12 things to do when the world is ending
Sometimes it takes the end of the world to realize what (and who) matters most.
In Tommy Wallach’s We All Looked Up, four high school seniors are forced to reexamine their lives when they find out an asteroid is hurtling towards Earth. Rather than dwell on the future or the past, Peter, Eliza, Anita, and Andy decide to embrace the present, and to take advantage of what little time they have left. What transpires is an incredible story about life, love, and the many perils of being a teenager — and yes, it’s all kinds of amazing.
But whether or not you’re a teen, we can all learn something from the hypothetical, impending apocalypse scenario. Living every day like an asteroid is about to destroy the Earth is totally the new YOLO — and when the world is ending in a couple months, let’s just say it changes your perspective on some things.
So, in honor of this momentous (and, again, hypothetical) occasion, here are just a few ways to pass the time — no matter how much or little of it we have left.
Tell your loved ones that you love them — often.
Most of us don’t express our feelings nearly enough, especially towards the people who matter most. Affection goes unspoken, and occasionally, forgotten — but it doesn’t have to be that way. Never forget to tell your loved ones just how much they mean to you.
Reread your favorite books.
Reread the books that inspired your love of reading in the first place, and feel the spark of joy and inspiration all over again. Let yourself enjoy great art and storytelling. Spend time with the things that bring you pleasure, instead of refreshing your Instagram feed (which is probably just filled with everyone’s end of the world selfies, anyways).
Tackle your bucket list.
Why wait another day to accomplish something amazing? If the only thing standing in the way of you achieving your life goals is time, make a plan and get it done. It’s never too early or too late to do something life-changing.
No one is above making mistakes. If you’ve hurt someone, acknowledge what you’ve done and allow that person the opportunity to heal by apologizing.
. . . And bury the hatchet.
Likewise, accept that you won’t always receive an apology when you’ve been wronged, and not everyone will want to admit their mistakes. Practice forgiveness, and allow yourself to move on.
Watch the sunrise and the sunset.
Bring a blanket, go outside, and look up. At first, it might seem cliché, but taking a moment to appreciate just how incredible the world is can humble you immeasurably.
Let’s be real: Life is expensive. From food to housing to clothes and everything in between, it takes a lot of money to get by day to day. But we all deserve to splurge on occasion. Treat yourself to something special — even if it’s just fancy ice cream on a sweltering day. (And, if the world is definitely ending, go ahead and spend your savings on something ridiculous and/or amazing!)
Make a list of regrets — and burn it.
We each carry a ton of unnecessary anxiety in our everyday lives. Make a list of your regrets and the things you can’t change, and burn it. The act of literally setting your regrets ablaze can be shockingly therapeutic and healing.
Wear whatever you want.
Fear of judgment should never get in the way of you wearing what makes you feel your best. Clothing is a form of self-expression, and you deserve to express yourself exactly as you please.
Teach yourself how to do something new.
Contrary to the well-known adage, you can teach an old dog new tricks — and why shouldn’t you? If there’s something you’ve been itching to learn how to do, invest the time and do it. You’ll feel accomplished and awesome for it, and you’ll have a new skill under your belt just in case the apocalypse doesn’t work out.
Reach out to someone who you’ve wanted to speak with for a long time.
Whether an old friend or otherwise, if you’ve lost touch with someone but want them in your life, let them know. It can be as simple as shooting them a message on Facebook or texting them asking to meet up for coffee. The world is ending: Who do you want by your side?
Take a risk.
Whether this means going bungee-jumping or slipping someone your number on a napkin, it’s OK to put yourself out there and take a risk. Do something out of the norm. Chances are, you won’t regret it.