The Benefits of an Unanticipated Quarantine: How Self-Isolation Can Benefit Your Mental Health
The “new normal”. The world is a much different place today than it was one year ago. Most of the time, these changes can be expected, however the COVID-19 pandemic was an unforeseen and unfortunate turn of events for this world. Vibrant cities like New York City and Miami have had their streets practically vacated due to the precautions surrounding this virus. What precautions are those you ask? Mask wearing. 6 feet apart social distancing. Constant hand-washing and hand sanitizing. These are just some of the new ways of the world. With most jobs, schools, and other in-person events cancelling indefinitely, people have had to self-isolate themselves and live their normal lives in a completely different style than before.
As the saying goes, “Every bad situation will have something positive. Even a dead clock shows the correct time twice a day.” It sometimes is difficult to find good in troubling times like we are currently living. However, this is a must if we want to grow and become better. This self-isolation that we are currently living in can be quite the stressful time for a lot of people. The CDC released a list of people in which this pandemic might be the most stressful for, however when it comes to uncertainty, everybody has their own personal right to be anxious. Below are three potential positive outcomes that you can have during your personal self-isolation.
Whether your job takes you travelling all across the world, or you are a student at a school far, far away from home, you most likely do not get to engage with your family members as much as you would like. Video chats and text messages can only do so much. It is one thing to see your family in person vs. through a computer screen. But, what happens during our fast-paced lifestyle is that we usually get caught up in our daily lives. Balancing work, school, meals, leisure, relationships; we sometimes forget about the ones that are closest to us. South University says that there are countless benefits of extended time spent with family members, such as better communication as well as superior performance in school/work. More time with family means more opportunities to connect with them and chat about your personal life experiences. Perhaps you didn’t tell them about a project you completed? Or maybe your recent job promotion slipped your mind. Now, however, you have the people who love you the most surrounding you who will be more than proud of your achievements.
Family time can also come with it’s struggles. Some people do not have a stable family situation back at their respective homes. Whether it is due to a single parent in the household, squabbles with your siblings, or just not an ideal living environment, this stay-at-home order may be difficult for some. Staying at home means staying connected. According to actforyouth.net; close, positive family relationships that feature open communication help young people stay healthy and avoid substance use and violent behavior. This quarantine can become a time for troubled families to connect on levels they never have before.
Sustaining new habits & learning unique skills.
With all of this free time that people have to themselves nowadays, it is a perfect opportunity to learn new skills and create great habits. Whether you have always been interested in baking, speaking Japanese, riding a skateboard, doing a headstand, or anything that your mind can come up with! We all have amples of free time now for us to rack our brains and find things that we have always wanted to do, and actually attempt to do them. The WKU Herald provided a simple list of 8 skills to learn during quarantine to better yourself, which ranged from changing a tire to filing taxes. It is always beneficial to learn new things, even if it is something so tiny that it only takes a couple hours to learn. No matter how big or small, the process and result will be worth it.
Something that we take for granted and sometimes completely neglect in life, is the importance of self-care. Skin care, exfoliating, stretching, yoga. Those are just some of the physical activities that you can do for yourself that you most likely forget about. Or maybe even, some “me time”. Binge a new netflix show! Eat some ice cream late at night! Sometimes you need a little bit of self loving to get you through these unforeseen times. You are surrounded by your family members, in your homesteads, with your pets, home cooked meals, and sprinkling in some self-care? That is a recipe for success. Here are some benefits of self-care from PsychologyToday.com.
All in all, some people will view this quarantine as a struggle. Some people will simply allow it to be another part of their life and not try and do anything about it, while others will greatly benefit from all of the self-isolation. You have the power to choose.