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How to cope when your friends aren't taking COVID-19 seriously

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With stay-at-home orders lifted, many people are eager to return to their normal lives. But sometimes, being responsible means missing out. Maybe your friends invited you to a big gathering and you declined. Or maybe you wanted to hang out with them, but your parents wouldn't let you. You might even have an immunocompromised family member you're staying home to protect. Whatever the case, it can be hard to deal when your friends are being looser with COVID-19 restrictions. Here's our advice on how to cope.

Share your concerns

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Often, we expect others to know our feelings without having to tell them—but no one can read your mind. If you're feeling left out because you can't participate in your friends' latest hang sesh, let them know. Address your worries about the meetup: How many people will be there? Will everyone be wearing a mask and social distancing? If the answer is no, try to set up a smaller, safer gathering that you feel comfortable with or find a way to join in the fun virtually. Don't succumb to the temptation to break the rules. There are fines for violating CDC and local guidelines, not to mention the *major* risk of spreading or getting the virus.

Ask for permission

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Though they're looking out for your best interests, having your parents shut down invites can be a major bummer. If you *really* want to get out of the house—and you're willing to follow all the rules—try to talk with them about getting permission. Be honest about where you want to go, who's going to be there and how you plan to stay safe. Explain why it's important to you to attend this specific meetup, even if it means having an awkward convo. If they're still worried, consider doing a virtual meetup with your besties, or invite them to your house, where your parents can be sure you're following guidelines and staying safe.

Take a break

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Specifically, a social media break. Scrolling through pic after pic of your friends and acquaintances hanging out only causes FOMO (fear of missing out). This was a well-known phenomenon even before COVID-19, but the pandemic and its effects have only amplified the negative mental health effects of social media. Take a week, or a day or even an hour off your phone. Go for a walk outside. Create something. Listen to your favorite song on repeat. Spending a little time alone can be good for you, especially if you use that time to do what you love.

Keep things in perspective

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The COVID-19 pandemic won't last forever. Medical professionals around the world are working hard to deliver treatments and vaccines. While it's common and completely valid to want to have fun, see your friends and be social, it's not worth putting lives at risk. You don't have to be immunocompromised to get COVID-19, or to spread it to someone else. The best thing to do is to wait out big gatherings and unsafe hangouts for now. There will be more opportunities to hang in the future—we promise. 

What's your fave social distancing-friendly activity? Share a pic with us by tagging @girlslifemag on Instagram!

Slider Image: Pexels

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by Bailey Bujnosek | 9/9/2020
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