Hi to all my brave souls out there!!! YES, I am talking to YOU. It is a hard time right now… and if social distancing wasn’t a thing, I would be giving you all a much needed hug. We all need to learn how to survive quarantine!
Things feel uncertain, things feel scary, and things most definitely feel out of control. COVID-19 has truly came in like a wrecking ball (cue the visual of Miley) and the chaos it has created is something I honestly have never experienced before.
There have been moments where I truly feel like the world is ending and then there are moments where I am grateful that things have slowed down. The emotional rollercoaster of it all is a hard thing to process, which is why I wanted to write this blog.
I’m here to share MY experience in response to what is going on in the world and hopefully normalize your feelings and how you are processing it all. Then I’ll share some tips that have helped me survive and cope with how to survive quarantine.
I am an immunocompromised individual, which means that I am at high risk regarding the virus.
Because of that, I have not been able to leave my house much and let me tell you… it has been TOUGH. In some respect, I feel like I was born to conquer a quarantine because 1) I am most definitely a homebody and 2) much of my life for the past 4 years has been limited to staying at home due to my health…but I’m not going to lie to y’all, I’ve been having a REALLY HARD TIME and I’m sure some of you babes are too.
It’s OKAY to not be OKAY right now.
Let me hit you with the facts:
People thrive off of routine and schedules. Predictability ENSURES feeling secure and safe. Without predictability, we are left feeling vulnerable and like our personal worlds are chaotic and out of control.
Right now, EVERYTHING is uncertain and we most definitely can’t control what is going on around us. People are losing their jobs. Healthcare workers are risking their lives to be at the forefront of this. People are devastated financially. Relationships are being tested. Parents have adapted to be homeschool teachers. Soon-to-be mamas are wondering whether their spouse will be able to be there for the birth of their child. People are feeling isolated due to mandated social distancing. The list goes on and on.
Do you know yourself?
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It’s Normal to Mourn.
I know firsthand that it can be SO easy to slide into a negative mindset during this time, especially if you suffer with depression and anxiety. If I’m being honest, I’ve been in a fight with negativity since the beginning of this madness and my anxiety has been through the roof. It really is overwhelming to think of all the negative repercussions this virus has had on society and it’s easy to get trapped in that place of “everything is so BAD right now”.
In those moments, I think it is important to acknowledge those thoughts and the feelings that come with them. They are VALID and it is NORMAL to have them, especially during this time. And make sure you hear this part – IT IS OKAY THAT YOU ARE FEELING THIS WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I think the main point I want to drive home in this blog is that THIS TIME is YOUR TIME and there is no perfect or right/successful way to be quarantined.
If you want to spend this time working out and organizing drawers and learning something new and being PRODUCTIVE AF then by all means BE MY GUEST and go for it!! You go Glen Coco!!! But also, I think it’s important to note that if you want or need to spend this time by sleeping in and eating what you want and watching 6 straight hours of Netflix, that is OKAY TOO!!! Be intentional about being MINDFUL of your needs and desires!!
I think we handle difficult situations by looking to others to see what we SHOULD be doing (which is why all the toilet paper sold out in .2 seconds). When it is crisis mode, we look around to see what other people are doing and how they are surviving quarantine and react to it by doing the same thing. But this way of thinking forces us to compare ourselves and our days to other people’s… and comparison is a very dangerous thing.
Comparison is the Thief of Joy.
When we compare ourselves, especially in situations like right now, there are only two outcomes. You either feel LESS than or you feel MORE THAN and both are wrong and not really helpful.
When we compare our day to day to someone else and feel like we’re not doing enough or we aren’t as productive, it gets us into this self-shaming mentality and shifts us into this place of self-hate and negativity (which I think we can all agree is not a great spot to be in, ESPECIALLY when having to face a global crisis!!). All of a sudden we tell ourselves we don’t know how to survive quarantine – but that’s not entirely true.
