Two years ago, cancer sent me into home quarantine, the way coronavirus has driven people into their houses all over the world. The transition was jarring and disruptive, but spending tons of time at home hasn’t been all bad.
Here are some of the things I’ve learned; perhaps they can help you to feel positive, manage the tedium, stay in touch, and just get things done.
No matter what’s happening, it’s possible to have positive moments every single day. Keeping a gratitude journal has helped me notice them and gives me something to reflect on if/when I need cheering up.
Simple pleasures are the best. I’ve come to appreciate the beauty of the clouds changing during the day, the growth of new things in the garden, simple acts of love and generosity, finishing knitting an afghan square or tidying a messy drawer.
Hobbies are so helpful. Anything that we enjoy, that’s healthy and that makes us lose track of time can really feel great. I’ve reconnected with knitting, coloring, reading fiction and watching good movies and TV.
When we’re stuck indoors we have to get creative with finding things to do! Consider this an opportunity to enjoy some of the things you haven’t had time for lately.
Stay in Touch
Zoom is one of my favorite new resources! I’ve used it recently to celebrate my dad’s 83rd birthday with all his kids and grandchildren, have drinks and discussion with my book club, and connect with some girlfriends from South Africa. Group chats, FaceTiming with my kids, social media and the good old telephone can all help us feel less isolated.
Get Things Done
When you’re stuck at home, certain things cannot get done. Coming to terms with that was one of my first and most difficult lessons. I’m a doer by nature and prefer having all my options open! But after some time went by, I found myself becoming a human being again (vs a human doing).
After I scaled back my ambitions, I found myself focusing on doing the most important things; prioritizing became key. It also helped to celebrate small wins.
On the flip side, there were many days where I felt like — and actually was — a lump on the sofa. On those days, it helped to do teeny tiny things that made me feel like I was part of the real world, like washing my hair, calling one of the kids or making the bed. Or, failing all else, being compassionate to myself and letting it all slide.
Whatever you’re doing to stay sane during quarantine, I hope it’s going well and wish you the best for the remainder of this strange and sometimes scary time.