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Quarantine sucks. Humans don’t do well in isolation. We’re innately social creatures and that makes missing people on our minds constantly. Our connections with others are what makes life so exciting. We miss friends, family; going out to eat, concerts; simply hanging out in the presence of others.
It feels like that movie Groundhog Day, where we’re living the same day over and over again. All the days start blending together. I see the same people do the same things day in and day out. It’s a routine none of us are used to, yet we adapt to survive.
It’s important to keep up healthy habits in quarantine, but also to understand that it’s tough–really tough. We’re stuck with the same people, and for some, that’s a good thing but for others, it’s a nightmare. Everyone has unique struggles. Everyone has unique anxieties, addiction, abuse, depression, dependency, loss, going out of their mind with boredom and feelings of “when will this hell end?” We are all physically separate but never before have we in our lifetimes faced a common challenge such as this one. Quarantine is tough, but it’s necessary to battle this invisible and insatiable enemy.
While we are witnessing a major historical event presently, it’s easy to forget all of the good in the world that comes from tragedy. I’m here to tell you that there is another side of the dreary world we all seem to find ourselves in. That’s one of love, kindness, and opportunity.
Last week I took a walk to the local park on one of the nicest days in recent weeks. A beautiful blue sky day in the low 60’s. What I saw seemed like a dystopian society in which people were out enjoying there time with loved ones. I should preface that while I saw a good amount of people in the park, each family was keeping a safe distance from each other.
Walking in the park I saw a father and son playing catch, another running together. A young couple sat out on the crest of a grassy hill having a picnic with their young daughter. An old one out together on a park bench, almost like the movies. A family was out using the frisbee golf course… I thought that was just a decoration with how little it’s used. Another family out using the tennis court, all smiles in the sun. On my walk back, passing landscaped suburban houses with spring ready to burst from the barren trees, I saw a father and son working on a shed in their backyard, their dog standing by watching the two men craft their spring project.
Those were all extraordinary moments that got to happen because of the state of the world right now. What I’m trying to say here is, there is always good in the bad and bad in the good, and they are inseparable. Those were all beautiful moments of shared happiness and love that got to happen because for once in our lives the focus of life was not on work. Work, work, work it’s all we ever do, make more money to spend more money, to make more money to spend it all again. Because of quarantine, all those parents we’re out making memories with their children. They weren’t stuck in the office at 3 pm on a beautiful Thursday.
Without getting too deep into this, the coronavirus has shown us a glimpse into a society where work isn’t everyone’s top priority and spending time making memories and building connections with loved ones is. Of course, we all need to work in order for society to function, but maybe it isn’t the worst thing in the world that our situation is showing us what matters a little closer to home.
With any situation or circumstance. It’s important to acknowledge the feelings that come with those situations and understand that they are natural. But don’t let yourself fall down that spiral of worry because frankly, there not much any of us can do but stay home. Then ask yourself, “What can I do?”
We are being given an opportunity to improve connections with those we live with. To have a deeper conversation and to work on communication with them. To finally do that home project that’s been put off for months if not years. Try a new look because it’s not like many people see you anyways. Start something. Do anything. Even the smallest accomplishment is an accomplishment. Listen to music, paint, read a book, start learning an instrument, play a new video game, facetime an old friend.
But most importantly, be kind to one another. Even in your own home think how you can make someone’s day just a little bit better. Clean the kitchen without telling anybody. Call your grandparents. Help your sibling with online school. Anything to be kind.
And listen, for some of us, times are really tough, tougher than they’ve ever been. And that’s ok. It’s ok to feel the weight of the world right now. And if you need it, ask for help. Asking for help is strength, its courageous, and we all need help sometimes.
Steps no matter how small are steps leading somewhere. Maybe step one is to get out of bed, and that’s ok. Put on your pants and try your best. Do it for you and whoever you love.
Stay safe, stay healthy, and until next time,