09 Apr 7 Lessons Learned From Quarantine: A Deep Commentary
You’ve watched all Netflix series.
You’ve scrolled Instagram 1,000 times.
You’ve had 1,756 arguments with your spouse.
You’ve followed every Coronavirus meme account.
You’ve created your own meme account.
You’ve refreshed your IRA account 100 times hoping it would go up.
You’ve written the next Macbeth.
You’ve even learned how to play Beethoven’s Symphony #9 on E-flat clarinet.
Welcome to quarantine: people getting things done they’ve never gotten done since March 16, 2020.
Nice to have you!
I’m sure you’re feeling super inspired, creative, motivated, and awesome. Or at least, you have been for the first few weeks of this at-home thing-a-ma-jig.
I have, too.
To put things into perspective, I’ve appeared on 10 podcasts, written 30 blog articles, held over 200 Zoom calls, did three webinars, posted 500 Tweets, and cuddled with my cat 10,000 times.
I’ve been rocking it with the momentum, but too, I’ve been preparing for the long haul.
While being at home has been filled with exuberance and productivity, it’s also been filled with silence and reflection.
It’s an eerie silence, though, and one that whispers to me the ending of the world is coming.
I don’t want to sound apocalyptic in my prose.
But I do want to warn people that the silence is one that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
On the horizon, a mental health crisis awaits. Not to sound like an evil bowl of bat soup (see what I did there), but it’s true.
Being stuck inside and not being able to see loved ones, friends, colleagues and human beings in general, has its way of sending us down a black hole of sadness, anxiety and depression.
If you’ve been feeling groovy and upbeat for the past month, awesome. I’m with you.
But if you haven’t experienced a hint of the looming mental health crisis, just wait…it’s coming.
Let me backtrack before I terrify folks and force everyone into survival mode even more: yes, a mental health explosion awaits.
However, this doesn’t mean we fight it off, repress our feelings, nor does it mean boil up a storm inside of us.
In fact, the opposite.
I implore you to prepare for the worst by expressing yourself and taking actionable steps to alleviate your emotions. They don’t need to go away, but rather, manage them.
Here are 5 lessons I learned from quarantine that will help everyone be ready for the inevitable mental health storm:
1. Reach out your people.
Humans need each other. We are social animals who thrive when we are a part of a community, where we can learn, grow and overcome collectively.
And guess what?
We’re all going to make it through this with a little help from one another.
Reach out to your parents. Call your best friend. Get your squad together on a video call.
2. Think deeply about finances.
For the majority of the world, money is a stressor right now. From supporting kids, to paying for sports, to buying food, to paying off bills and credit cards, it’s a lot.
And for those of you who are unemployed, it’s a devastating and frightening situation, and something you worry about when crap really hits the fan.
The good news is, though, we live in a world where there are plenty of ways to find money.
Whether that is selling stuff on eBay, offering to grab groceries for strangers who are too scared to go to the supermarket, or creating content, or becoming an Uber driver, or selling 500 t-shirts from your closet on PoshMark, there are ways, my friend. Put your thinking cap on.
Beyond selling your stuff, save as much as possible.
Or, ask people for help. I always find it comical when humans are too afraid to ask for others to lend them cash. We ask institutions and universities to give us thousands of dollars with the contract of paying it off, so why not do a mini contract with your friends?
I challenge you to have a healthier money mindset and stop exclaiming, “money is the root of all evil!”
Act abundant and take action. It all comes back around eventually. I promise.
I know these all sound unconventional, but yo. This is a weird time, so come up with weird, yet optimistic solutions. Adapt.
To that end, people are far more willing to donate and help than you think.
Oh! And when that $1200 check from the government does arrive, please don’t spend it on the new Adidas Yeezys. Invest in something that is meaningful to you and will be of service to others.
For those of you better off financially, go have it. Buy things. Put money into the economy. Lend some to a loved one. Keep the paper flowing.
3. Study and learn.
I know everyone is super pumped up to do continuing education, get 10 more certifications to their name, attend every webinar, and read Tactical Periodization backwards.
First and foremost, study yourself.
Like really, study what you value, what gives you meaning, where you want to go, who you want to become, and who you want serve.
Analyze your weaknesses. Are you stubborn? Are you narrow minded? Are you scared of discomfort?
But also, acknowledge your strengths, in fact, hype them up. Are you kind? Are you passionate? Are you creative? Are you giving?
Then once you get to know yourself, add the layers of learning from textbooks, certifications, and online courses to enhance who you are at your core.
Wisdom > Knowledge.
4. Serve others.
This is going to be an unpopular truth, but right now, serving others is a priority.
Yes, self care.
But yes, help others.
Everyone’s freaking out, worried about the future, and scrambling to adapt. Taking the conversation back to community, people need each other to exchange ideas and lend helping hands more than ever before.
Movement is medicine. For our joints, our muscles, our hearts, and our brains. And last I looked, we need all these functioning optimally to survive.
Walk. Strength train. Climb. Run. Skip. Sprint.
Do something. Anything.
Not only is movement good physically, but from an immune system standpoint, it does wonders.
Too, it’s liberating to get outside, away from the noise of family and work and social media, and enjoy the vibrance of nature, and the beam of the sun.
I hope this helps.
The mental health crisis is coming, but as long as you begin to bulletproof yourself now with tiny, empowering habits, it won’t be as jolting of a shock.