Before quarantine, many of us were overwhelmed by the pressures of life and society. We were constantly tired and stressed out. It was the same routine over and over again. You felt like you were the main character of your own novel. You were living the same day over and over again. We never really stepped out of our lives or broke our rhythm each day. Now that quarantine has been an unsettling reality, we are able to break out of the main character role. We are able to become the readers of our novel while also continuing to write it.
Now I may sound like a broken record and I am sure you have read numerous articles about how to stay sane during quarantine. Let me tell you this. There is no magic potion or cure for quarantine syndrome. But there is a way to work around it. No, you don’t need to go for a run everyday and no you don’t need to buy gallons of hand sanitizer. You simply need to acknowledge the way you are responding to the situation.
I am breaking this article into three sections: mind, body, and relationships. Let’s start with your mind. Now mentally we are all bored and understimulated. You may find yourself running out of things to even think about! Many people are trying to fix this by filling their heads with only one thing. Stimulating yourself with just watching tv or only studying for the day. One piece of advice I find helpful is to stay away from doing too much of something. You can still watch the news or binge netflix. But spending your entire 24 hours doing that? Try a mix of activities such as studying a little bit and then watching netflix. Maybe throw in some baking or cooking for a couple hours. Do a different mix of activities everyday too. For example, on Monday you can study for that test, read a book, and learn how to make pasta. Then on tuesday, you can walk your dog, work on a project, and watch a couple episodes of tiger king. Don’t burn yourself out. We already do that when we are not in quarantine.
Second thing about your mind is to sleep enough. This is also good for your body. Many of us are sleeping either way too much or way too little. Everybody is different and maybe 7 hours is sufficient enough for you but 10 hours is too much. It is hard to wake up when your body pulls you into sleeping just a couple more hours. I know it is easier said than done but try to wake up. You will thank yourself later.
Now I want to focus on our body. Before quarantine we moved around a lot whether we liked it or not. We got up in the morning and maybe rushed to school or work. Don’t worry you weren’t the only one that woke up late. Then came back home and went to bed and repeated the same thing again and again. Now, we barely step a foot out of our house, unless you are checking the mail, right? See our bodies were so used to the get up and go type of life, that we never paused to take our time. During quarantine, we should try and slow things down. If you are taking a walk or doing chores, take your time doing it. When we didn’t have this much time many of us limited ourselves to an hour or two. You told yourself you can only go on a walk for half an hour because you have to study. You don’t have to worry about that now. Take advantage of doing things without a time limit. Of course, don’t do too much of it but definitely take your time and enjoy the time you have.
Finally, I want to touch on relationships. Relationships during quarantine are either mended or broken. It is really hard to stay in touch with people without seeing them physically. Social distancing measures have made us forget what it is like to interact with another person. I find that checking in with my friends and family has made things better. It doesn’t have to be a text or even a facetime. It can be as simple as posting a comment on social media. Or posting old pictures when you were with your friends. Acknowledging that you are thinking about someone is worth it. During this time we are all lonely and could use interaction.
Quarantine will forever be a time in our lives that we will never forget. It is a time of healing and rejuvenation for the world and most importantly for yourself.