"Stress is not a new feeling for me. I have lived with chronic depression and anxiety my whole life โ€” both of which amplify my stress like stack speakers. But I will say that stress now, during a pandemic, feels a lot different than it used to. While things have, in some ways, slowed down, I feel more stressed than ever. I am constantly stressed about my family, my friends, or myself getting sick. I am stressed about starting graduate school in the fall. I am stress about what that job market is going to look like in the next decade. So even though I hear that now is the time to journal, or pick up a new hobby, or be with your family, none of that seems to feel entirely appropriate, which stresses me out even more. I say all of this to let you know that it is okay to feel stressed, even if you may have fewer obligations currently. These are stressful times. But now that I have told you that it is okay to feel stress, I also implore you to find something to help you relax. This is easier said than done, but it is worth it. For me that is cycling.

Coincidentally, it was a hobby I picked up roughly a month before the pandemic occurred. I found that cycling was something I could stick with and could do for extended periods of time. It made me feel at ease, and I could feel my depression and anxiety dissipating. And while they will never disappear, I know that I have a tool to mitigate my stress. So find something that works for you. Something where you can forget about the world for a moment. Get outside and walk. Play some video games. Read a book. Paint. Cook. Find that thing and stick with it. Make it a non-negotiable in your schedule, so that you know everyday you have a moment to yourself."