There is an old quote about hard times having a funny way of teaching us the most valuable lessons. In a matter of two weeks, life as we knew it feels like a distant memory. The person you were at the being of this quarantine certainly won't be the person you are by the end. With a lot more time in the house, it's allowed me to self-reflect. Although it is hard to see right now, coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has a few unexpected silver linings.
While we are confined to our homes, some of us used this as an opportunity to pursue creative endeavors, learn a new skill or language or even do renovations around the home. Time not spent doing something seems like a waste of time that others used to get ahead.
So that's how I intended to spend my time at first. I downloaded Duolingo to brush up on my Spanish. I pulled out yarn and my old crochet needle to finish that scarf I had forgotten. I made an at-home gym in the corner of my living room to make sure I didn’t fall off on my fitness goals. All while also staying on top of my assignments.
After the first few days, I felt burnt out. Instead of taking my exhaustion as a sign to rest, I got angry at myself for not working as hard as I should. That led to an internal battle of wanting to do nothing but rest and beating myself up for feeling that way.
Pushing yourself to be productive every day during a whole global crisis is exhausting. Why do I need to fill my day with tons of things just to feel like I deserve to relax at the end of it? This wasn’t an unfamiliar feeling. While living on campus, if I didn’t have my day jam-packed with productive things I felt terrible about myself. It was harder to point it out during the semester because that is how almost everyone in college operates. By the end of the day, we are all sighing in relief enjoying a 30-minute Netflix series that we know we deserve to watch.
Keeping our mind occupied is never a bad thing, as this is what keeps us from slipping into negative thoughts. Besides completing necessary assignments and making sure I eat for the day, there isn’t much on my schedule. I want to change the way I live my life to promote the best version of myself. The productive mentality is harmful especially in times like now. During this time, instead of focusing on productivity, I’ve focused on things that bring me joy and help me stay at peace. Netflix created Netflix Party, a feature that allows you to watch movies with friends and family. I’ve painted my nails, gone for walks, played UNO! with my family and read books for leisure.
The pandemic has taken a lot away from us. But, it’s provided some of us with the opportunity to be still without distractions.
Questions float through my mind while I’ve been confined to my home: What will I say in the future about how I spent my time during the 2020 pandemic? How did my relationship with family and friends change? How was I feeling? How will I remember this?
We all want to play a pivotal role during this pandemic and come out of this with something to show the world. I’m here to tell you that it is ok to enjoy this moment the pandemic has offered to just be still and relax.