I’ll be the first to admit it, finding motivation these days is almost impossible. I love to write, but not having much to write about on here made it hard for me to do so. For the past few months I’ve been finding myself sitting at my computer every morning for hours on Linked In, just applying for job after job. If I’m lucky to even get a response from the hundreds of employers I’ve reached out to, 99% of the time the response is a “Sorry we decided not to move on with your application”. My frustration and stress with job searching bled into my writing and I would get even more frustrated at the fact that I couldn’t think of something creative enough to write about on here. And so, I took the easy way out and simply just didn’t write. However, I came around and decided it’s not fair for me to deprive myself of something I actually enjoy doing because other aspects of my life are not going the way I would like them to.
I know I’m not the only one who has felt like they were in a rut. I’m pretty sure the whole world feels that way after 2020. Tough part is though, just accepting things aren’t going your way and not doing anything about it is not going to help, even though it is the easiest route to take. Having that mindset is what digs the rut even deeper until it’s nearly impossible to crawl out of. I’ve been there and it is not a fun place to be.
My LEAST favorite saying is “Stop feeling bad for yourself, someone has it way worse”. I HATE IT. It is so demeaning and it completely tries to minimize mental health. Yes, it is true someone probably does have it worse than you, but that does not mean how you feel is not valid. And it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be allowed to feel at all. There is nothing wrong with being dealt a shitty card and not feeling good about it. It shouldn’t matter on what scale of magnitude people choose to believe your problems are. Also, our hardest times in life are our biggest learning moments. So, it’s ok to acknowledge you aren’t in a good place, build that character and life experience. And yes, you’re even allowed to feel bad for yourself because sometimes life just sucks. But, after that, take a step forward and try to make a change if you can. I’m telling you, there is no better feeling than going from feeling bad for yourself, to being proud of yourself.
Covid definitely does not help peoples situations. From searching for nonexistent jobs, to simply just missing friends and family and falling into a bad headspace, this has not been easy. However, there are ways to keep trucking through this pandemic while gaining a sense of accomplishment. Even gaining that sense of accomplishment from different aspects of your life that you didn’t even think about touching. With me just graduating college, I always believed the immediate next step I had to take was start my career. However, Covid put that plan on the back burner for me. At first I was devastated that I couldn’t find a full time job and I would be lying if I said it still doesn’t stress me out from time to time, but I learned something very valuable. I learned that life isn’t defined by a career. Please don’t get me wrong, it is very important and it is something to be extremely proud of when you build one for yourself, but it isn’t your sole life purpose, or at least not for me. I’ve been given all of this extra time to teach myself new things, learn important life skills, explore extracurriculars, and just do and try new things I enjoy. And to me, that’s also special and something to be proud of. I’m not sure I would have been able to do the amount of self discovery if I were to immediately jump into my career. We can’t always control what life throws at us, but we definitely can control how we handle it.
For anyone struggling or feeling discouraged lately due to the pandemic, I’d just like to share a few of the things I decided to do for myself that seriously helped me and continues to help me through it. My biggest suggestion is to keep in mind that self care and having fun is not a waste of time. I feel like that’s something I often have to remind myself as well because we are for some reason trained to believe it is. Remember, it’s not!
One of the most important things I’ve done to make myself feel good during the pandemic was to exercise. It’s just a really good way to clear your head and also feel good about yourself.
Another thing to do is find something you love and just go with it. I love to write, as mentioned before. Not only do I write on here, but I write a lot more in my own journals that I don’t share with anyone. I go to that journal almost everyday and creatively write something. A poem, a short story, a song, or even just how I’m feeling or past feelings. I wrote my first byline for a recent internship I was doing by simply just telling them I love to write. I also reach out to companies and offer freelance work, in which I have something in the works right now. If you feel there isn’t opportunity coming to you, create it for yourself in any way you can. Put yourself and your work out there, even if no one seems to take a second look. Find what you love and just do it, it will pick up on its own in due time. Just don’t give up on it.
You can also pick up a new hobby. With the internet, you can basically teach yourself anything. I recently began teaching myself guitar and I really do enjoy it. It doesn’t have to be guitar though, teach yourself anything. Learn how to cook, sew, take up hiking, or anything else you’ve always wanted to do.
Start your own little side hustle. For the holidays I decided to make charcuterie boards. I didn’t think that really anyone would even want one, but after putting it out there I started to get orders to the point where I could barely handle making all of them. It was something that I enjoyed doing and I was also able to make some extra cash which helped with a few months of paying my student loans. Don’t worry about what people are going to think, just start something. You never know where it could lead to.
Take some time and relax, it’s ok. I was a college student for the past 5 years of my life, so I didn’t always have free time. Now, it seems I have nothing but free time. I took advantage of that fact and started watching shows and movies I always wanted to. I also play A LOT of Animal Crossing. I try to keep myself busy in other ways as I mentioned, but I do enjoy doing nothing sometimes as well.
Those are just a few examples of things that you can get into to make your time feel useful and give yourself a sense of accomplishment when your searching for it. However, it is truly up to you how you want to spend your time. I know it’s hard not feel discouraged in times like these, but I find giving myself a purpose or working towards a goal always gets me motivated and feeling good. Do what you love, or do what you need to to get by. It’s your life, not anyone else’s, so handle it as you choose. Sometimes people sharing their ideas and purposes inspires others in hard times, so feel free to try any of these ideas or even share some things you’ve been doing through the pandemic with me!