue to take care of ourselves and understand that we’re not alone.
But in a time like this, we need to get creative with how we show love. Here are five self-care ideas to show yourself love:
- Go to the gym, meditation or try yoga exercises: Something as simple as breathing exercises can help reduce an abundance of stress and help you relax. Plus, exercise is good for you!
- Go for a walk or enjoy a long hike: If you really want to, find a quiet place outside and sit, I promise you’ll enjoy it. Just remember to layer up, It’s been a bit cold.
- Enjoy a hot shower or bath. For my females out there, I highly recommend using bath bombs, candles and either music or a show you enjoy. For the males, I think you’ll enjoy the shower best, but if you would like a bath, I recommend Dr. Teal’s Epsom Salts, for they help relax your muscles.
- Manifest your future: Start believing in yourself. This could be affirmations or making a list of long-term and short-term goals. Anyway you do it, start planning for what’s next in your life, and keep a positive perspective. If you think it and believe it, then it’s possible. Then build from it, grow, work, and it will be.
- Express yourself or just do something you love to do: Personally, I find there are many ways of doing this for myself: dancing, singing, journaling, painting, baking, listening to music, watching my favorite shows on Netflix and Hulu, playing with my pets, photoshoots and so much more. I am sure you can relate and have many hobbies. Self-care is all about taking the time out to enjoy those things and appreciate the love you have for them and yourself, as I am sure doing your favorite things make you feel happy inside.
- It’s just as important to show our love for others now and always too. Here’s five ideas for showing you love and care to a significant other:
- Inside date night: Plan a movie night, nerf gun fight, video game tournament, paint or cook together. Personally, my partner and I like to have bake nights (treats change every time), and then after making them, we grab all our other favorite snacks and watch movies together. If you have no idea what to watch, keep an eye out for a list of highly recommend movies and shows soon to be posted on the Keystone Newspaper’s website .
- Make them something: Get creative and come up with something for the both of you to use. One of my all-time favorite gifts was a jar filled with popsicle sticks, each one with a note written on it such as, “movie night with me,”,“ice-cream?!,”, “Drop what you’re doing and let’s hang,”, “breakfast your choice, on me” and “pick a destination, let’s go.”
- Tell them. A lot of times, we think that others somehow know we love and care about them, but it’s still nice to tell someone how you feel about them. Show you appreciate them and give them a bit of recognition for all they mean to you.
- Write a love letter: After watching three parts of “To All the Boys I’ve Ever Loved” on Netflix, this is my only advice! Not only is it romantic and old-fashionably beautiful, but once again, you’re expressing your emotions, and that is going to mean so much more than anything money can buy because it is one of a kind.
- Lastly, you guessed it, you can always buy something, small or big: Purchased gifts can definitely be nice, meaningful gifts, but I do want you all to know that you are in college, with college debt, so it is okay to not buy gifts and be creative instead.
- And if you can’t be with your significant other or friends, I have five options for keeping friends and long-distance relationships connected for you:
- Plan a (virtual) hangout: Stream movies or shows at the same time,
- Send them something in the mail: This could be something you made, wrote, or bought for them. Don’t tell them either. The surprise makes it even better!
- Call them and tell them. Nothing brings us closer than communication. Enjoy long hours of talking to one another. Make a list of things you look forward to together or want to do together.
- Connect with someone close to your S.O. and get help surprising your S.O. with their favorite snacks and goodies: This is an idea for those who cannot see their other half and may not have much money. Contact friends close to your partner and see how they can help (ex. instead of shipment fees, they could deliver something for you).
- Create a bucket list together of all the things you both want to do after COVID-19 is over and plan to do them together: See if there are any you can do right away.
Finally, those searching for love or just help with this crazy time, here are several links that will take you to resources:
- Where the female makes the first move: https://bumble.com/
- You pick if you swipe left or right: https://tinder.com/?lang=en
- For our LGBTQ+ community: https://taimi.com/ and https://www.grindr.com/
- “To build better habits,” which I suggest for self-care. Honestly everyone should get it: https://www.thefabulous.co/
- For a good at home workout, I recommend looking up YouTube videos or hitting the campus gym. Someone I enjoy following on YouTube is Chloe Ting and her 2020 shred, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-p0PA9Zt8zk&t=268s .
Just remember to be safe. Never go to meet a stranger alone (go with friends or family), and don’t be afraid to call for help if you feel uncomfortable or uncertain.