How Do You Get Through Self-Isolation?

Yesterday, the Illinois government announced that we will be under a stay-at-home order for another month. In conversations with family and friends, we all seem to be a little disappointed, and we are all struggling in our own ways to get through this time. While feeling frustrated and overwhelmed is totally validated, to sit in this disappointment and struggle would be a shame. I’ve found some of my own ways to cope with the difficult time and I hope you find them helpful and applicable to your own quarantined life. 

  1. logan-weaver-MoQW0FhWPEk-unsplashWrite a list of things you miss about “normal” life. While it may be nostalgic or make you miss what you miss more, this is a good starting point to get past the discouraging thoughts and fears. Once we see the other side of the fence, hopefully, you will be able to look back at this list and appreciate them more. Here’s my list of things I miss, specifically about Greenville University.
    • I miss rushing out the door to make it to the chapel on time.
    • I miss walking out of class and having an impromptu hang out on Scott’s field. 
    • I miss hammocking in the woods of Patriot’s Park.
    • I miss reading on my deck outside my apartment.
    • I miss the smell of HJ Long gym, especially when it’s just me and the basketball or a crowd full of the people I love.
    • I miss Jo’s Java cinnamon rolls. 
    • I miss hearing my name being yelled across campus by one of my friends.
    • I miss the nights that go from nothing to do to the more spontaneous adventure with my best friends and those I just happen to be with.
    • I miss driving for 30 minutes just for Dunkin’ Donuts.
    • I miss my town, my community, my people, my friends.
  2. Write a list of the good things that came out of quarantine. Notice this is number two and comes after the nostalgia. Once everything that you miss is written down, write about the good things that are coming out of quarantine. It might be harder to think of these things, but I promise you that you will surprise yourself with how many items you can come up with. Here’s my list of things I will miss about self-isolation:IMG_7796
    • I will miss the walks in my hometown neighborhood. 
    • I will miss my work-from-home space. 
    • I will miss the meals I’ve shared with my family for consecutive nights in a row. 
    • I will miss the slow, no-where-to-go pace of life.
    • I will miss the time I spent with my family (even the arguments!)
    • I will miss being able to Zoom chat with people without it being weird.
    • I will miss the extra time I get to study God’s word and just be still with Him in solitude. 
    • I will miss staying up late making weird videos with my sister.
    • I will miss the highlight of my day being the 5-minute drive to Dunkin’ Donuts. 
    • I will miss my town, my virtual community, my people, my family. 
  3. hannah-olinger-8eSrC43qdro-unsplashDocument your feelings both negative and positive, daily. Your loved ones behind your time could also learn something from this time if you document it. Write down how you’re feeling, what you are doing, and things you are learning about yourself and the world around you. Whether you believe it or not, you will want to look back at this time and remember it. 
  4. Notice things you’ve never noticed before. We live distracted lives. It’s hard to put down our phones, turn off email notifications, and just be. In this state of simply being, you will begin to notice things you never had before. Maybe it’s a trait of your mom you didn’t know she had, or maybe it’s something as simple as the neighbor’s tree. For me, I never noticed how much I take my car for granted. What a blessing it is to be able to get in this box that can take me anywhere and just drive. It’s a safe space just for me. Start to appreciate those things you’ve never noticed. 

  5. Phone a friend. Huh? First I say put the phone down and now I’m telling you to pick it back up? Well, to be fair, you were probably scrolling through social media before when now I’m asking you to reach out. While social media brings many positive aspects into our lives, try scrolling through your contacts today instead of your IG feed. Text those you haven’t chatted with in a while and call your grandma or grandpa. Or even better, write a letter to someone. It’s quite powerful and so exciting to receive a letter back. 

If this time has been difficult for you, I totally feel your pain. I feel fortunate to still have a job and a safe home to stay at. Many people aren't as fortunate. Hopefully, these tips will help you conquer some of your current quarantine battles. Together, we can overcome anything.