By: Claire

It’s that time of year again. Around the globe, people are gearing up to celebrate the holidays: Mawlid, Diwali, Day of the Dead, US Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s Eve approach! Before you know it, you’ll be looking back at 2020 like:

Let’s face it. There hasn’t been much about this year that’s gone according to plan. Things went off the rails about… oh, let’s say 5,000 hours of lockdown ago.

And even the most festive among us are side eyeing this holiday season. Can we gather with loved ones? How do we celebrate safely? Why did Christmas alone seem so much more fun when Macaulay Culkin did it?

If flipping through the next two months of your 2020 calendar leaves you already looking for a place to hide, you’re not alone. It’s been a rough year.

That’s why the team at HowToUse has put together this handy-dandy guide to taking a break. Step back. Recalibrate. Follow our list for self-care and don’t apologize about it. Let’s get to it:

  1. Take a look at your browsing history. Which corners of the cyberworld are you living in these days? Are you a news junkie flipping between headlines? Are you doomscrolling through social media? Before we can self-correct, we need to self-assess. Browsing histories can offer an objective snapshot of your daily digital consumption.
  2. Put a hard cap on your screen time. When you’re working from home and socializing on Zoom, it’s hard to not to spend your entire day in front of a computer. But now more than ever, boundaries are critical. Carve out regular intervals in your day when you can step away from the screen. Trust us, the internet will be there when you get back.
  3. Move your body. We’re serious about this one. Find something that works for you and then go do it. Walk. Run. Stretch. Dance in your bedroom. See how many push ups you can do, then try to beat your record. It’s hard to be active during quarantine, but your body needs to be taken care of.
  4. Find your ritual. How do you decompress? What puts your mind at ease? Some people are more creatively-inclined than others, but we all deserve a happy place. Figure out a practice that helps you regroup and create time for it.
  5. Make plans for the future during the holiday season. You heard us right. This too shall pass, and you’ll be ready when it does. Have fun brainstorming what you’ll do once quarantine is behind us. Even if it’s not something that’s feasible for you right now, enjoy the mental escape of a good post-covid fantasy. Keep your eyes on the horizon- we’ll get there together.

Claire is a teacher, reproductive rights advocate, and the manager of https://www.howtouseabortionpill.org/