Lessons from Quarantine

Updated: Apr 14, 2020

When London first went into "lock down", I admit I did not handle it well. We are now about 3 weeks in and I have been through the cycle of grief and come to acceptance.

I first felt as though as my nice little world was falling apart around me: my routine, my comforts, my safety. I am the type of person that likes to be in control and plan. At the announcement, there was no plan to deal with Covid-19. The plan and guidance was to stay at home. Again, something that I find difficult, as my identity is as a "doer".

However, on reflection, I have learnt a lot about myself in 3 weeks of being inside #stayinside.

· I am adaptable – My routine has changed. I acknowledge that I need structure to feel a sense of control in my life. I have put in my own routine which includes regular breaks and exercise. If I can't get my regular latte, I bought a milk heater and make one from home.

· I have been given an opportunity – Being home more, and giving myself time and space has given me the opportunity to learn new skills, such as getting my first video on Youtube and doing IG Live videos. I have learnt that I am a perfectionist, but I am giving it a go anyway. I have also learnt that I don’t need to do everything and that is ok too. I am not going to write a novel or learn a language because I don’t want to, and that is ok too. I also have the opportunity to look after myself and get to know myself and my family more.

· I have love around me – I moved back with my parents during quarantine. They have a bigger house in the country, so I can feel less restricted than in my small London flat. I am lucky that I have a loving family around me (despite the first week of arguments with my dad). Also with technology, I can keep in touch with family and friends. There is the telephone, and we have been enjoying conference calls on Zoom. I can see how much effort people are making to stay connected. At times, loneliness can creep in – but I am never alone. I also have 100% time with the crazy cockapoos – Max and Oscar. There is not much more love I can get.

· I can exercise. I don’t need a gym. I have everything with me at all times. I have started running (shock) which I am getting into the flow with. I have never seen myself as a runner – but slowly (very slowly) I am learning to enjoy running. I am not being competitive with myself, but enjoying the whole experience. At home, I am doing my own burpee challenge. I am doing yoga, online videos and walking the dogs. I am exhausted.

· I am resilient. Despite difficulties, I have learned to ride through some of the difficult emotions related to feeling restricted and general loneliness. I can keep working, I can push through when I don’t feel motivated.

· I am grateful. Overall this is the biggest lessons. In quarantine, I am one of the people who have the easiest time in this situation. I am grateful for my job, I am grateful for my health, I am grateful for my family, I am grateful for the NHS. I can go on and on. I am blessed. When I am feeling a bit down. I remember all this!

My feelings may change the longer quarantine stays. However, I will always remind myself to reflect on above.

I hope you are all taking your time to look after yourself in this unprecedented time. I am always here if you just want to chat

#quarantine #mentalhealth #lessons #stayinside

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