Transitioning to the Quarantine Lifestyle

It’s been over a month of quarantine. Getting through the day can sometimes feel like the largest obstacle to overcome, but I have hope that things will get better. Slowly, yes, but eventually the world will be okay again. I know it’s been difficult for all of us to self-quarantine. Not being able to see friends, not being able to go to class or work, and not being able to distinguish one day from the next are all situations I have personally faced. In all honesty, my mental health isn’t in the best place. Despite these feelings and this situation, I have been trying my best to stay calm and realign my schedule in a way that feels familiar.

When I wasn’t quarantined, I used to go to the gym at least four to five times a week. I had found that this was the best way for me to relax and decrease my anxiety. In the first few weeks of quarantine, and even now, I find myself extremely stressed. Even though I can’t go to a gym, I decided that I had to incorporate exercise to keep myself sane. One of my favorite things to do is to go on walks around my neighborhood. This allows me to get some fresh air, stretch my legs, and clear my mind. My neighborhood is fairly quiet, and if I do see people out I’m able to cross the street and keep my distance. I’ve also started trying out yoga and at-home abdominal exercises which I do with my family. Making something like exercise a social activity--even just with the people you live with--can be a great way to relieve some of the stresses of the day.

Another thing I enjoyed doing while I wasn’t quarantined was the simple pleasure of going to a coffee shop, sitting at a table, and doing my homework. Again, that’s not really possible at this time, but that doesn’t mean I can’t try to recreate a similar scenario in my quarantined life. At home, I’ll brew myself a cup of coffee, set up notebooks on my desk, and listen to some coffee shop music through my headphones. It’s not the exact same as being able to go out, but mimicking the scenario helps me become focused and get a lot of work done. With the recent sunny weather, I’ve also found myself lounging in the backyard or on the porch with coffee and a good book.

Lastly, one of my favorite things that I’ve started doing is scheduling in Zoom calls with my friends! I meet with a group of my family friends online every Friday, and each week we pick a game to play together. Last week we played Cards Against Humanity online! It’s obviously not the same as interacting with them in person, but any type of social connection during this quarantine is essential for us. Humans are social creatures who crave togetherness. It’s easy to slip into feelings of loneliness and isolation in these times. However, sometimes you need to actively push yourself out of that space and connect with the people who make you happy and remind you that you’re not alone.

I hope that sharing some of what I’m doing while social-distancing can inspire you guys to stay motivated, happy, and healthy. I want to say that I appreciate every single person who is quarantined and following state orders. You should be proud that you’re taking the right precautions and assisting our healthcare workers during these unprecedented times. This pandemic is something that we will overcome, we just have to be patient. Please stay healthy and safe.