The Silver Lining of Quarantine
I know what you're thinking and you're not wrong. Quarantine 100% sucks. People are losing their jobs, they're desperate to reunite with friends, and they're going stir-crazy. In the midst of all this, please take a minute to consider others before you lash out. I've seen a lot of posts about how "This is America. How dare you!" and "Don't be a sheep!". Honestly, I don't have any time for that. Yes, this is America, but if you're upset that more people haven't died then that's a problem. That is the whole point of this social distancing thing. Flatten the curve, give your healthcare workers a chance, and save lives. If my life has to be inconvenient for two months to make sure my friends and family stay healthy, I'm in. *Bahhhhh*
There are so many good things happening during this time, if you just take the time to notice them.
Your pets are loving life.
If you're obsessed with your four-legged family members like me, you've probably admitted that you like your pets more than most people. Well, guess what? You now have all this extra time to spend with your favorite fur-babies. Going back to work under normal circumstances is going to be hard for me and for my pups. They have been such a stress-reliever through all of this and I don't know how people who don't have pets are doing it. Your dogs have zero idea why you're home more and they don't care. They just know that they love it. Embrace all of that!
You have time to really dive into self-care.
Most of us are stuck at home, so why not use this time to give your skin and hair a break? Leave the heat styling products alone, let your hair air dry, wash your hair less frequently, and pack up the makeup. Obviously, not all of these options are possible for everybody and the thought of going without makeup or washing your hair for a day is terrifying to some people. For those of you not afraid, I 100% recommend it.
I try to not wash my hair more than twice a week and do my best to avoid heat styling anyway, but I'm pushing it a little further during quarantine. I'm aiming to wash my hair once a week and refusing to do any heat styling. Some of you definitely cringed at once a week but I swear to you that you wouldn't know if I didn't tell you. My hair is really long and this time allows the natural oils to make their way down the entire strand. Training my hair to go longer between washes has been a major game changer for my hair's overall health and texture!
I'm also switching up my part. I don't know that I've ever done this but I've had a lot of friends swear that it's helped their hair. I figured why not give it a shot while no one is really seeing me anyway? Get over how weird my scalp feels from the change and let my hair benefit.
No makeup, more water. Now on the average day, I just wear mascara and fill in my eyebrows anyway but I'm cutting those out during quarantine too. The goal here is to let my skin breathe as much as possible and really give back to my body. I am not a water drinker. It's just not my favorite. I'd much rather open a can of Mountain Dew any day. But, it's good for you and as much as I'd love to deny that, I can't. So I'm drinking more water.
You're identifying your priorities.
What do you miss the most right now? You know, that thing that you just couldn't wait to get a break from because you're so busy. Would you give the world to have it back right now? Most of us probably have something that we miss more than anything.
For me, I miss cheer the most. The practices, the games, the competitions, and everything in between. Cheerleading is pretty much a full-year sport. You don't really get an off-season between competitions, practices, and games. Towards the end of the season, it's so easy to get burnt out. Every day is scheduled and you just need a break from seeing the same faces every day. Well we sure got one, didn't we? And it sucks.
In addition to cheer, I also really miss the gym and being able to go places with my friends. Those days when I just didn't feel like going to the gym? I'd love to take them all back now and go. The nights when I passed on grabbing a drink with friends because I was burnt out from going from Point A to Point B to Point C that day? I'd love to pick myself off the couch and go take advantage of that time.
My point is, we all tend to take advantage of "well it'll be there tomorrow" and right now we don't know when tomorrow will actually come. So make a list of what you miss most and try to remind yourself how much you miss it when you think about taking it for granted in the future.
You have the chance to try something new.
Have you been meaning to read a new book or learn a second language? Now's your chance. For me, I'm learning how to handle "free time". I thrive on being busy. It's my thing. I love a full schedule, even though it can be overwhelming from time to time. I've said numerous times that I don't do well with free time. Quarantine is giving me the opportunity to learn how I can deal with free time.
This blog, for instance, is severely neglected. I hop on every once in awhile to write but I'm far from consistent with it. I'd like to do better at that. A lot of the time I have ideas but don't sit down to write them down because I'm afraid of ruffling feathers or it not being received well. I live in Butler, Pa., I'm not conservative, and I'm opinionated. You can see where the fear is there. But I'm taking some notes from my current favorite author, Rachel Hollis, and going out of that comfort zone. By not getting my thoughts out, I'm letting the opinions of others win. That does nothing to help me. So we're going to try to be more consistent with this thing!
Now, if your goal this quarantine is just to make it out with your sanity as attached as possible, that's cool! This is a whole new "normal" we're dealing with right now and making it to the other side is a feat in itself. But if you're like me and need something to throw your energy into, find what speaks to you and go after it.
My point here is that quarantine doesn't have to be all bad and there are a lot of lessons we can learn during this time that we can take with us once life returns to "normal". We can't control the fact that the world is dealing with a pandemic, but we can control how we decide to respond to this adversity. Don't let it be an excuse to turn into a grumpy curmudgeon. You're better than that. Make it to the other side of this thing and be proud of yourself for how you reacted.
Til next time,