The current coronavirus induced quarantine has each of us struggling in our own ways. Maintaining goals during these circumstances is a surefire way to support your mental health, your sense of time and your sense of routine. Here’s how giving myself a goal has benefitted me.
Many of us find ourselves struggling with our sense of direction. I personally have felt myself becoming somewhat aimless during these strange times. Giving myself a goal has soothed this feeling, though. If my goal is to finish a quilt or two before the quarantine is over (a goal I barely have time to even entertain during the semester), it gives me a sense of direction and a sense of where I want to be once this is all finished. It is a positive way of looking into the future during a time when so many negative thoughts are unfortunately associated with the future.
Not only has this given me a sense of direction, but it’s also given me something positive to focus on. This situation we find ourselves in is new and it is universal: no one has ever seen anything like this before, and for the first time in a very long time, there is something that is affecting everyone we know. It can be so easy to focus on unwelcome, and more importantly, unproductive thoughts. Giving myself a goal has been a coping mechanism that gets my thoughts in order and helps me calm down when I’m focusing on things that are out of my control.
Another way giving myself a goal during this time has benefitted me is that it gives me a sense of accomplishment. School has slowed down and for most of us, has come to a close by now. Not only that but before the semester ended, everything was shifted online. I personally found this transition very difficult, and I wasn’t feeling the same state of accomplishment after turning in classwork, even if it was something I had worked very hard on. So I bought a pair of roller skates and after an hour of pitifully falling down in the driveway, I decided to give myself another goal: mastering roller skating by the time this is over. By giving myself a skill-based goal, I have been able to see my direct progress towards that goal, and it has definitely given me a sense of accomplishment.
Giving myself a clear cut goal during this time has also given me a sense of enrichment. Instead of moving from room to room, entertaining myself with the same four things I always do, I accomplish something productive. I cannot speak for everyone but I personally feel that my life is so empty if I’m not working towards something, or if I’m not being productive in at least a couple of aspects in my life.
Of course, goals are important right now. A sense of direction, routine and normalcy are all crucial to our mental health. But please be sure to take care of yourself during this time. Know that unproductivity isn’t always a bad thing and that we deserve time to relax as well. Even if it’s during a time that just feels unproductive by default, make sure you take care of your mind, body and spirit.