Well, it has been 100 days since we entered quarantine and I must admit things are not getting easier. Okay, maybe not 100, but it sure feels like it and either way, it is not getting easier! Days and hours seem to be running together and working from home feels harder than actually going to the office.
But like all things, quarantine has become a blessing in disguise. Out of it, #TheLunchBreak was born, along with the motivation to be productive and creative and not to mention, my YouTube has been jumping like Jordan (shameless plug). Honestly, now that I am living by my own standard and not the world’s, I am happier than I have been and with the advice of some amazingly talent and beautiful women, here is what I have learned during this quarantine season!
1. Being Alone is Okay
As an introvert, quarantine started off easy for me but I can imagine for the rest, not so much. Many of us need the company of other, rather family, friends, or coworkers, to endure idle time such as quarantine. But may I submit to you the question if you cannot be with yourself, how can you expect someone else to be?
If you don’t believe me, check the science, which tells us being alone can increase productivity, creativity, and build mental strength – I literally can raise my hand for each of these! So instead of confusing time alone loneliness, use this time to be okay with just YOU! Increase your organization, create new habits, and spend time getting to know yourself more by asking questions you would normally avoid. And if you don’t do anything else, tell yourself, “I love you and I am proud of you,” because you need to hear it.
2. Routines Matter
Changing from going to work every day to “working remotely,” has been a bigger adjustment than I think we all would like to admit. It feels like the distractions have increased to an all-time high, along with my appetite, and not to mention everyday feels like Saturday. Most days I complete my work early, and on others I forget I actually have work to do. This is why routines matter!
When speaking to Rasheda Crockett of Bigger on BET+, she spoke about doing five push-ups every morning, and although that may not seem like much, she said it helped her maintain a morning routine and give her something to look forward to. Rather you start with something small like making your bed each morning or waking up to meditate Routines help maintain habits, create structure, and help prioritize what needs to be done; three important ways to make transitioning back to “normalcy” easier.
3. Idle Time can be Useful
Truthfully, being in quarantine has truly been a gift from God. Finally, I can focus on things that matter to me without the excuse of not having enough time. We all have dreams, things we want to do, wish we could do, or put down with the intent to return to but never did. Regardless of which category you fall into, the idle time that quarantine has provided is your chance to achieve them. Take it from Brii Renee, radio personality and now author, who wrote on her vision board in 2012 that she would write a book, which she completed in the first two weeks of quarantine.
Like the great poet Diamond from “The Players Cub” once said, “Make the money, and don’t let it make you!” The same goes for the idle time we now have; make the time work for you do not let it work you. Use this time to refocus, reconnect, and relaunch those dreams, projects, and ideas into reality.
4. Grace is DESERVED not earned
As humans, we are already hard on ourselves and truthfully, one another. And as women, we are even worse. Like most of us, I am harder on myself than I probably should be. I find myself on a daily beating myself up for not completing my work, not doing enough work, and for taking a nap in the middle of the day. But consider this, the standard of productivity no longer exist now that we are living a “new normal” so what are you trying to prove? This is why we have to give ourselves grace! We have been working, parents, friends, lovers, and more for a long time so trust me, you deserve that nap! You deserve a moment to breathe, to binge that television series, and/or take that midday nap because our new reality is ever-changing and stressful enough so do not add more to it or yourself.
Remember yourself a little more during this season, not because you earned it but because you deserve it!