In this time of Facetime calls and working from home, we are disrupted from our regular routines. All the plans we had made are erased and swept away as the Coronavirus sweeps across the nation.
This is an unprecedented time. That statement may not feel real, but there are not many people who have lived through a pandemic in their lifetime and also are experiencing this one in 2020.
Just take some time.
Time to think. Time to rest. Time to be.
I think we’d all love to get back to productivity and hustle culture, and all of our normal routines, but we’d be missing out if we didn’t try to take advantage of what this time can give us. With online college classes or remote work, we have more flexibility to what feels best. It may not feel best to try and force rhythms that usually work in the scheme of your regular life in these times.
If you ever thought you had a boring life, these times will certainly prove you wrong.
You aren’t just getting up and working. You are working inside and in some places, you are in quarantine – hiding away inside as you wait for things to die down.
Our obsession with being productive can be harmful. You could end up setting aside your emotions for more productivity, leading to an apathy that you can’t shake. Maybe this is time you can use to fix your sleep schedule. Instead of going to bed at 1 am, you can go to bed at 10 and wake up at 8. Or you can finally start spending time prioritizing people in your life – reaching out, texting others, Facetime, and phone calls.
While it’s important to still get the work you need to get done, you also need to acknowledge that you need rest and the capacity you once had has changed.
Though I’ve seen many people talk about how to get back into a routine, a work routine despite being trapped inside, I haven’t seen anyone talk about the power of reflection. For people who love history, currently, history is in the making. We are living in a time where we don’t really know what’s coming in the next few weeks. It’s up in the air whether or not this will be completely contained or whether or not quarantine will last until June.
The Virginia governor declared a stay at home mandate until June. I’m in New York, where there were rumors of a possible enforced quarantine. People are inside, avoiding any sort of disease and physical interaction. We haven’t lived through any of this before.
We need to record these times. I journal and I know the power of being able to look back and relive memories. I’m not sure that anyone will want to relive the fear and uncertainty of these days in the future – but wouldn’t it be special to have a record?
There is something incredible about saying “On this day, I am here. I feel these things. I am alive.” Keeping a record keeps you accountable. Did you check in with family and friends? Did you rest? Did you do the work you needed to get done? Did you learn something new?
I can only imagine – the art, the books, the creations that will come out of this time. This time, unlike any before, we have the opportunity to learn something and gain something we have never been able to before. Some families have time to spend with one another again. Some people are learning to value what it is like to be healthy as a relative is sick. Others are learning that life can change instantaneously.
Reflection is necessary for future prosperity, for keeping track of lessons, for memories of life in quarantine, for a reminder that nothing in life is fully certain.
This could be a source of comfort. Having a space to contain all the thoughts you have held inside you as this storm has brewed.
How to keep a record
- Get an old notebook. Open a voice memo on your phone. Grab a sketchpad. Find your mom’s old camera. Then write. Talk. Draw. Take photos.
- This doesn’t have to be daily. Maybe every few days or every week – you regularly record the events in your life.
- What’s your day to day life look like now? How do you feel? What are you grieving? Where are you finding joy?
- If you don’t have much to say, just think what difference you see in your morning routine and how the first hour of your day has changed.
Your system of recording doesn’t need to be fancy. You don’t need to get up at 5 am every morning with a microphone and record your thoughts. That said, do what you need to do to make this process work for you.
Life is more than waking up, working, eating meals, and sleeping. You are human – you have goals and plans and dreams and feelings. Keep track of what this time is like. You won’t regret it.
Keep safe and keep healthy!