A yellow home at sunset

Even on a Cloudy Day: A Challenge for You to Find Beauty in Quarantine

Even on a Cloudy Day:

A Challenge for You to Find Beauty During Quarantine

By: Grace Hildahl

     The Coronavirus has not infected everyone, but it has had an effect on people everywhere. From loss of loved ones, unemployment, campus displacement and facing the loneliness of isolation, Coronavirus has changed the way we function completely. Although quarantine can be draining, it is a crucial step we must take to minimalize the spread of the virus. Time feels as if it is moving in slow motion, but the days-boring yet chaotic, are passing by quickly. Navigating your way through the struggles of quarantine can seem to be more challenging than comprehending the sentence above.

    When it comes to staying grounded during this historical pandemic, there is no right or wrong answer to what is best for you. If you are feeling frustrated, in a rut, or shut-in, I recommend establishing a routine. Without a plan, it is easy to become unproductive or uninspired. A routine can be as simple as waking up or eating meals at the same time, checking in on a friend, maintaining your previous academic schedule, or even being consistent in your self-care habits.

     For example, every afternoon I walk my dog, Ruby. This seemingly simple routine has been my saving grace since moving back home. I remove myself from the stressors of technology, schoolwork and even sometimes my family. To me, these walks represent an escape from reality and the seemingly never-ending effects of the Coronavirus. In creating structure for myself, I have discovered for the first time, a strong appreciation for my surroundings. I am from a smaller, rural town in Iowa. Like many Midwest towns, we are known for farming, livestock and not much else. When I graduated high school, I prioritized moving somewhere far away with sought after attractiveness and activity. In savoring my walks with Ruby, I have become more aware of the rustic nostalgia and timeless views of Iowa’s landscape. I have found a certain lingering beauty in the agricultural past of my community. Lately, I have taken to photographing barns and farmland my dog and I discover on our walks.

      Below this article, I have attached some of my favorite shots I’ve taken. I am not a photographer; these photos are from the first day I have ever used a quality camera. I do not want my readers to focus on the “photography,” rather the meaning behind it. I would never have uncovered my new passion and appreciation for my community and making something creative out of the inspiration I draw from it. I credit my scheduled daily walk with Ruby to this, and that is why I recommend finding your own routine as well.

     Once you have established a routine, my challenge for YOU is to find the beauty in the daily occurrences of your life. Whether it be appreciating the specific way the sun beams shine through your windows in the morning, creating a satisfying aesthetic with your meals, cherishing time with a friend, admiring your study space, or feeling stunning from your self-care regime. Take a photo of whatever you find beautiful and post it on Instagram using the hashtag, #evenonacloudyday and tag HerCampusIowa so I can see what you have found!

     Coronavirus has made me appreciate the little things in my life, understanding that they have a bigger impact than expected, I hope you do too.

 Be safe, find your groove.

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A red farm in the distance. Grace Hildahl A stop sign with evergreen trees. Grace Hildahl

An old tractor and Rv in a farmhouse's front yard. Grace Hildahl Power lines and evergreen trees at dusk. Grace Hildahl

A cemetery entrance at sunset. Grace Hildahl

A Grace Hildahl

Butterfly decorations on a barn side. Grace Hildahl Silhouette of a farm at sunset. Grace Hildahl A long agriculture building at dusk. Grace Hildahl

A wooden barn built into the hills in sunlight. Grace Hildahl A doorway to an abandoned, red barn, bathed in natural sunlight. Grace Hildahl A no trespassing sign near a pond. Grace Hildahl A view of the top of an old brown barn. Grace Hildahl A dog standing in a cornfield. Grace Hildahl