We’ve been living under these conditions for almost two months. It’s funny how much it seems a social experiment: “How would humans react if we isolate them in their houses for a long time?….” We could even create a movie from this experience, don’t you think?
Being quarantined is causing us mixed feelings, and it’s constantly changing; we don’t feel the same way in week 1 than in week 7 or 8. That’s why I tried to separate this experience into four stages. Let’s see in which one you are today.
Stage 1: Yes, I can do it…
Everything is new. You try to find the proper way to adapt your routine to these conditions. You know it’s worth it; you want to protect your family, so you’re full of energy, good vibes and open to do whatever is needed.
You think about what you could incorporate to your routine like working out, reading some books, cleaning your closet following Marie Kondo’s method or cooking the recipes you’ve seen on the internet.
In the end, you are convinced that this will be a valuable time that will bring many benefits to you and your family.
Stage 2: Oh! I didn’t know that I didn’t know my own house!
You realize there are certain things you didn’t fully enjoy from your place. For example, if you didn’t cook that often, you weren’t familiar with your oven, and now that you tried new recipes, you are amazed!, or maybe you didn’t know how does it feel to be sitted on your couch on a Tuesday morning. Both could be simple and tiny details, but they are changing the way you relate with your house.
On the other hand, you start struggling with your to-do list. Working from home could be hard if you’re not able to follow your schedule as you did it before, or if your coworkers or your boss are not used to this dynamic.
And if you’re a parent, hats off! Schedules are way more complicated.
However, at this point, there is still hope. You try to handle the whole situation and put everything in order: work, kids and household chores. Although sometimes it seems impossible, you’re determined to do it.
Stage 3: I need to see different people!
You realize that being away from your friends and family is not that easy. You need to see different faces, hear different voices; you need to interact with someone outside your house! It’s at this point when video calls start bringing joy to your day; it’s a powerful mechanism to relieve stress, anxiety and frustration.
In the kitchen, you are trying to prepare different stuff. Following recipes from Facebook or YouTube is not that complicated, but getting all the ingredients from the store, it’s the not so funny part of this new activity.
Stage 4: My family? My house? The world?… Whatever, I don’t care.
You are already used to this way of life. You barely remember how does it feel to spend a whole Saturday in the mall or going to a restaurant or to the movies.
You start thinking that some of those activities are not necessary anymore because you were able to replace them somehow; and moreover, that’s helping you to save money.
BUT, being 24×7 in the same place with the same people is… hmmm… let’s say “challenging.” You want to kill them, one hour later you love them again and post a beautiful pic with the hashtags “#Quaranteam” “StayHome,” etc… and one hour later you hate them all again.
You desperately want some time off but you can’t! That’s the rule for this game; and what makes it more interesting is that nobody knows how much it will last.
In my case, I constantly have two questions in mind: How will this experience affect our future life? And is it going to be a Stage 5?… Let’s see.
In the meantime, let’s keep breathing in and out to increase our patience, and btw, a pretty good tip is: MEDITATE!!! It helps (A LOT) to maintain peace of mind.