Need Help Coping? Find Hope in the Little Things

Savannah Barnes

Editor’s Note: This post was written and submitted by Savannah Barnes, a student at Pearl River Community College in Mississippi.

Currently, many of us feel stuck in the dark. Even our thoughts are frozen with the feelings of worry, stress, and white noise.

The current state of the world is a real moment of change for us, so I can understand the need to try new things to find a way to cope; however, I don’t think these methods of coping have to be grand gestures. You don’t have to write the next best-selling novel or open the next big art gallery when online coursework is a mountain to climb in itself.

By trying so many new things when you are struggling to motivate yourself in this stuck environment, you can get burned out. During the last two weeks, I’ve learned that it doesn’t take much to get over some of the hurdles we are facing.

For instance, a few nights ago, my mom was making potato soup on a day that I was down on my luck. She just handed me a small potato and told me to peel it. It doesn’t sound like anything significant, but getting tasked with something simple and then completing it helped me. I felt accomplished even though it was peeling a potato, and it helped with my stress. I didn’t feel burned out because it was quick.

The current trends online are trying to help motivate people, but some of us don’t have the resources or the drive to finish these things. While coping is different for everyone, you don’t have to go all out. You could read one chapter of a book, help peel some potatoes for dinner, or even clean around your room. The task itself isn’t the critical part about coping; it’s about feeling accomplished from completing it.

Once the checklist of things you plan to do is filtered, it’s essential to take care of the most urgent one and then the one you least like. After getting those two tasks out of the way, the rest will not drag out for a long time.

We are all at a difficult point right now, and this barrier around us has displaced many people. When it comes to coping, everyone has a unique solution. In essence, it is up to you to try different methods to tailor your form of coping. My way was an evaluation of my mindset, simple tasks to complete, and getting the tough things out of the way first.

It’s important not to discourage yourself when you see all the progress others are making through online posts. While we are struggling to find motivation, it’s essential to reward yourself for completing necessary things. Once you’ve turned in all of your course work, reward yourself. Even if you’ve only been able to complete a fraction of the work, you’ve done well.

During this time of hardship, we must understand that everyone is also stuck. The progression will be slow, but the little things play a role in the big picture. It won’t be long before we can turn on the light and be in motion once again.

We want to share your stories. How are you coping? What’s working for you? What do you want others to know? Send your blog post and a photo to news@ptk.org.  

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