By: Emi (Dacian) Garhartt
For all of us, it becomes increasingly frustrating, sitting at home and doing our best to 'flatten the curve' yet feeling hopeless. All news sounds like bad news and maybe just is bad news.
Plain and simple, we're bored and also grieving.
We've lost potential opportunities and events we had planned out. Some of us are more worried about paying bills and keeping food and toilet paper available at home than others but remember, this whole pandemic crisis is affecting everyone.
Feeling hopeless isn't wrong, it's ok to feel devastated by these unprecedented events. Though, it's also important to do our best to help each other and ourselves out by not wallowing in the endless negativity that seems to be permeating every media outlet.
Many other articles are pointing out, as well as my own prior blog post, that cycling is an excellent outlet for stress.
In Bicycling's article Cycling Mental Health Benefits they talk about a large study that showed that team sports reduced peoples 'bad mental health days' the greatest amount; with cycling indoors or outside coming a close second, being roughly 2% less effective. By average both activities reduce those mental health bad days by ~20% compared to people who didn't exercise. They also mention that due to team sports involving a social aspect to the physical activity it makes it that much more effective.
As the quote from Aristotle starts, "Man is by nature a social animal;" but in these current times we can't continue our usual physical in-person social interaction in order to keep others safe. It's almost comical to be anti-social to preserve society so that we can be social again at some point in the future.
Either way you dig into it, this is a lot to deal with. However, we also have many more resources for remaining social at a distance through the wonder of the internet.
A lot of YouTubers, bloggers and even regular people who hardly post content online are doing their best to post cheerful and positive content to help lighten everyone's mood.
(If you haven't found a good channel to tune into for some positive content, check the bottom of this post as I'll be linking a few of my personal favorites.)
From cheerful videos of animals, video game donation live-streams for charity, learning new skills, finally finishing that personal project, to using route planning apps to plan the next bicycle tour or road trip vacation once this blows over; we have a plethora of positive content to consume in this troublesome time.
You can feel by the many creators' personal comments that they also feel the strain and are trying to do something to make themselves and others feel just a little bit better. We have to remember to be kind to ourselves; even the strongest bridge will fall apart with enough wear and tear, time and lack of maintenance.
So let's remember to take a break from worrying and do something nice. Bake some bread, fly a kite, watch a few fun and creative videos, support your local small businesses by buying gift cards if you can, play with your pets and go ride your bike, at least a little. It's okay to take a break from panicking and watching the news like a hawk for every update. You'll thank yourself later.
Stay safe y'all.
Great collection of articles from TIME 'Apart, Not Alone'
Life hacks' How Cycling Makes You Mentally Stronger
Medium's article on How to Start Cycling During COVID-19 (And why you should)
Looking for video suggestions?
For more lifestyle bike content try Path Less Pedaled
Looking for goofy fun content? Can't go wrong with Jenna Marbles dog centered videos.
If food is more your style, You Suck At Cooking has plenty of offbeat content.