This May, we’ll be exploring various aspects of mental health in a new series called “How Do I Deal?” As we navigate Mental Health Awareness month during COVID-19 this year, we feel like this current moment in time requires us to go a few layers deeper as we learn how to manage all the grief hope, whiplash, fear, anxiety, and sadness we may be feeling in this moment and beyond.

By The GNI Team

In last week’s newsletter, Carey Polis revealed a few quirky pastimes that are helping her cope with, as she put it, the…

“corona-fueled bursts of ugly cries, the constant financial hand-wringing, the relentless news-reading spirals, the guilt of not working hard enough or not focusing on my kid enough or not focusing on me enough or focusing on me too much, the concern about humanity in general, the babka consumption, the bad muffins consumption, the 25-crackers-in-3-minutes consumption, the soft pants, the awkward Zoom small talk, the spending too much time on Instagram psychoanalyzing acquaintances, the how-are-you text messages that you genuinely mean but you don’t know if people really want to answer, the hovering dark cloud that never totally leaves”

… and everything in between. We all have our own lists of things that we’re dealing with right now — and just like Carey, we have our own (sometimes weird) quirks that are satisfying to us and maybe only us. And that’s okay!

We asked you about the rabbit holes you’ve fallen into recently when you’ve needed a distraction and how you’ve been spending your “you time” lately. Here’s what you said…

“Rabbit holes I’ve fallen into this week and fairly regularly tbh: Summer Rayne Oakes’ Plant-Loving Youtube Channel (her Spring 2020 houseplant home tour is chef’s kiss) and Glossier’s Get Ready With Me Videos. They’re both just such a vibe. They make me feel good, and inspire me to live my best jungle at home life.” - April A.

“I’ve always enjoyed baking but during shelter in place my baking habit has reached a new level! Whenever I feel anxious or sad, or don’t know what to do during an afternoon slump, I turn to baking. My husband and I can’t eat all of these treats (well, let’s be honest, we could but our waistlines would not be happy) so I’ve started delivering cookies, brownies, and cupcakes to graduating seniors in our area. It has been such a fun, soothing, and delicious escape and has also motivated me to create an Etsy shop and Instagram for my baked goods! Maeve’s Bakery is now live on both platforms and it feels weird that it took such a devastating occasion to get my booty into gear. So, my rabbit hole has been full of sugar, flour, butter, and yeast.” - Maeve S.

“I recently fell deep into a Britney Spears rabbit hole, I’m talking pre-2007 interviews, news articles, podcasts, and court hearings. This is not my first time in this rabbit hole but nonetheless I’m in it once again.” - Sydney F.

“After I’ve finished a good movie, I love to read everything on the internet about it, especially the True Film section of Reddit to see if I’ve missed anything. I recently did this with Closer, the movie with Natalie Portman and Jude Law, and realized the play the movie is based on has an entirely different ending. I’ve also done this with Us, Shutter Island, and 500 Days of Summer. I just like to read what other people took from my favorite movies or movies that really left me wondering about something deeper.” - Elizabeth F.

“I sing What’s Up by 4 Non Blondes and Jane Said! by Jane’s Addiction out loud while paddle boarding and just walking. Also, making Vindaloo! And chili with dried anchos and Guajillo chilies!” - Morgan T.

“My guilty pleasure rabbit hole has been watching (and re-watching…) clips from the various Pitch Perfect movies! I love watching the Bellas’ performance dynamics evolve, plus there’s just something about the catchy music and all-around girl power that makes me feel good at a time when not much else does.” - Taylor P.

“My husband or I sing a Rob Thomas song at least once a day out loud for reasons neither of us understand but we both end up laughing.” - Sarah G.

“I started following Josh Groban’s #ShowerSongs videos last month and because my son and I love to sing, I decided to start our own weekly videos to share with family and friends on Facebook. You can find the two videos we’ve done so far here and here.” - Eloísa P. L.

“I went on a multi-week research and Craigslist-monitoring binge about buying a kayak. After I realized summer camping and traveling would likely be off the table, I went HARD on researching kayaks to use at the lakes in my city. Size, drift, rudders, paddles, roof racks for my car… all of that. I finally bought one two weekends ago, just in time for our first stretch of warm weather. I also may have put a crack in my windshield when I was shoving the 10-foot kayak inside my car with a 9.5-foot clearance, oops.” - Lindsay B.

“I sooooooo love singing ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ at high volumes in my car. My latest rabbit hole is vintage soda signs and vintage tablecloths on eBay and Etsy.” _ Gina A.

“I am 35+ weeks pregnant and obsessed with positive birth stories on YouTube. All births are beautiful and each mom deserves to tell their story, but I am focusing on hypnobirthing and positive ones. These stories leave me with a sense of peace and calmness about L&D - I cannot recommend them enough to other pregnant friends. Hypnobirth seems to be more popular in the U.K. so I also love hearing the mom’s accents as they tell their stories.” - Ashley H.

“I have been obsessed with Bob Ross. I guess, in his words not mine, spending the whole day watching his videos and imagining what it would feel like to actually be able to paint has been a ‘happy accident’ rather than a mistake!” - Beth P.

“My husband and I got married about a month ago in our friends’ beautiful backyard after the pandemic made it impossible for us to go to Chicago for the wedding we had spent months planning. We had some amazing friends who came through in really unexpected ways after we told them what happened, and I found myself going down the Etsy rabbit hole trying to find the perfect gifts to thank them for their kindness and generosity. What started out as a search for the perfect vintage cocktail shaker was suddenly a deep-dive into coffee subscription services. I eventually got myself back on track and purchased gifts that our friends have really appreciated and loved.” - Kathryn W.

“Twitter has been a massive rabbit hole for me; particularly threads like this one: NIGHTLY QUESTION: what was your weirdest or most embarrassing injury. And this one: What is a piece of writing, on the internet (i.e. not a book), that you return to or at least consider foundational?.” - Juliana

“My recent internet rabbit hole is tiny houses!!! I bingewatched Tiny House Nation on Netflix (2 seasons), and now I’m making my way through the YouTube channel Living Big in a Tiny House. I’m obsessed, and I think it has to do with people taking charge of their lives and forging their own path towards a simpler life.” - Cecilia H.

“My rabbit hole as of last night is watching singing videos on YouTube. And no, not overconfident high-schoolers mouthing the words to “Savage,” but the likes of users who teach technical singing hacks, and anyone trying the #burlesquechallenge (aka nailing really hard runs).” - Maria W.

What rabbit holes have you’ve fallen into recently when you’ve needed a distraction? Let us know in the comments below. 👇 Click here to subscribe to our newsletter, and be a part of conversations like this one all month long.

Image by @catalonjenna.