By Violet Webster

When a global pandemic starts raging outside your door and you are no longer able to spend time in person with your friends and family, you start to develop some habits you never would have dreamed of having. Or at least I have. So, here are some of the things I’ve been using to cope with the momentous changes happening in my life over the past few months!

  1. Crying

7/10. Basic, but really satisfying after a long day of staring at a zoom screen and filling out college applications.

2. Baking

10/10. Definitely one of my favorite coping mechanisms, totally takes your mind off of whatever is stressing you out plus you have carbs by the end to drown your sorrows! I’ve been trying to create the perfect recipe for chocolate chip cookies (spoiler alert: it’s all in the browned butter and sugar ratios) but I’ve also made three different types of bread and a gluten free honey orange spice cake.

3. Going on nature walks

9/10. An easy way to get a little exercise in, plus its super comforting to walk around in the trees and disconnect from what’s going on in the world. Also a very effective method of procrastination if you leave your to-do list at home and drive far away.

4. Binge watching Netflix

8/10. A fantastic way to ignore all of your problems and take on the problems of fictional characters. It’s much easier to worry about which hot doctor Meredith wants to date on Grey’s Anatomy than it is to worry about whether or not it’s safe to go to Target to buy more flour after you spent the night stress baking.

5. Learning how to make latte art

4/10. This one is probably more fun if you are actually good at it. At least my failure comes with a caffeine boost.

6. Driving around

6/10. Can be fun with the right music, but gas is expensive, and I don’t like being left alone with my thoughts for that long.


9/10. Completely mind numbing. Only problem is that it is very addictive, and I’ve had to take the app off of my phone twice because I was doing literally nothing else with my free time.

8. Rereading novels from middle school

100/10. I cannot recommend this one enough. Peak nostalgia, plus all of the “overthrowing the government” plots really get you fired up to dismantle systemic racism and the patriarchy.

9. Getting a puppy

278/10. Now this one unfortunately is a lot of work and a lot of convincing your parents you definitely will clean up after it, but if you manage to do it there is nothing better than snuggling a puppy when you start to remember that the entire world is crumbling around you.

10. Talking to a mental health professional

100000/10. If this pandemic and subsequent school year are as draining on your mental health as they were on mine, there is absolutely no shame in talking to a therapist or mental health professional! My therapist certainly heard a lot from me over the past few months, and that’s okay! As much fun as it is to make fun of ourselves and our ridiculous coping mechanisms, feeling overwhelmed is bound to happen when our lives our changing by the minute.