The Covid-19 coronavirus has quickly rocked the world. From its origin, China, spreading easily through Europe and reaching the American continent. Where I live, in Madrid, the capital of Spain, has been under a strict quarantine since the past 15th of march that is affecting the citizens physically, since our population is very old and every day those affected and deceased go up like wildfire; but also, psychologically, which is reflected in the use and abuse of masks, gloves, sanitizing gel, buying medicines, or basic necessities such as rice or toilet paper. Sometimes, justifiably, but in many cases not, inciting the people to feel pressure that should not be exaggerated.
We could say that it is a disgrace for the World, which it is, but also, it can be a true blessing for a large part of the population. It all depends on the attitude towards the circumstances and understanding the risks from a logical perspective, finding out about the measures to be taken in this situation and making good use of the time that must be quarantined, a measure that is necessary to mitigate the effects of the Covid-19.
Now, Arizona is taking quarantine measures to stop the spread of the virus, measures that are sure to affect the people and businesses across the state. From my short experience in this situation, I contribute my point of view to cope with this quarantine as a way to invest your time, feel that we can take advantage of this crisis and come out of it with a different perspective than we had before the lockdown.
Coping with Quarantine:
Keep Your Needs Covered
First, keeping your needs covered and having everything you need at home is essential to maintain a tolerable attitude and avoid taking more walks away from home than necessary. Calmly make a list of your needs, keeping in mind those things that you tend to use more frequently so you don’t run out, and also be realistic, you are not the only person who is going through this crisis. I reiterate, with tranquility and responsibility we do not fall into the hysteria with toilet paper that has spread throughout the world.
Reflect & Analyze Your Circumstances
Practicing a meditation exercise is not an effort that we normally make. We are distracted by our daily routine: work, chores, children, each of them leads your life and we do not leave time to simply do one thing: think. Meditating is a work of criticism that many of us, including myself, avoid. Why? Because it helps us put our lives in perspective, and many times, we find things that we don’t like. Facing these thoughts are the doors to emerge stronger from this era that this virus has created. One of the greatest benefits to the human spirit is being alone for a few minutes each day and asking ourselves questions about how we want to achieve goals that we have only dreamed of, or more practical objectives to have a more effective life with the goal of overcoming achievements to feel good about ourselves.
Keep Your Priorities In Order
Many of us will have to work from home, and we know that this is not easy considering the circumstances, and even more so if you have children in the house. However, trying to maintain a hierarchy of activities that are important will help us not lose our nerves and keep a balance in our lives. Of course, continuing to shower and clean yourself along with cleaning your house more frequently than before must be priorities that you should not skip. It is important to have a balanced environment and feel comfortable, to see that the house is clean, and also that you are clean. Also, do not forget that every day is different, you do not have to define 100% a routine, you have to know how to adapt to the circumstances that you face every day, even inside your home. Unforeseen accidents occur, frustrations arise, and small and big changes must be taken with philosophy.
Better Yourself During Quarantine
Do Not Abuse Vices
Here comes the difficult part. Now, more than ever, we have all kinds of entertainment at home. Platforms like Netflix or even YouTube can end up being an addiction that can consume your time in a way that you don’t even notice.
Also, we must watch our food. I have heard a lot of times in these first days of the quarantine how the refrigerator has become the attraction to distract us. Currently it is the tourist hotspot in many Spanish homes, as a result of a general lack of creativity in passing the time.
Furthermore, alcohol and substances such as cannabis are consumed in greater quantities due to boredom. Many people are highly functional while altered, but it is very easy to end up on the sofa with snacks, beer and marijuana for hours. There may be little harm in doing this from time to time, but preventing it from becoming a habit can become a real challenge, especially when in quarantine.
I did not forget about abuse of the bed and sleeping more hours than you should. This is one of the biggest challenges that we are facing. I admit that I am one of those who likes to stay between the sheets. However, whenever I get out of bed earlier than usual, my day is very busy and it makes me feel good to have managed all of my tasks early.
Being aware of these trends will help us maintain a mental and physical balance during this time of quarantine. Watching television, eating something you like, or smoking a couple of joints with a beer is not bad, but we must watch our weak points so as not to fall into a routine that can harm us when this quarantine is over.
Finish What You Once Started
The title says it all. When was the last time you read that book that you still have halfway? Or when are you going to be able to finish cleaning those cabinets full of things you no longer need? Or finish that painting, or model, or vase that you once started with hope and abandoned because you fell into the daily routine? Or did you start that language course? This is your opportunity to resume all those activities that are beneficial for your personal development or feel comfortable with the environment in which you are living. When your priorities have been covered, instead of using your rest time in front of the television, computer or mobile, dedicate it to any of these activities. Also, be realistic with the time that you will occupy each one and set yourself achievable goals, do not spend all day tidying up the closet or 3 hours to learn English. Just like before, analyze, think and create an attack plan that will give you benefits over a long period of time.
Learn Something New & Build a Routine
When you want to learn something new, you have to be creative and critical of your limits. When starting an activity, you usually romanticize the results before you start practicing them. I confess that I usually fall into this trap. I like to imagine myself acquiring the knowledge that I can obtain and fantasizing about the results, but I usually ignore the effort and discipline that is necessary to reach my goal. Learning to cook, exercise your body at home, start an artistic skill that helps you to escape and give free rein to your imagination, to write stories or about your day to day, and even learn to read more effectively, they are just a few examples of what you could do.
If you practice two or three of these ideas, you will come out of quarantine as a completely different person than you were before. It’s like discovering yourself again: maybe you realize that cooking is good for you, and you didn’t know it because you hadn’t given it a real chance; or the ease by which your body can adapt to an activity, feel that your joints do not hurt as much and that you had more energy than you thought; Or maybe, you feel that feeling again when you were a child and you painted and drew; and even, marvel at your ability to tell stories or how it frees you to put your feelings with paper and pen.
No matter how you handle the virus, your attitude towards this situation isn’t just not being afraid of getting sick, but not being afraid to grow and make an effort from your own home. Overcoming barriers that are not physical and being satisfied with what you’ve done gives us a perception of ourselves that no one else can give us. We think we need the gym, or a teacher to teach us English, or cook, but there is nothing more powerful in us than our will. The will to improve oneself gives us a boost of optimism that changes us from the inside out, and the result is that you are stronger as a person, as a father or mother, as a student, as a teacher, as a professional and as an artist. But the real challenge is having the will to keep doing it after quarantine.
Good luck and you will surely do great.
Irene Llorente is a designer and writer for The Cannabis Cactus Magazine. She likes drawing with pencils, painting with watercolors, and sometimes she works in digital 3D. Her interests include nature, specifically birds and bugs, exercise and historical theology. See her art on her website or Instagram.