Pandemic Self Help
It has been a year of highs and lows and now with the vaccine on the horizon, yet it never gets easier to live in isolation. This blog will attempt to answer the question of how we can be satisfied with our lives in quarantine.
The groundhog day nature of quarantine can feel like you’re swimming across the Atlantic and no amount of peddling can get you back to normality, and the dread is especially strong when combined with Bedroom University. It feels lonely and suffocating at the same time, like that we know everyone is swimming to shore at once but we are all invisible to each other. We know that theoretically we should all be peddling, undoubtedly some harder than ourselves, but it still feels damn cold and alone.
Our first year social life has been in Calibri initials on Microsoft teams. Some names are familiar as we politely answer each other's questions in discussion channels. Who are these letters behind the polite exchanges? Who are they behind the muted pastel initials? Would we have been friends and gone for lunch during an in-person school year?
These “what if’s'' are exhausting so I push them to the back of my head, but I’d be lying if I said I have already found a way to be completely comfortable with quarantine. It would be silly to force ourselves to be happy, and I found the best remedy is to find ways to ground our minds and make the most of what we have. Continuing with the ocean swimmer analogy, I hypothesize the best we can do is to kick our feet up and float on the abyss, just a little, on our way to shore.
Methods & Materials
A journal (optional)
Your favourite soundtrack or movie
Allotting for a maximum of 10 hours a day for school, and then turning off “outside communication”. Paradoxically, you could be drained from staying online and putting on a “face” all day despite the isolation!
This is your own time for yourself. Were you happy today? Did you feel productive, or guilty for not being productive? Why? Or maybe you just really wanted to doodle? Whatever it may be, jot it down. This is your chance to speak to yourself and be honest. Filter out the outside noise. Even if you can’t see or meet the people you are friends with, at least you have yourself and can at the very least take care of yourself.
Or maybe you need to get away from your house… you have been sitting there for an absurd amount of time! Spring invites you to visit that creek you grew up near, or that alley you always visited when hanging out with friends in the past. Fresh air (with a mask) and sunshine always makes everything better, and serves as a reminder that there is a bigger world out there than due dates and assignments.
Or lay in bed and watch a movie! A little escape never hurt anyone.
They differ from person to person, but it should allow you to see a path to shore.
Before all of this, I didn't believe in self care and thought it was invented to make money. I still think the same way but now I see an entirely new application for journal soul searching and the sweet scent of candles. They force us to look up above and gaze at the vastness on top of us when we have been too busy staring at fine print on a screen.
Finally, to whoever reads this, I hope it made sense and you find a way to take care of yourself during these times.
By Celina Fu - LSS 1st Year Rep 2020 - 2021