By: Ali Whitney

If you’re a fan of Netflix’s Stranger Things (like myself) then you’ll understand what I mean when I say that we are all presently stuck in the Upside Down that is COVID-19. If you are not yet a Stranger Things fan, then I highly suggest the show for your next quarantine binge! With everyone’s lives flipped around as a result of the pandemic, these are hard times and it’s important to understand that everyone’s “hard,” is a little different. Bills and rent are due, groceries are still needed, all of our daily burdens continue to exist. Divorce comes along with a multitude of challenges, particularly emotional ones, at the best of times. Adding COVID-19 to the mix when you’re going through or have recently gone through a divorce has only made things like parenting time and living arrangements more difficult. An important component (if not the most important!) of getting through your divorce if you’re dealing with depression is taking care of your mental health. 

I am a huge mental health advocate, and also a secret artist, so naturally I’ve decided to paint every piece of furniture that exists in my home. The first few weeks of being home were incredibly odd and stressful, but since I incorporated art into my daily routine, I feel psychologically centered once again. My best friend (who doesn’t have an artistic bone in her body) has taken to cooking various recipes that she has found online, and also doing a different workout video every single day. Whatever your particular interests or talents, everyone has their own unique hobbies and activities that help them feel happy, productive, or relaxed, and taking that time for yourself amidst the stress of a nation-wide quarantine on top of the added stress of your divorce is incredibly valuable to your mental health.

For those of us who live alone during this time, particularly if this is a recent development that you are still adjusting to post-divorce, the social isolation brought about by COVID-19 has given “lonely” a whole new meaning. So think about this for a moment: when was the last time you had a conversation with a friend on the phone? Do you meet virtually with a therapist? (If not, is that something you might consider looking into?) Are you skipping out on Zoom happy hour with your family or friends? Are you using this time alone to take time just for yourself? From having a weekly bubble bath, to a socially distanced walk and chat with your favorite cousin, taking time for yourself and to see your loved ones is extremely important. Think about what makes you feel good and consider what you need to do to make that happen. Remember that it’s okay to take care of yourself too, and that we are all in this together.