By Mayana Nell Torres
I have been thinking about this upcoming September and all of the new pieces of this very complicated puzzle we’ll have to juggle as a collective. We’re going into the next months where in the states, the fight for a new president is a fight for democracy. We are slowly going into a new school term, having to rework our time management systems, while continuing to stay safe. I remember in April what kept me sane personally, was the fact that it would be over in September. That’s what I told myself to get through those very scary months. However time has taught us that we have to let go of these mental deadlines we have created and learn other ways to sustain hope and light during this bittersweet period. It’s been inspiring and rejuvenating to see all the innovative ways people have sustained their passions, connected with their communities, to this earth, and to their self care routines. These last few months have shown us that we are capable of so much, that we are connected, there is power in our voices and actions, and that all of our parts in this fight are necessary and impactful.
As I begin a new college semester, I have been battling with the fact that even though summer is coming to an end, the pandemic has not. Like a lot of you, I am battling with the fact that school has relocated to the same place I’ve spent the last few months, home. Home has become a blessing, but I have caught myself having a bittersweet connection with it. We have had to rework our understanding of what home means to us and how we thought we were going to experience this fall. It’s important for us to take care of ourselves as we go into this new chapter and figure out the best ways to cope. There will be better days, I choose to believe so. Not blindly but actively, by taking care of myself, the ones close to me, and by being safe about it all. It’s going to be okay because with the necessary tools, we will make it so.
With this being said, here are a few reminders for you and I to help us get through this transition into this new chapter :
- You may not be quarantining but your home is still essential:
We have all been home and have put a hold to many of our usual routines for the last six months. We’ve spent the middle part of this year with new routines, seeing corners of our rooms as mini art studios and our kitchens as new restaurants. Many have slowly started to tip toe back out, while others never really left. With many schools going online, and many of our practices struggling with being in person, our homes have continued to be a vital and big part of our daily lives. Going into this new chapter it’s important to grow with your living space and continue to get the most out of it. Maybe make a morning routine to separate your weekends from the work week, get dressed to motivate your productivity, skip the to-do list on the weekends to recharge. Find ways to create structure in this unconventional fall season that is coming our way.
- Your plans might have changed, but there are still things to experience and look forward to.
Like many, I have not touched my planner in months. Once the spring semester ended, the calendar made me anxious, made the days feel longer. I have instead been working with to-do lists and passion projects. However going into a new job and a new school semester, I have seen a need for a planner again. How we planned and organized our days has changed, leaving many of us weary thinking about the future. I’m here to remind us all that there are still things to look forward to. If it’s planning monthly virtual hang outs, if it’s joining a fall reading club, go buy that planner, it might help you unpack these next few months and help visualize it a little better.
- Create boundaries with your electronics.
With everything pushing us to be on the computer for hours, it feels like some days you spend the whole day looking at screens. Technology has become our sole way of connecting, educating, organizing, and healing. Check in with yourself and take breaks from your laptop and phone. Work on art projects, listen to an audiobook while making yourself a meal, go for a walk, or have a jam session to ground yourself in movement. Spend time with yourself, with silence, and the people around you.
- Acknowledge the goals you have accomplished + create new ones for this fall.
As we were all going into this new decade, we manifested and planned to accomplish certain goals for 2020. However, if this year has taught us anything, it’s shown us how to adapt and evolve with unseen obstacles. This year has forced us to look within and do emotional work like no other time has before. It has also forced us to look outside ourselves and come together as a collective to heal and grow. Look back at your goals for 2020, and you might be surprised with how much you might have accomplished. They might look different and have evolved, but the meaning and purpose is still there. As we go into the third quarter of this year, create goals that feel good, if it’s reconnecting with a friend, working within, or learning a new language, it will give hope and excitement to this new chapter.
Mayana is a born and raised Brooklyn gal with strong Black and Latina roots. Her roots serve as the basis for her commitment to nature, wellness, and community. She is a Multidisciplinary Artist and Student Activist using different avenues of creation to not only tell her story, but amplify the ones of her community. Mayana uses her voice and passions to spread light and joy while also creating content based on being a college student and a young woman of color. She is committed to actively promoting the knowledge and mindset that supports global awareness of environmental and racial injustices.