Am I weird for kind of liking this quarantine?
Is it okay to not feel bad and enjoy this Self -Isolation?? Well yes! It’s not ethically wrong to have some good me-time.
For all of us, life during quarantine has been different. Being alone is not what we are used to. We are in the 21st century, we are used to freedom, lots of choices, and opportunities. Nevertheless, everyone is aware of the graveness of the situation and the fact that we can save lives and end this crisis early by staying at home.
When this all started initially, I thought “This is all temporary, It won’t last long.” But with time, I thought “ Do I want this to end? It’s not ALL bad…😄. You might think I’ve been in quarantine too long and have lost senses by now, but hear me out.
Let me also provide some caveats. I have to recognize that I’m writing this from a place of privilege. I’m quarantined in a very healthy and comforting place, and my mental health issues are in check. But for many people, quarantine has felt unbearable. They may be alone, separate from their family, or quarantined in a toxic situation. It can feel like suffering, and that is real and understandable. If you feel a little squeamish about acknowledging that fact, I don’t blame you. Experiencing anything else feels dissonant, almost antisocial.
But I’m here to tell you: It’s okay to enjoy your life right now. Be honest about how you’re doing when people ask. You can share moments of happiness with those closest to you, and let them know that you’re at least one person they don’t have to worry about along with spreading some positivity around.
However, this situation is hitting us all in restricting our freedom, we can still make use of the extra-time we gain by being in self-quarantine. Spending time at home doesn’t need to be boring or ineffective. On the contrary, we have tons of ways to stay happy, productive, and occupied.
Here are some of the reasons why and how I am enjoying quarantine more than I thought I would. These are helping me personally and I hope they help you too.
1. Stop asking ‘What’s the point?’ 🤔
Do our actions determine how we feel? Or do our feelings determine how we act?
What’s the point in showering or getting dressed? Why should I bother shaving or putting on makeup?”. These type of thoughts are common right now & I understand the sentiment. But be careful.
Why? Because these foundational actions prime you for the day ahead: for how you feel, think, & all further actions. And when you let it slide off, it’s easy to drag your whole self down with it.
If you use to feel good earlier, you probably don’t realize it, but your foundational behaviours played a pivotal role in making that possible.
To feel as good as you can, try to make your days look as they did before. This will require some extra willpower & creativity. Like, If you’re working from home, follow your morning routine as if you were going into the office. After your work hours, have a ritual that helps you transition into your personal time. Prefer a little walk, meditate or change into comfier clothes.
Maintaining a schedule will help you go through the day little easier.
2. Embrace the Quarantine Eating 🍲
Nothing else makes sense, so go ahead and eat.
I used to think I knew how to feed myself. My meals followed a routine with a healthy breakfast, a decent lunch followed with going out for light dinners on the weekends. Of course, that was before 😅.
Now, there are back-to-back Fruit bowls, pizzas, an early evening mug brownie. I have entered the culinary Wild West 🙈
I am not sure about how the next week/month will look like. I can’t rely on the things that would normally bring me comfort, like grabbing drinks with friends or booking a weekend trip. So, by default, food is that outlet.
According to Loretta Breuning, the author of Habits of a Happy Brain,
“It’s the anticipation of the reward that releases the dopamine”.
I say this as someone with a fresh line of sugar-induced chin zits🙊:
“ If there was ever a time to fully lean into whatever you want to eat, this is it. As long as you’re listening to your body, using food as an emotional replacement, continuing to follow social-distancing guidelines, and doing your part to make sure other people have enough to eat, you’re fine.”
And if eating a cookie immediately upon getting into bed offers a speck of solace then what’s wrong in that. Isn’t that something we’re all ravenous for right now.
3. Know your creative inner self 🧠
Bit of a space cadet, so what?
