The Great Wave of the Quarantine
I’d be lying if I said that I have this whole situation in the bag. With only a few weeks away from summer break, it’s hard to plan out the future and know what’s going to happen next. At the same time, you might be overwhelmed by the amount of work and the constant change that’s happening around us because honestly, we all are. I might not have the answers you’re looking for, but I am here to tell you that you are not alone and that you can get through this. My friend, Cherie Chung, and I would spend hours on the phone sharing what our days are like and helping each other go through it together. So we decided to write this article to share with you guys some things that work for us during these trying times. The situation right now might feel like giant waves pushing you back to the shore and it’s difficult for you to move forward, but by taking small steps, everything will eventually get better.
Here’s what you can do to tackle the Great Wave:
Make waves in a still ocean.
Try an alternate schedule every few days! Staying in can feel repetitive and days start to merge together, but you have been doing a great job! What we realized that helped us through this quarantine is switching things up. Having several different plans for different days can help the same room or house feel a little different! At the same time, it gives you something to look forward to every day.
Wake up when the Sun rises and rests when the Sunsets.
Don’t stay up too late! This is a great opportunity to switch our body clocks to healthier routines. Wash up, dress up, and keep some time for yourself after working. Treat every day like a normal day and eat regularly.
Move your beach chair further away from the ocean.
Keep your “office” area and wind-down area separate! Being in the same room sometimes blurs the line between work and personal life. Through this period, work-life balance is extremely important! Instead of working every hour you are awake or bringing work to your bed, continue your daily routine. Dress up and wash up as usual and enter your “office space” like you would normally. When you are working, set different timers for short periods of work-time and breaks. Your office space can simply be a table in your room, it doesn’t need to be a newly decorated home office. A designated area can also help subconsciously switch your mind to work mode when you have low motivation to work. When you are done for the day, clock out as usual, and enter your wind-down area.
Challenge yourself to make your day more productive.
Try small challenges to break the monotonous days indoors. While working, we all have felt moments of restlessness and boredom. Instead, break that streak of low energy but engaging in a quick little challenge. A good idea could be a fitness challenge; for the time you get distracted while working, you have to work out for the same amount of time. After taking a breath and a shower, you are refreshed and ready to work again!
Don’t keep your thoughts in a washed-up bottle on the shore.
We’re spending a lot of time with our own thoughts and that can be challenging. Sometimes our mind works faster than our understanding and that on its own could be overwhelming. Even when living with others, it’s hard to communicate how you feel when everyone is going through their own battles right now. Get comfortable, take a notebook, and a pen, and start writing how you feel. It doesn’t have to make sense or have structure, this can be a good opportunity for you to let out all of the overwhelming information in your head and understand how you’re feeling better.
Maintain a healthy and safe social interaction.
Quarantine and social distancing doesn’t mean that you are unable to interact with your friends and family! There are a bunch of ways where you can safely socialize and stay sane during these times. We’re not going to link you to different online games you can play with your loved ones because we’re sure you’ve seen or tried a lot of them, but we’re just to remind you that you are not alone in this situation. Okay, maybe we will. You should try skribbl, it's quite fun! Try your best to maintain genuine relationships with others even through a 5-minute phone call. Check on your friends and family, and who knows? maybe talking to them can make you feel better too!
Keep your work/classes organized.
Working from home or online classes can be tough. It’s hard to keep track of tasks and staying motivated. Keep in mind that everyone works differently, try to think of a system that works best for you! Whether if it’s creating a color-coded journal or making a simple to-do list, find something that fits you and try your best to stick with it. During these times it’s also important to communicate with the people you’re working with, whether if it's your professor, boss, co-worker, or classmate, make sure you clearly communicate your goals and work together to go through it. Everyone understands that you’re going through some challenges and it’s okay to voice that and ask for help or advice.
Make time for yourself!!
This is the perfect time for you to complete that list of chores, work, and goals that you’ve made months ago. Marie Kondo-ing your whole house does sound like a good idea right now but don’t forget to make time for your well-being. Times like this can be overwhelming and you’d want to do as much as you can for others and those in need, but don’t forget that you are important too! Take time off your day or schedule, even if it’s just 10–20 minutes to relax, clear your mind, and make sure that you’re doing okay too!
And that’s a wrap on some tips that have helped us during this period! It’s a tough time and it is normal for us to experience ups and downs through this time. It is important to remember that every day starts fresh and continue to give ourselves something to look forward to. I hope everyone stays safe and healthy during this period!
Special thanks to my beautiful friend Cherie Chung for helping me out with this article ❤️