These days, a lot more places in the world have started easing their quarantine practices. This means that a lot more shops and restaurants are open, and that means a lot more people are in close quarters, compared to a few weeks ago.
This week, I am back to work, but things are not like they were pre-pandemic. I was one of the first ones to be contacted to come back to work (since my company needs a receptionist) and we are only operating at 20%.
Going back to work has given me time to reflect on what I have learned during my time in the great indoors. I would like to share some of the lessons I learned here with you:
Reduce waste: I have learned to not buy more than I need at the grocery store. Going in with a plan allows you to waste less time and to avoid buying unnecessary items. As well, this reduces the amount of food you waste because you eat everything that you buy.
You can no longer say "you have no time": We all have 24 hours in a day and, for those who were quarantined with no where to go, that allowed us to do things we may have wanted to do for a while. That book gathering dust on the shelf? Now, you have time to start reading it! No time to exercise? Well now you can work out all day if you want! (Also I know a lot of us took up bread baking during these times!) So quarantine gave us the time to do the things we may have put on the back burner in the past.
Connect with those who matter: Maybe we haven't had the opportunity to contact our parents, grandparents or other loved ones because life has been so busy. However, COVID-19 gave us all a wake-up call because we were faced with the reality that no one was safe. It has given us the opportunity to connect and check in with our loved ones (respecting social distancing and often through the use of Zoom). As a result, some relationships have made others grow closer, even if they are physically apart.
Be thankful for what you have: Times like these make us appreciate the little things we may have taken for granted - our health, our family, our home...just to name a few! It has made us more aware and grateful of all the things that we have in our life, and made us realize that we should start appreciating them a lot more.
Keep a positive attitude (whenever possible): I found that these days it was easy to lose myself in the negative messages and statistics I heard on a daily basis. In these times of uncertainty, tensions are high for everyone and we don't know what to expect. However, I find trying to keep a positive attitude goes a long way in keep me going. That is not to say you can't feel unmotivated and unhappy sometimes, but you should do something that energizes you and makes you feel happy. This is a good way to bring up your mood and to keep a positive attitude. Also, like I mentioned, you can be grateful for all that you have instead of focusing on what you don't.
Tune IN to your emotions: Everyday life sometimes doesn't call for self-reflection. When we are running around trying to get everything done in a day, we don't have time for ourselves and sometimes even work on autopilot. Some of us had the blessing of slowing down, thus making it easier to know how our past lives were not serving us. We must not ignore how we feel and instead learn to listen to our own selves. If you need a break, then it is very important that you take one. If you are not feeling motivated, take a mental health day. Most importantly, be kind and prioritize yourself.
Accept your "imperfections": I don't know about you, but during this quarantine period I have gone entirely without make-up. (I think I only wore make-up once). Because of this, I have gotten used to seeing my under eye circles in the mirror. Pre-pandemic I always covered them up and did my eyebrows, because those were 2 features that I found "imperfect" about myself. Now, I feel more confident stepping out without make-up on, and I found that was an unexpected change that this pandemic brought about.
So those were several things I have learned during quarantine, and I feel more at one with myself. I know everyone else's experiences could be very different, and not everyone's living situation is the same.
I would love to hear from you! What lessons did you learn from quarantine and dealing with our new reality?