Dealing with Quarantine Through Introspection

Sunlight peaks through my blinds as my alarm screams 6:30 a.m. I roll out of my bed and end the alarm’s torment. I immediately go toward my morning’s saving grace: a dark roast coffee from my Keurig. I quickly down the coffee while performing a myriad of petty tasks. Then, I hop in my car and meander over to my jiu-jitsu gym. After getting beat up for an hour, I return home, shower, and finally eat a proper breakfast of scrambled eggs. 8:30 a.m. has just reached my morning as I have accomplished just 1/4th of my day’s plans.

This is how I have been dealing with quarantine lately — piling my plate with activities and hobbies I am totally passionate about. From training jiu-jitsu to writing this article, I fill my time with passions and hobbies that I love with all my soul. These activities to me are lamps for the dark night we call life during quarantine. But believe me, it has not always been like this for my quarantine.

“I do not know if I have [dealt with the struggles of quarantine],” Victoria Santos ‘23 admitted.

In the early months of quarantine, I fell into this category. I did not know how to deal with these unprecedented events. I would spend my time endlessly scrolling Instagram, playing video games until 2:00 a.m., and sleeping to excess. And I am not criticizing this lifestyle. Rather, I am highlighting that, for myself, I found this to be deeply unfulfilling.

“[It took] a lot of reflecting and also reaching out to people virtually [to deal with quarantine],” stated Redlands sophomore Victoria Christopher.

Like Christopher, I turned toward introspection to help deal with quarantine. By questioning how I spent my time and what I wanted to do with my life, I began to find the answers not only for quarantine but for my life in general. It made me stop feeling sorry for myself and start being accountable for my own life.

Now, I am not saying you must be like me and fill your day up with anything and everything. Rather, I encourage you to look inward and reflect on what brings you joy. Then, adapt that to this quarantine setting we all are under. If watching movies is a passion, go create a movie club with friends and family. If you love sharing a brew, create your own beer at home. The world is your oyster.

It is so easy to fall into the trap of victimizing yourself to this quarantine and to throw up your hands and do nothing about it. I have ridden that wave in the past. But this perpetuates a toxic cycle in your own head and leads to deep frustration.

One final piece of advice I have is to think of happiness through a different lens. The company I use for therapy boils down happiness to a simple equation: Happiness = Reality – Expectation. This means that our outlook on reality and our expectations of life dictate how we feel happiness. I suggest utilizing this formula for quarantine and seeing where you can fix your expectations to create more happiness. If you expect every day to be filled with adventure and awesome experiences during this quarantine, odds are you will be disappointed. 

For me, I am going to continue with all these extracurriculars. But for you, it could be something completely different. Just look inward to find the answers.

Image contributed by Bulldog Photo Editor Kyle Eaton.