On Isolation

We live in uncertain times. Before the virus, our entire year was already planned – now, everything is put on hold. All our vacations, graduations, and any event that has even a sliver of social quality are all canceled – or undertaken online.  Worse, we might not liberally enjoy the outside world and everything it has to offer for months. 

During this year of isolation, people have inclined towards technology in almost everything they do. We see it on the news. Office meetings, classes, and socializing are just some of the everyday activities that have been fundamentally affected by the crisis. Other activities that are inherently online, such as watching series/movies and playing games, are more popular than ever. 

Suddenly, we have all the free time in the world. With the wide variety of activities to immerse ourselves with, we find it so hard to choose what to do next. The online boredom has become unbearable that new trends are always popping up. If you’re just mindlessly surfing the web, there are plenty of articles about things you can do while in quarantine. But too much options sometimes lead to never choosing at all.

With all the seemingly endless things to do to entertain you, why not take this time to appreciate what you have? Since we have all hit a pause in our busy, modern lives, this is a perfect time – not just to entertain ourselves, but to reflect on life itself.

Appreciating What You Have

It is the perfect time to want less and appreciate more in this crisis. Wanting less – by not buying anything superficial but only the essential things. Appreciating more – by realizing that everything you need is already with you at home.

Embodying these two things have other purposes as well, other than just keeping you home. With the pervasiveness of the pandemic, it is your social duty to keep yourself healthy for the safety of your family and your fellow citizens. We all have to be extra careful because others are not. There is a plethora of news stating that many of us are underestimating the virus. People are still hosting events, going to social gatherings, partying, and all that. Don’t be like those people. 

Staying home is hard when you have absolutely nothing to do – or you think you have nothing to do. That is why appreciating what you have can help you. 

Appreciating starts with realizing what you have, which I discussed in my previous post. Since we are all living a busy, modern life, I’m sure there are some things that we planned to do at home but have never really gotten to. Maybe some of you planned to read more books this year and failed to even at least hold one; and your reason is that you’re already tired at school or work. Well, get to it. You have plenty of time to read. You might even develop a habit and curse yourself for not starting earlier. That’s one way of appreciating more this quarantine time: try to think of all the things you held off then completely forgotten. Start now. This will tremendously help you in your mental health while staying at home because you are actually doing what you want.

Time is one of the most important things to appreciate and make most of – not just this crisis – but life in general. Before all this, I’m certain that all of us had the frustrating thought that we never have too much time to do the things that we want. Well, now you do. Don’t waste it. When things go back to normal, and you haven’t accomplished anything beneficial to yourself, you will regret it. 

The most important thing to appreciate, however, is family. Perhaps most of us haven’t had enough time to spend with them because of work or school – until this crisis. Now, we have time to show our family how much they mean to us. It can be a simple thing like helping around the house, doing the cooking, dishes, or laundry. Having movie nights with them while you make snacks are also another cuter way. As long as it’s a gesture of love and gratitude, it doesn’t matter how big or small. Show them how much you appreciate them. Their happiness is one of the purest things in life.

Appreciating Yourself More

No matter what happened this year, good or bad, tell yourself something that reinforces your character. Being completely positive on your thoughts and actions help a long way in appreciating yourself. It doesn’t matter if you think you haven’t done anything worthwhile. Tomorrow is another day to start fresh. Forgive yourself and do what you have to do.

With all the free time we have, one of the best things to do is begin a personal project. As long as this project is being done at home, then let your creative juices flow – tinker away! That, for me, is one of the most therapeutic things to do because you’re doing what you love – without bosses, deadlines, or rigid calendar schedules. 

Working on something personal not only helps you discover yourself more but also makes you appreciate your very being. You should try it. Life is all about experiencing new things.

Connect

We all miss our friends. Even for introverts like me, I miss hanging out with them. The human mind is a fickle thing indeed – if something is prohibited, we want to do it with all the eagerness of a child. 

We’re still lucky, in a way, because we have the internet. We can easily chat or call our friends and have the same old conversations with them – and we need those connections now more than ever. Talking with friends keeps us sane in this time of isolation. Our family is always great to talk to, but when it comes to our generational interests, nothing beats a conversation with our friends.

Take the time to ask your buddies and their families how they’re all doing. Even if you’re the only one checking up on them, don’t falter. It’s always better to give than to receive. Your friends would appreciate this kind of gesture, and I’m sure before all this is over, you will have a more meaningful bond with them. 

Moreover, if you have any other person you want to check up on, that’s even better. I’m sure your relatives, professors, and colleagues all need an interaction from someone outside their home – especially those from the medical field. If you have a close relationship with your doctors or nurses, greet them and tell them how much you appreciate their work. The frontliners need all the help they can get. Even a simple, sincere interaction will help them a long way.

This is a time of camaraderie. We must be a community of trust and kindness to get through this crisis. So, if you’re out shopping for essentials or buying take-out/drive-thru, give the employees a simple greeting. They also risk their lives every day because the nature of their work is dealing with people. They are frontliners too.

To summarize, make a connection with everybody, even a simple one would suffice. Yes, this is a time where we keep ourselves’ and our families’ safety a top priority – but we are, nevertheless, a community. Do what you can for your community. We are all we have.