Of course, I want it to end for what it represents- countless people being affected by a pandemic is not exactly what I, or anyone, want to live with forever. It is heartbreaking and scary to see something this huge and uncontrollable run through the world.
More trivially, I want to be able to go outside again, shop at Marshall’s, and see my friends.
But after a conversation with my Therapist this week, I have to admit that I’m scared how my mental health is going to react when we get back to normal.
The first few weeks of this quarantine were tough- I was not motivated to do anything that normally brings me joy, and I was concerned that I was falling back into a depression. Slowly, I began to create a new normal, and I love what that has become for me. See below for the reasons why I don’t want this quarantine to end- I’m curious how many of you can relate.
1. A NEW TAKE ON MY 9-5 JOB
I love having more freedom. I love sleeping in because, by nature, I am not a morning person. I love taking breaks throughout the day to focus on what’s important to me.
In my office, we usually eat lunch at our desks. I now take a full hour lunch break- I am able to make myself something delicious and also fit in a quick workout before logging back on. This makes me feel recharged for the rest of the day.
Overall, I’m realizing how much work I can get done while also focusing on myself. For the first time in my life, I truly have work-life balance. I’m seeing how much time is wasted going to the office (commuting, trying to find parking, being stopped by countless co-workers throughout the day) that I have more time for myself now than ever before.
2. NO SENSE OF URGENCY
Before this quarantine, I was extremely busy all the time and every task seemed urgent. I am a planner, so it would give me a lot of anxiety having to juggle everything I had going on. I always had to efficiently plan my days out in order to fit everything in.
Now, I feel that everyone has started to live at a slower pace. Gone is the stress of fitting all of my errands into one Saturday morning before my lunch date with a friend. I can spread them out throughout the week because there is more time and if I don’t get it done one day, I know there is always tomorrow.
3. NO PRESSURE TO MAKE (OR ATTEND) PLANS
Am I the only one who felt this constant pressure from society that I always had to make plans and say yes to whatever I was invited to? Yes, I like to be busy, but I also felt this underlying need to always be out and about. Since that pressure is gone, my introverted self has loved all the time I have to recharge and discover old and new hobbies alike.
4. MORE TIME WITH FAMILY
Since I live alone, as soon as this started, I temporarily moved back into my parents’ house. I knew that I wouldn’t want to live in isolation for the indefinite future. I am loving all the family time together– we eat meals together, cook together, walk together. We even started a tradition- every Sunday, we paint together. It has been amazing, and I don’t feel ready to give that up.
5. I FINALLY FEEL I HAVE CONTROL OF MY LIFE
You may be thinking, “Huh? This whole thing has made me have NO control.” But think about it. When’s the last time you were able to make every decision throughout your day? I wake up when I want to wake up, I eat when (and what) I want to, there is nothing that I need to be doing outside of what is making me happy. I have only filled my days with, besides work, hobbies that bring me enjoyment, and this has been such a fulfilling couple of months for me, in that sense.
Overall, I’m scared because I know that eventually this is going to come to an end. I want to be able to cherish what I have now without my anxiety for the future getting in the way. My Therapist reminded me that some of this I will be able to implement into my future life- I am finding what is good for me, and while I will have to modify it for the times to come, I can still have control in ways I didn’t realize before.
Are any of you feeling the same way?