The quarantine has set in and I have begun to lose count of the days and weeks (has it been 4 or 5 weeks…maybe 6).
Similar to many others, I am at home for the foreseeable future. I decided to pack up my place and leave University before final exams. I have been home with family for almost 3 weeks but started social-distancing back in March. I have been lucky enough to continue to work from home, however, this isn’t the case for many of my friends and family.
In the beginning, quarantine made me become a little stir crazy. Although I was busy with school work, the downtime I did have was stuck inside the same home with the same scenery. After the first week at home, I decided I needed productive things to do and focus on in order to keep my sanity and keep my mind off these uncertain times.
I thought to myself “well you have all this extra stay at home time, you might as well take advantage of it”.I have found a few things that have helped me create a positive environment and manage my anxiety. So, I thought I would share them with the possibility it may help someone else. It is normal for anxiety to occur when you lack distractions, so I decided to create so productive habits.
Catching Up On My Reading List
I read ALOT because of school (I am doing my undergrad in legal studies, where there is no such thing as light reading), so I rarely have time to read for leisure. I used to love reading as a kid, sometimes I would read 2 books in a week, but like many before me; life gets in the way. Reading was a great escape for me when I was feeling anxious or bored as a kid, so why not pick it back up again
I have a pile of books I have bought over the years that I never got around to reading. So I have created reading goals for myself. I read every night before bed and try to aim for a minimum of a chapter a night, sometimes I read more
- The Harry Potter Series: no place better to escape to then Hogwarts, not to mention I loved the books when I was younger and a really good book never fails to teach you something no matter how many timed you to read it
- The Passion of Artemisia: She is my favourite artist and I love historical fiction
- The Other Side of Paradise: I am doing a sorta book club read with my boyfriend, and this is the book we chose. Can’t go wrong with F. Scott Fitzgerald and the roaring 20’s
Making New Dishes
Living on my own this year taught me that I am a pretty good cook (what an ego boost). So I decided to keep it up and cook and bake something new once a week. It helps that I get to do it with my mom and sister, especially the baking because I fail terribly and I need supervision.
It has been a really nice bonding process, a break from studying, and my tastebuds appreciate it too. So far we have made Macadamia nut cookies, peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, Jello (although easy to make, my sister and I have a blast making & eating it). I encourage you to try something new and get your family involved or make it together with friends over Facetime
Starting Tasks I’ve Been Putting Off
I sat down a few weeks ago and wrote a list of things I wanted to accomplish or hobbies I wanted to take up.
- reorganized my room after moving back in (I even hung my new curtains)
- have added yoga into my daily morning routine
- cleaned out the desk I haven’t used since high school
- prioritized my blog
Although these tasks might be small, they are important in the process of keeping anxiety at bay and allowing myself to feel accomplished. I make it a goal of mine to get outside everyday like going for a run or a walk with my sister. There will be more tasks to come throughout the coming months but I try to keep a master to do list and break the tasks up by week or day. Everything on the list are all the things I have been wanting to do but could never find time for
Re-evaluating My Goals
It is hard to think about the goals or your future, when you don’t know exactly when “life” starts again. But I have come to find that there is not better time then now to think about what you really want to accomplish. Now is a great time to plan new financial/budgeting goals for that thing you always wanted to buy or the debt you wanted to rid yourself of.
Think about your fitness goals, academic goals and career goals. Ask yourself if you are truly happy with where you are and allow yourself to feel proud of how far you have come. For me I have thought about my post-grad goals, when I will complete the LSAT, is law school for me? Asking yourself questions to enforce or reframe your goals doesn’t have to come at a time where you have to make decisions right away, but the best descions are made when you have time to stop, think and plan where you see yourself. I have taken this opportunity to research job pathways, academic options, and new routes to get me to my main goal. I highly recommend because sometimes seeing all the ways you can get to one place or the plan you have in place helps ease the anxiety of the future.
Finally, just know that you don’t have to take this time to do huge projects or start something new. You can also take the time to simply relax and take it one day at a time. For all the days I have done something, I have also spent days sleeping in, watching Netflix, and just taking it slow. Whatever it is that you feel is best for you during this time, definitely do that!