We hope you are having an enjoyable, healthy, and safe summer! We’re all living through a historically transparent moment in US history, in which the forces of systemic racism (particularly anti-Blackness), xenophobia, and inequity in healthcare are widely visible for the world to see. At a time like this, it’s essential to use the limited energy, time, and resources you have effectively.
Here are some suggestions if you’re looking for ways to use your free time!
Take care of your physical and mental health, especially if you are Black, Indigenous, people of color, disabled, elderly, or immunocompromised.
We are still very much in the middle of a pandemic! If you are going out, make sure to take proper safety precautions, both for yourself and for others. Here are several mental health resources that may help: Healthy Minds Philly, Mental Health Resources for Black People, Mental Health Resources for Indigenous People.
Do some introspection and learn more about yourself.
I suggest journaling and guided meditations! Personally, I search YouTube for guided meditations on the subject I want to focus on at the time, such as stress management or gratitude.
Learn about your culture
In a country where race influences so much of our daily realities, it is essential for us all to learn about the history of our people in the US and around the world, and this can be a transformative process.
Make time for joy!
Whether it’s watching a cringeworthy comedy that brings you back to awkward phases or it’s taking time to dance with the blinds drawn, joy is essential for wellbeing, and for your health.
Call a friend or loved one.
Especially since we’re physically distanced from most people we love, it’s crucial to find ways to maintain our supportive relationships, and to stay in the practice of actually having conversations. I think we’re all getting a little rusty at body language and the art of conversation, from having fewer interactions with others than usual.
If you have the time and energy, take up a new hobby.
Now is a fantastic time to learn a new language, learn how to play an instrument, or take a free online course.
Meet potential mentors, acquaintances, and connections via LinkedIn.
If you have the capacity to job search or network right now, this article offers valuable steps to get the most out of your informational interview and this article from UC Berkeley’s Career Center lists a range of questions you can ask in an informational interview to glean as much insight as possible during your interview.
Remember to be kind to yourself.
We are in the middle of a pandemic and a historic uprising. You should not expect yourself to be operating at peak productivity, and the purpose of your life isn’t simply to be productive. I’m currently reading and loving Sonya Renee Taylor’s book “The Body is Not an Apology,” which is a fantastic resource to learn more about this topic.