I always knew that I spend an unusual amount of time inside my own head, disregarding material concerns. But self-isolating has made me newly aware of just how much time I like to spend gazing whimsically out of windows, focused on matters far removed from the here and now. I do believe that isolation offers a unique opportunity to see one’s self in repose. Make good use this time to bring out your creativity with some of your sketching skills if you like the artist inside you. I also utilised it to do some of these sketches.
Just keep your happy future self in mind when your present self starts grumbling that it would be more convenient to watch Netflix.
4. Catch up on your reading 📚
Ditch the news and read things that helps in learning
You see, through the news you’re consuming panic-related stories, thereby pushing your mind to focus on negatives. Hence, we can always increase the positives by reading the books or articles we always wanted to but just bookmarked or saved it for later.
Most people I know say they don’t read enough and I am one of them. It’s one thing to have no time for reading when your days are filled with work and errands, and another when you’re literally stuck indoors all day long. No doubt you’ll want to spend a great deal of time binge-watching Netflix, but once that becomes boring (which, after a few days, it will), set down the laptop and pick up a book.
Instead of refreshing the news pages of the media every five minutes, invest time into reading a book. However, If you have no idea what to read- My suggestion is to read uplifting and motivational books that help you grow and unleash your potential. You can, of course, also go for fiction stories.
5. Master skills online 👩💻
“Technology is best when it brings people together”. Sounds perfect right now, isn’t it?
We all have dozens of skills we aspire to improve. However, we lack time to sit down and learn. Now is the perfect time to browse through online courses, select a few skills you want to improve and invest your time in developing your personal or professional skills.
You can explore some of the online course platforms like Udemy, Unacademy, and Skillshare. There you can find tons of free or paid courses on almost any topic you can imagine.
If you are not into whole courses but rather prefer short, standalone pieces of content, watching TED talks might be a great idea to fuel your personal growth. Learning new skills help wire our brains beautifully, give it a try!
6. Replenish social connections 👯♀️
Hey, long time — no see!
We are social creatures, accept it! During those long hours of the day, hearing a human voice can uplift our spirits.
Well Well, Technology is on our side, so let’s use it! When was the last time you called your aunt? or when was your last conversation with your school mate?
Social isolation doesn’t mean we need to be alone. Contrary now is the perfect time to re-connect with people. So just grab your phone, scroll through your contacts, and call someone you haven’t talked to for some while or show your faces to cheer them up a bit.
7. Get your home in order 🏠
Housework can’t kill you, but why take the chance?
I know some people don’t want to hear it, but… use this time to tidy up and do your spring cleaning.
We all feel more comfortable in clean, tidy homes. So, let’s use some of our quarantine-hours to tidy up, sort out our clothes, or rearrange our apartments so that we can enjoy our time in self-isolation even more. An additional benefit of getting your house in order is the fact that you will feel refreshed and proud once you are done.
If you’re going to be stuck in the same place for months, why not improve it? After all, it’s much better to be cooped up somewhere you enjoy being.
8. Strive for well being 🏋 ️
“Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness”
Moving our bodies is essential and now that gyms are out of bounds, we can very well experiment with how we move. The bottom line is to get resourceful and get creative with exercises.
You can also try Meditation, it comes with tremendous benefits. It will not only help you to stay calm and sane, but it will also boost the quality of your life by reducing anxiety and stress, which almost all of us need right now. However, it will also help you to stay creative and come up with new ideas.
Taking a bath or putting on a face mask might not sound incredibly productive, yet, taking care of your health — your physical, as well as mental wellbeing, will ensure you stay productive and sane for the long run.
Corona is ravaging the planet, and there’s no escaping it. While taking all the preventative measures we can, we don’t have to place our lives on hold. We can continue to learn and grow even in adverse circumstances. In fact, there’s no better time to.
For me, all of the changes have helped me focus on what I care about the most, and I can be grateful for even those little somethings. I hope you can too.
Move your body, cook a delicious meal, read a good book, live up a little — do whatever makes you feel good.
In the end, Stay safe and Sane! 🖖