1. It’s OK to be scared
In the era of information, it is OK to be overwhelmed by all the news articles and publications related to the COVID-19 outbreak. This is a time where there are many uncertainties, and having fears of what the future holds is valid in times of global crisis. Being constantly bombarded by statistics, downcast news stories and the stress of others does not stop the fear, so don’t be afraid to take the time to disconnect and do things that comfort you.
2. Keep your loved ones close
Whether it is in person or through a screen, staying connected with those who are important in your life is necessary in these trying times. So talk to your parents, FaceTime your significant other and reconnect with your grandparents and relatives. We live in an era where social media helps us maintain connections, and it is a resource that people should take full advantage of.
3. Balance relaxation with something productive
Relaxation is a great way to reduce stress, but too much relaxation doesn’t really get you anywhere. Speaking from personal experience, I relaxed a little too much when the stay-at-home order started in my state, and not using that time productively left a sour taste in my mouth. This is a great opportunity to learn something new or reacquire a skill that you had in the past.
4. Music heals the soul
Listening to music can add some much needed color and flavor to the bland days spent indoors. Hearing beautiful melodies or upbeat dance tunes can completely change the mood during the difficult days of quarantine. I love to listen to music that reminds me of the summer — it brings back memories and inspires hope for a better and healthier future.
5. Stop taking your hometown for granted
Take a minute to thank your hometown heroes — doctors, teachers and those who keep your home alive and well. Local businesses are working around the clock to ensure the comfort, health and general safety of their neighbors. Many restaurants are keeping their kitchens open for takeout, churches are collecting food and clothes and schoolteachers are navigating new technology to make sure that life stays the same. So when the quarantine is lifted, dedicate some time to your hometown.
6. Now is the time to rekindle friendships
As mentioned in No. 2, social media platforms are an invaluable tool for us as we maintain our social distances and quarantines. Maybe the time that we spend indoors can be time spent with those who we have lost touch with. Rekindling relationships with old friends — even though it can seem slightly difficult — is shockingly easy to do. Conveniently, quarantine has allowed for the perfect conversation starter — “How’s your quarantine going?”
7. Nobody has the same quarantine experience
Nobody’s quarantine is equal. You may know someone who is required to live with an abusive family member or someone who is living in complete solitude. Not everyone has the comforts that others may possess in these troubled times. With that said, I would urge everyone to be cognizant of those who may be living under difficult circumstances and be aware that not everyone can easily stay at home without problems.
8. Quarantine is not a vacation
Quarantining is a serious matter — there is a global pandemic occurring. What this means for us is that this is not the time to be traveling around town and going over to friends’ houses. We all wish that we can be hanging out with friends and family in-person during this time, but the health and safety of those who we care for should be strongly taken into account.
9. Take advantage of sunny days
Staying inside all the time can be really mentally draining, but summer is coming fast, and now is the time to start preparing for the warm embrace of the summer sun. Socially distanced walks in the neighborhood, yoga in the parking lot and relaxing in the backyard are all great ways to get outside and get some good old vitamin D.
10. This might be the new normal for a while
Staying at home and living the life of less social interaction is something that may end in two weeks or two months, and the uncertainty that we face does not guarantee anything. Fortunately, everyone shares one thing in common in these times of trouble — hope. Hope that the quarantine will eventually be lifted, hope that we can return to our jobs and our normal ways of life — hope that allows us to see a life returned to the way it was before.