How has quarantine life been?

Regardless of our financial and employment situations, it’s been an adjustment for everyone in some way.

Some, of course, more so than others—but everyone is dealing with the great unknown: how long will it be this way?

From Day 1, experts have been trying to predict the curve, the apex, and when we’ll be able to resume “normal” life.

As humans, we are able to take some comfort in hard numbers.

Even if they change a week, a day, or an hour after we settle on them, we want something to settle on to keep us from that spiraling (or sitting in) in that anxious, unknown space.

A lot of people feel like the “pause” button has been pressed on life.

We can’t go anywhere or do any of the things we usually do to occupy our time outside of home.

This is an adjustment for sure, but I have found the adjustment to be mental as much as (if not more than) it is physical.

In normal (pre-quarantine) life, for instance, I mostly live the life of a hermit.

I’m an introvert, I don’t go out that much, and I often look for excuses not to go out and engage—even if it’s with people I like!

It doesn’t mean I don’t want to be around them, I just like to stay home and keep to myself, too.

In quarantine, I HAVE to stay home, and the first few weeks I noticed myself feeling this irritation, this resistance—just because I didn’t have the option to go out. Would I really, in “normal” life be going out anyway? Maybe, but also very likely not.

It’s about being able to choose to go (or not go) that makes it feel like, well, a choice.

Once I had this realization, I felt a weight had been lifted!

I was finally able to choose what I was doing, even in quarantine.

Every day is a choice. The only thing that had been stopping me was me.

I realized, no “pause” button has been pressed on life. This IS life.

These days are just as meaningful, just as filled with time, and can be just as easily wasted as any other.

This quarantine is one of the great challenges life will offer us as humanity, and as individuals, but it’s also a great opportunity that we can choose.

We all have different life challenges in “normal” life, and we all have different life challenges in quarantine life. But we also all have the option to choose to live now, instead of waiting for later. Who knows if later will come?

Even though it may feel like everything is different, nothing has really changed. Every day is an opportunity to choose.

Don’t mistake this as me suggesting we must be productive.

This is a challenging time for everyone, regardless of our situations, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with self-care looking like more Netflix and Postmates than it normally does (if it’s available to you during this quarantine depending on your situation).

But it could also look like more walks outside than usual.

More time with our loved ones, or pets.

More board games, time laying outside in the yard, or reading a book.

Maybe even just time being still, breathing, and enjoying the quiet.

Even if you’re working in health care or essential services and must go out to work (and if so, thank you for your care and service!), these days are choices. We reclaim our power when we choose!

Choices aren’t necessarily easy to make, but it’s easier when we make them, than when we resist making them. Deciding to choose what is, rather than resist because of what is not, can free us of our cycles of self-inflicted pain!

Do you feel like the “pause” button has been pressed?

If you’re waiting for life to “go back to normal,” I encourage you to just notice any resistance you may be feeling, without judgment. Perhaps, there’s an opportunity to grow here, where we can remember…

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”

Annie Dillard

Be kind to yourself and stay well.

Light and love,