Quarantine has been a weird time for everybody, no doubt about that. These past few months have been rough and for me specifically, a rollercoaster of emotions. I spent my entire summer studying, taking tests, pulling all-nighters to finish projects, and having anxiety attacks as a result. All the while, making time to take care of myself both mentally and physically. Overall, my body has been functioning on autopilot and some days I feel that I have no control on the things going on around me. I feel that I cannot relax and just allow myself to exist. Being on social media has not helped, either. Constantly comparing my life to strangers’ and friends’ and hating myself. It got so overwhelming that I had to reach out to my school’s therapist over Zoom. By the way, I don’t know if doing online therapy is weird for anyone else, but it was a such a unique experience. Anyway, quarantine has been interesting.
The way that I have been coping is through just being. I know it sounds vague and does not make much sense, but it has helped a lot, mentally. It can be easy to want to accomplish a million things at once and cram as much stuff as possible within an 8 hour or even 24-hour time period. However, developing the mindset that you constantly have to be doing something is extremely depressing and anxiety-inducing. As someone who would deal with heart palpitations and extreme sweating as a result of worrying about not working or being productive, it’s tiring. I have to force myself to step away from the computer/phone and just “relax”. I think the best way to do this is very simple yet complex: do nothing.
Now realistically speaking, it’s impossible to not do anything. Breathing is still doing something. Although, mastering the art of doing nothing is a skill not many people are aware of. It requires fully letting your mind shut off and being completely present in the current moment. Meditation is a great example of this. I tried meditating everyday for a week and it improved my mental state, drastically. Learning to be one with the universe and slow down is a valuable health tip and pattern to adapt. I am still currently working on this and there are days that I will catch myself overthinking and internally freaking out over not getting enough done. The biggest lesson that I have learned since graduating high school is that what you do afterwards is up to you. That statement is obvious, but it is important to remember that how you choose to spend your days and make use of your time is entirely your business and no one else’s.
Being in quarantine has caused me to realize a lot about myself and the world around me. The most important thing is just reminding myself that I do not need to strive for perfection and always be doing something in order to feel valuable and worthy. As I am typing this, I have just finished up my summer classes and thus starting my break before the fall semester starts. Best believe, I am going to treat myself to plenty of naps.
thumbnail credits: instagram- @rita_botta