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It’s Okay to Not Be Okay: Learning to Unplug

Finding a work routine away from the office has been an adjustment for many.EXPAND
Finding a work routine away from the office has been an adjustment for many.
Lynn Trimble

Welcome to It’s Okay to Not Be Okay, a bimonthly column focusing on dating (kind of) in the Valley, but ultimately, being responsible for yourself. Check out our last entry here and enjoy this week's column.

I’ve been working from home for a little over a week now.

I wake up and immediately start working. I take a break to eat an apple and banana (I’m almost out of those, by the way). I’m plugged in until around 6 p.m., depending on when our last story comes out. Then I take time to respond to personal texts and to check social media for things outside of news.

My next meal comes around 9 p.m. I’ve been making the same salad for four days. I turn on a movie to force myself to think about something else. I watched Ma the other night. It was entertaining (and absolutely awful), to be honest.

Then I wake up and do it again, just like that. Maybe I throw in a run or a call to my dad.

I’m overwhelmed, as I know many of us are. There’s a global crisis going on. I haven’t processed it.

That’s where the title of this column comes in to play: It’s okay to not be okay. Really, it is.

Many of us were thrown into working from home. It’s fun at first, but I’ve found that my lack of time management skills has been amplified. It’s difficult to force myself to take breaks (not just from work, but from the constant online noise).

I’m working on it, as I’m sure you are. Or maybe you’re a pro.

Even though I’m struggling a bit to find my footing in my work-from-home routine, I have found ways to make sure I’m not glued to the neverending news cycle, especially since I live alone. Some I’ve mentioned briefly and others I have yet to try. Ultimately, I hope they give you ideas as to how to unplug.

Scouring Rate Your Music for New Tunes

I highly recommend doing this during your work-from-home day. First, I’ll find a list on Rate Your Music and queue up a few albums from it at a time, making sure to go in and give them a rating as a quick mental break from work.

You’re bound to get into a new genre or find an artist you otherwise would have never listened to. Plus, queueing up a bunch of random albums at a time keeps you on your toes and makes the day less monotonous.

I’ve been working through this accelerationist pop list for a couple of days now. One of my favorite finds from it was Susanne Sundfør’s Ten Love Songs.

Reviewing Movies on Letterboxd

Letterboxd is my favorite community to go fuck around on. Most of the time, no one’s reviewing movies for real. It’s a place where you can go and make jokes. That’s what I do, at least. My favorite end-of-night activity is choosing a movie to watch, then scrolling through the reviews afterward and laughing at them.

Running Around My Neighborhood

Before all of this chaos, I was training for a 5K. I still am. It’s a good way to get out of the house and explore your neighborhood while practicing social distancing.

You might find something cool. I found a tub on the sidewalk when I went for a run a couple of days ago. It was the highlight of my day. Thanks for asking.

Baking Bread, or Thinking About It

I have all of the ingredients for an easy bread recipe I found — except for active dry yeast. I guess everyone else wanted to try their hand at bread-making as well. So for now, I’ll just think about the loaf I plan to make.

Self-Sabotaging My Dating Life

I mean, come on. This stuck-at-home period is perfect for interacting with your crush, but alas, I remain as nervous as ever to slide into the DMs for something other than a quick exchange. My fears hold me back entirely.

Maybe it’s not meant to be. That’s what I’ll tell myself (even though I really want to go on a Skype date).

If you have any indoor hobby suggestions, let me know. I’m open to anything. But most importantly, please take care of yourself.

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