Isolation: The Highs and the Lows.

Wednesday, June 10

By Zahra Ashraf

Where do I even start? To put it lightly, the last 3 months have been a constant wave of emotions, from struggling to decide how to juggle all of this newfound free time to wanting to pull my hair out after being with my family in such close proximity for such a long period of time. In short, it hasn't all been a breeze. Having said that though, there have definitely been some highs throughout my time at home, which I feel can often be clouded by our own pessimism - our minds automatically running towards the negatives when we think of how quarantine has been. But how many of you have actually sat down and thought of the positives, of the good things that have come out of lockdown. Well I for one, definitely hadn't considered any positives prior to writing this article, but here goes. 

Towards the beginning of isolation, I feel as though there was a lot of pressure to pick up a new hobby during this time such as exercising or reading or even learning a whole new language. Now props to you if you have been able to do anything, but if you haven't that's completely fine too! We're going through a freaking global pandemic, which no one would've ever been prepared for. If getting out of bed and getting dressed is a small win for you, then welldone! We put so much pressure on ourselves in this day and age, with constant comparisons to people we see day to day on our social media platforms, but we have to remind ourselves that no one else is us. You are the only you on this planet and you are the best you there could ever be, so why spend time dwelling on what you're not when you could spend that time becoming an even better you. For me, exercising has been a great outlet of both frustrations and negativity. Just following YouTube videos in my living room most mornings has been a great therapy in a way, leaving me looking forward to the next morning, if this is something you think would help you too, I'd highly recommend Sydney Cummings workouts! 

So, I'm Muslim, and as you may or may not know, Ramadan fell during the month of May this year, leaving it slap bang in the middle of isolation. Ramadan is a time for you to regenerate your connection with God that you may have lost throughout the year, a time for you to solely concentrate on strengthening that connection and feeling closer to a higher power. For the past few years I've had to sit exams and revise throughout Ramadan, often distracting me from the sole essence of the month; however this year, being free of exams and university deadlines allowed for me to really utilise my free time in a way that I belief benefitted me and allowed for me to really make use of Ramadan to its full extent.  

I've also spent a LOAD of money on face masks, more than I'd like to admit to. Selfcare is something that can almost always put you in a good mood, whether that be just a routine daily skin care routine, a face mask or a bubble bath. Therefore I chose two days of the week that I said would be my face mask days where I'd slap a face mask on, watch a couple YouTube videos, I highly recommend!

Now's probably a great time for you to sit back and think of all of your positives throughout isolation. What were your highs from this time? And if you didn't have any, remind yourself that that's completely fine. Onwards and upwards as they say!



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