Ah, quarantine. That funny-sounding word. One of those words that I had never used before in my entire life, but have said several times every day now for the last almost three months. Three months? Has it really been that long?

If our governor had told us then that we would still be under Quarantine/Lockdown/Shelter-In-Place/Stay At Home Orders through May, there is no way I would have believed it. Even more, I would have wondered how I would possibly ever get through just staying at home pretty much 24/7 for weeks and weeks.

But, I have found that as I have been forced to stay home due to COVID-19, along with millions of others here and around the world, being home–being still–has taught me some very important lessons. Here are 7 of them:

SPEND QUALITY TIME WITH THE KIDS

Reality: Now that schools are closed indefinitely, my kids are home all the time. It’s a new normal for all of us. Before, the weekdays would go so fast that before I knew it, it was already time to get up the next morning and start a new day.

Takeaway: I have spent more quality time with my kids in these past three months than probably the previous months of the school year combined. We play outside, or sometimes we just hang out and talk to each other. Somehow, we never had time for that before. It’s really nice to know what they’re thinking about and just to giggle with them.

APPRECIATE FRIENDSHIPS

Reality: If I wish to catch up with a friend nowadays, we can talk via FaceTime, WhatsApp, or Zoom, among others. The old standbys, talking on the phone and texting are always available too. But if I want to see other human beings other than my own family, video chats are the only option right now.

Takeaway: Just having a video call means so much now that we have to socially distance, even though it will never replace sitting across from someone. Having in-person conversations was something I took for granted—whether it was talking to other parents at school or meeting friends for dinner. I now appreciate the importance of spending time with others.

GIVE A SHOUT-OUT TO TEACHERS

Reality: Homeschooling can be challenging, especially when it comes to keeping the kids as motivated as they were in school. Plus, with the kids in school for several hours each day, it was easier for me to get things done before it was time to pick them up.

Takeaway: If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: Teachers don’t get paid enough for what they do.

GET BACK TO NATURE

Reality: I have more reasons to get outside in nature. I have always loved my time outdoors, but now that is the only option if I want to spend time outside the house. There is nowhere else to go, and no one else I can meet. I don’t drive anymore, except to take the car out for very occasional drives close by.

Takeaway: After walking daily on outdoor trails, I joined a gym last year, and other than spending time in the backyard, I never really seemed to have the time to spend outside. Quarantine has forced me to walk outside, and I have really learned to appreciate the sweeping landscape, the merry chirping of birds in the morning, and the quiet stillness of being alone.

PUSH TO BE MORE PRODUCTIVE

Reality: I don’t know about you, but somedays, it can be really hard to motivate myself to stay on top of my to-do list. Seeing the same four walls day in and day out, and having nowhere to be can really test my sense of discipline. Before, it didn’t seem to matter as much, since the days always felt busier. But now, staying home all day, I don’t want to look back on the day and feel like I didn’t cross off at least one thing from my list.

Takeaway: I’ve been pushing myself to be productive each day. If I don’t accomplish at least one goal I set for myself for the day, the day itself feels like a waste. And guess what? There are things that had been sitting on my list for several months, that I only accomplished now because I’ve been home all day…and lots more items yet to cross off!

PUSH TO LEARN NEW SKILLS

Reality: We’ve all been there: we get excited about that project we want to finish, or that new skill we want to learn. But then we procrastinate like it’s going out of style. Someday, we tell ourselves, When I Have More Time. If you don’t have time now, (unless you’re an essential worker–thank you!!), you aren’t gonna get more time than this.

Takeaway: I am pushing myself to be more creative lately. Since I now have some free time at home, one way to spend it is to invest in creative pursuits. Sewing, writing, baking, and learning a new language are all things I put off doing or improving upon while I still had the freedom to go out. Now, I am more focused on honing these skills. We all have that Something that is waiting to be explored now.

BE GRATEFUL FOR SILENCE

Reality: Speaking of walks earlier, now there are significantly less cars on the roads these days. I never realized how much noise pollution there was during the day, until there was none.

Takeaway: Being still. Being present. Being here. Being grateful. Being healthy. Feeling more united with the rest of humanity than ever before. Appreciating the small moments of peace and calm.

Wishing you health, safety, and happiness, friends!


Which life lessons have you learned while in quarantine?





 


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28 thoughts on “7 LIFE LESSONS I LEARNED WHILE IN QUARANTINE

  1. Amazing thoughts!! Quarantine life also made me appreciate family time more. Before quarantine, life was so busy. I’m lucky if I get updates from my sisters through their social media. With quarantine, we started video-calling each other everyday! Something we rarely did before lol!

      1. It is in some ways. It’s still really tough and I still prefer pre-quarantine world but this is our reality for now and we should really make the best out of it. See the glass half full. 😊

  2. I love this post! I haven’t had much time to do anything except baby and work, but quarantine experience has made me realize how much I love walks, watching art (online), and doing simple things like making pancakes for entertainment. I don’t need expensive or fancy entertainment as much as I thought I did.

  3. Online learning was a disaster for us. I’m a former teacher but my kids still find me unqualified to help them in any way – they’d rather whine and drag out a 20-minute lesson to take alllll day. Not sure what we will do if school can’t be “normal” in the fall. 😕

    1. It wasn’t a disaster for us, thankfully, but it was difficult at times. It was so hard for them to stay motivated. I get what you mean about dragging out a lesson for way too long! So maddening!! I’m also nervous about what the new school year will bring. It’s SUCH a huge change for all of us.

    2. As a person who did correspondence school (precursor to official online learning, in the days before internet). I can testify to the highs and lows, and who your ‘teacher’ is does make a difference. The first time I did it I was in grade 2, and Mum signed me and my brother, grade 8, up for it because we would be taking a family vacation to Australia for three months. I later convinced my parents to let me do it again in grade 6, without my brother, back in school, not as much fun.

      It was at this stage that Mum started really noticing, and some of my teachers, my different way of learning, wondering if I had a ‘disability’. I was finally diagnosed in College with a quite high IQ, but what they called a ‘processing disability’ and I call a, my brain works different, I’ve adapted, I’m better at some things, not so good at others. Accepting those, and explaining them to people when necessary has helped greatly.

      Who decides the lesson should only be 20min? Who decides if that’s the only way the lesson can be taught? There are so many ways to learn the same stuff. I was in tears with Mum at times because I knew the words were correct, but they didn’t make sense to me, I could come back an hour later and they had clicked. We think Dad has the same issue, and it has helped greatly in us understanding each other…and person who tested me understood how I had made it through school as a strait B student, courses that hit upon my issues, I got lower grades and struggled more with, particularly as they got harder as I need more time, courses that worked well with my processing I got A’s with…as long as I wasn’t bored and handed in all my assignments (standard note on report cards, would get better grades if handed in assignments) because I had a high IQ boredom was more the issue.

  4. Thank you for your shout-out to teachers! xoxoxo!!!! And I must say that when reading about your learning new skills and becoming more creative, I thought, “Wow. This is water saying it wants to become wetter, LOL. Such creativity on your site!”

  5. I especially agree with feeling silence and stillness all around us….it is so foreign yet so welcome in our busy daily lives. The whole world…so quiet!

  6. Hey, Jen! This is very well-written for encouragement to find the blessings in the change, the things we never really slowed down enough for before. Great reminder to count our blessings and be still! I, for one, have befriended two squirrels who show up every morning for their peanuts….and I look forward to that!

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