Column: 7 ways to finish off the year stress-free

One way to destress after the craziest year yet, is to prepare for the holidays.

"Happy Holidays!" by flavijus is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

One way to destress after the craziest year yet, is to prepare for the holidays.

Clara McCourt, news staff

Anyone can argue that 2020 has been the strangest year in modern history. The COVID-19 pandemic took over our lives. The nail-bitingly close presidential election kept us glued to our news outlets, thinking the most we have ever thought about Nevada and Pennsylvania. On top of that, there are the nationwide civil rights protests, natural disasters and higher than average number of deaths due to COVID-19. This year has felt like many years already, yet we still have two months left! How can we use this time to decompress?

  1. Put your phone down

Ignorance is bliss, or so they say. While it’s easy to feel drawn to read every single post that pops up on your social media feed, it’s normal to take a breather, too. Setting a time limit on apps is a good way to combat your urge to scroll, as long as you actually stick to it. 

2. Go for a walk  

Seize the opportunity while Boston’s weather is still habitable. Getting outside will clear your head, helping you get out of your dorm room –– which is now your office, classroom and bedroom. 

3. Watch some political satire 

If you’re feeling stressed about the current political climate, there’s no better cure than to laugh at it. Go down a YouTube rabbit hole of SNL, Last Week Tonight or Northeastern’s recent guest Trevor Noah.

4. Safely spend time with friends and family 

Socialization is something that we are sorely missing right now, but it’s not impossible. Get together with some loved ones for a socially distanced walk or lunch date. As the weather gets colder and COVID-19 cases rise, start relying on apps such as FaceTime and Zoom.

5. All self-care is good self-care

There is no wrong way to take care of yourself. If self-care to you is eating an entire box of cookies, eat those cookies. But remember that there are plenty of healthy ways to calm down, like meditation or getting some extra hours of sleep. It can even be as simple as taking some time for yourself.

6. Get creative

No matter your skill level, crafts are a nice way to decompress. Stop by one of Boston’s craft stores and pick up a new hobby. Pinterest also provides a lot of ideas for simple DIY projects. You can even get creative in the kitchen, too. Cooking a nice meal may distract from the stress around you. 

7. Prepare for the holidays

No matter the circumstances, November and December always brings some desperately-needed holiday cheer. Stores have already started preparing, and  window-shopping can always lift your spirits. If that isn’t enough, just start celebrating now! 2020 can’t ruin every holiday.

I don’t know about you, but if I hear “In these unprecedented times” one more time, I am going to snap. We should make the most of these times and finish 2020 strong. Here’s to our final  month –– may it be the best yet.