It's Tuesday, May 12, and everyday is the exact same, but at the same time, so much different! Some days I feel like I love the whole quarantine/social distant lifestyle. I don't have to interact with as many people as usual, my schedule is almost completely dictated by me, and I could spend every hour of the day in my bed if I really wanted to. But some days I wish everything was back to normal. It's tough! I think everyone can agree on that. Getting used to an entirely new lifestyle without any heads up or preparation is stressful, and creates a lot of uncertainty. However, I do think there are some very beneficial aspects of this limbo state of life we are currently living in.
Never before have we experienced so much free time! Yes, most of us are still in school, have a job, or will be occupied for a portion of each day. But the rest of the time is ours, and we need to start taking advantage of that. Get back in touch with your passions! I absolutely acknowledge the unprecedented situation we are facing right now, but I AM TIRED of hearing people complain about how bored they are. If you are bored, that's on you and you only. Remember Summer when you were young, you were at that age where your parents just started letting you leave the house on your own to play with your friends that lived close by. You couldn't wait to walk out that door and be free, the world was your playground and the only thing stopping you from having the time of your life was the sunset. What happened to that? I'll tell you what happened... Social Media. Phones. Video Games. Screens! Of course you're going to go a little crazy if you're locked inside all day staring at different screens. And quarantine is not an excuse to become lazy and unmotivated. I have seen more people running in Seattle than ever before. As long as you stay true to the social distancing rules, you can play your part just as well outside as you can from the confines of your living room. So, whatever you need to do to get back in touch with 10 year old you... Start doing it. Go for a run, do yoga in your back yard, play catch with a friend, have a spikeball tournament, paint something you see outside, and if it's a terrible painting then try again, and if that one's terrible than try drawing it with a pencil, and if that wasn't any better then journal about life and never paint again! Read a book, or 2, or 5! I don't need to sit here and tell you what you could do, the possibilities are endless, all I need to tell you is GO DO IT! Watch how quickly things start to turn around once you start filling your daily agenda with new activities.
Another rare thing that quarantine allows us to do is hit the reset button on our friendships and relationships. Chances are you have been isolated with a handful of different people. I promise you won't get a better opportunity to assess the strength of the relationships in your life. Are the people around you helping you grow? Are they pushing you to be a better version of yourself each day? Are they really people that you really love being around everyday? One of the most impactful mentors I've ever had used to say something that will always stick with me, "show me your 5 closest friends and I'll show you your future". Think about that for a sec...
However, the first step in the right direction has nothing to do with other people. You have to get back in touch with yourself! How do you do that? By being alone. It's hard at first! Especially if you're used to being around others. But in order to recognize if the people around you are good or bad for you, you must first learn to be comfortable alone. You will begin to reclaim your own personal agenda, scheduling your day solely around your personal wants and desires. Only then will start to realize who is helping you and who is hurting you! Why is now such a good time to explore your relationships? You have every excuse you could ever need to avoid people, and free up that time for yourself. "My mom doesn't want me hanging out with anyone right now, sorry!" That might be the only one you need! Take advantage of the alone time, and grow from it!
The last benefit of Quarantwentytwenty I want to leave you with is the sense of community that this whole thing has given us. Word to Troy Bolton, we really are all in this together! Don't forget that. If you're struggling, chances are someone very close to you is struggling as well. Reach out to the important people in your life, see how they're doing, have a real conversation with them, don't just check in! At the end of the day, we're all we got, so might as well make the most of each moment we have with one another.