On the other end of the spectrum, if we feel like we are doing MORE than others, it can cause us to have an inflated self-esteem and feel like there is a hierarchy amongst us, which can cause the judgement of others. If this is the case for you, I’m here to gently bring you back to reality and remind you that we are all equal and of worth. We need to always be mindful of the fact that EVERYONE has a struggle they are facing right now.
Think of the following visual… we all have an empty cup of tolerance (or as I like to say, “shit’s to give”). The coronavirus and the effects it has had on our lives has filled up that cup 3/4ths of the way. WHICH MEANS that we only have 1/4 left for the rest of things in life before we’re at capacity and feel flooded and have NO MORE TOLERANCE.
This means that stubbing your toe right when you wake up, your partner leaving all the cabinets open, stepping on your kids Lego (legit the equivalent of getting your foot amputated), or getting into a disagreement with a coworker can throw you over the edge. Understand it in this way so that you can give yourself some more grace during this time of learning how to survive quarantine.
However you process this time and the nature of what is going on in the world is TOTALLY UNIQUE TO YOU. You have your own triggers and experiences and emotions and that is all an individual experience. Learning how to survive quarantine has to have YOUR name on it and no one else’s. So with that being said, what you do with this down time is perfectly fine… just make sure you are taking care of yourself because you are deserving and worthy.
I wanted to share just a few things that have been helpful for me and my sanity during this time.
Focus on Things You Do Have Control Over
With such an uncertain time, it’s totally normal to feel out of control. That’s why it’s been helpful for me to focus my energy on things that I DO have control over. Things like cleaning the house, decluttering your closet, organizing a drawer, and making your space feel comfortable and safe have definitely helped me. Knowing how to survive quarantine means knowing how to focus on the things I have pure control over and leaving the rest behind.
Get Outside and Breathe Fresh Air
I’ve noticed a HUGE difference in my mood and mindset on the days where I get outside and take a break from screens. Just breathing in the fresh air and having the sun shine on my face and listen to the birds chirp has been literally a breath of fresh air. Be mindful during this time. Learning how to survive quarantine means learning how to embrace breaks during our day.
Connect Virtually With Friends and Family
It is totally normal to feel isolated and alone during quarantine. We are SOCIAL BEINGS so it is hard to be forced to limit our interactions with our loved ones. Be sure to be intentional about setting up times to connect with family or your besties (especially if you are an extrovert!!!). I always feel so much better after connecting virtually with my people. It’s nice to be reminded that I’m not the only one learning how to survive quarantine.
I think it speaks VOLUMES about a person when they choose to practice gratitude during a difficult time. Despite the hardships that come with life and this time, we still have so much to be thankful for. We all have our blessings and it’s important to acknowledge them every day! I’ve been super intentional about writing down 5 things I am grateful for every single day. If this includes a person, then call them up and let them know you are thankful for them. This helps spread all of the good vibes and helps us stay grounded while we are trying to survive quarantine.
Self-care is literally anything that is just for you and that brings you joy. For me, I’ve been journaling a lot during this time. I always notice such a big difference in how I’m feeling after I journal… much like the feeling I get after talking to my therapist! It’s cathartic and healing. Having a sacred place to just express yourself and your feelings and your experience is so helpful, TRUST ME! Other things that have helped me is moving my body! I’LL TAKE ALL THE ENDORPHINS I CAN GET RIGHT NOW!!! Figuring out how to survive quarantine takes it OUT of us and I need all the love I can get.
And for my last tip….
Amber’s Tips on Balancing Everyday Tasks So You Can Be More Productive!
WEAR YOUR MASK, STAY THE HELL HOME, AND WASH YOUR DAMN HANDS!
Do your part in flattening the curve and protecting the people who are immunocompromised!!!
Finally, I just want to say that I am here for each and every one of you.
Here to talk, here to listen, here to just give you a pep talk if you need it. This time will not last forever and eventually we will look back and laugh about how we spent so much trying to figure out how to survive quarantine. I cannot WAIT until we resume our normal lives. We will get through this. One day at a time. Be kind to yourself and be kind to others!!!!
With all the love in my heart,