Quarantine season has been kind of rough so far, if I am being completely honest. It is hard to stay positive and optimistic with the dark cloud of anxiety and fear about the future looming overhead, keeping me in a state of constant stress and worry. However, one thing has become very clear to me during this time of self-isolation and self-reflection: I need to remember to be gentle with myself and take care of myself both physically and mentally. It is okay if I cannot be productive all the time, or if I just want to watch cartoons and eat ice cream all day. This is a time of getting to know ourselves better and showing ourselves more love. Here are a few things that I have been doing to practice self-love:
- Calling Friends & Family
Since the stay-at-home quarantine in LA just got extended to May 15, many of us (myself included) have been sad about not being able to see our friends and family in person any time soon. Although we may not be able to have any physical human interaction for some time, you can still keep in touch with your loved ones virtually. I have been calling my mom more often and randomly surprising my sisters with FaceTime calls every now and then. Talking to them on the phone automatically increases my mood and takes my mind off of things so that I can enjoy their presence and company. I also like to send silly memes to my friends and sisters over Instagram or Snapchat, which always makes all of us feel better and more lighthearted.
- Creating More Art
I am an artist at heart, but I had noticed that stress from school had stopped me from making anything these last few quarters. Now that I have some more free time and alone time, I have gotten back into creating. I have been writing more poetry and practicing my painting and sketching skills in my journal. I also enjoy writing short diary entries where I can talk about my day, express any current emotions I am feeling, rant if I have to and just let the pen fill the pages with whatever is on my mind.
- Listening To Music
Music is very important to me, and I could not live without it. It is the rhythm of my existence, the melody of my mood and a huge inspiration for my art. Singing along to one of my favorite songs is one of the best feelings in the world for me. It makes me so happy and helps me relax and destress so that I can focus on myself and whatever work needs to be done. I also love to pay special attention to the lyrics of songs and interpret their meaning with my roommate, who is also my quarantine buddy. My favorite artists’ words tend to inspire mine too, through poetry.
- Cooking New Dishes
I did not really start experimenting with cooking until the start of this quarter. Being cooped up inside my small studio all day fills me with restless anxiety, so I decided to try cooking as a way to release this negative energy. This quarantine has taught me that I love preparing and cooking food. I see cooking as an art form that I have yet to conquer but am slowly acclimating to. Experimentation in the kitchen helps keep my creativity levels up and running.
This quarantine does not have to be a time of extreme productivity and success; even a flower would wither with too much sun. However, it definitely should be a time for self-love. If there is one thing we need more in the world right now, it is love. Remember to let yourself breathe and enjoy each day for what it is. Do not be too harsh on yourself, and give yourself space to grow and flourish.