Surviving House Arrest

Coming To Terms

Few of us have coped with this level of uncertainty before. Recent events have brought stress and anxiety, which was further provoked by the media painting the current state as a post-apocalyptic war zone. 

Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

Even if we have shut down society for its good – being forced to hide away is not fun. I now realize that unalienable rights aren’t. They are more fragile than ever imagined. Growing up, we were used to our parents putting boundaries on our lives. As adults, work dictates much of our time.  Watching freedom in our personal lives vanish can be terrifying. 

We are all living a different reality. The global population has retreated into their homes to save themselves and their neighbors from the spreading virus. I now find myself feeling so grateful that I still can go outside for an hour a day to walk in the fresh air – something I routinely took for granted before the outbreak.

Now, I confess, in the past, I bemoaned my self inflicted schedule. But now I see the habits and routines that occupied my pre-quarantine life nourished my soul and were essential to my mental health. I have gone from programing my free time with my favorite activities to trying to finding happiness in house arrest. 



Can we be content to endure what we can’t change?

Stoic preachers would say just focus on what you have control over. Easier said than done. It’s hard not to be emotionally consumed with dread and anxiety in the wake of an outbreak. I continue to remind myself to let go of frustration as my Type-A personality revolts against my powerlessness. 

For me, it is not about forgetting what I can’t control but shifting my focus away from the negative onto the positive to find my power again. We can ruminate on the world’s problems and our hearts can bleed for those who are suffering, but no amount of empathetic news-watching will eradicate the virus. The best we can do to help the world heal is to remain in our pockets of isolation. Embrace the hermit life and accept that the events will run their course and resign ourselves to accept that it very well could get worse before it gets better. 

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” 

Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

Positive Vibes

Never has it been more important to focus on what you are grateful for and to appreciate life’s blessings. In normal circumstances, I don’t take this as seriously as I probably should – initially thinking that it was too idealistic. However, my wellbeing is heavily dependent on my ability to draw in positivity. When there is a swirl of doom and gloom in the forecast take five to acknowledge joy to your day. It doesn’t have to be complicated or extensive. Some days even saying I am thankful for the simplest things can set my mind on a more positive train of thought. Lately, my gratitude practice has become a part of my normal journaling routine. It helps me to push away the negativity so I can start the day off on the right foot. If you have not already read my article on my self confessed obsession with journaling, check out the post below!

Why I Still Journal – 10 Years Later

Exercise your Empathy Muscle 

If you feel comfortable (or, dare I say, even enjoying your isolation) you may be one of the lucky few. If not, being trapped at home can feel like a punishment. We can still reach out and connect even behind closed doors. Now, more than ever, I think it is immensely important to support one another as best we can and lend strength. Sometimes even calling someone and checking in can mean a lot and show them you care. If you can still go to the post office or your local drop off bin, it is a fun time to get old school with your communication. Send your loved ones a care package or a hand-written note. The personal touch goes a long way towards brightening their day. (Please remember to sanitize all mail you receive in the post before bringing it into your home.)

Nourish Your Soul

Put on your emotional oxygen mask!

Ask yourself – how can I best look after my wellbeing in these challenging times? Not just physically but also emotionally as well. Below are the things that have been helping to lift my spirits. I hope that you find them helpful and find pockets of happiness in your day. Please share what has made you smile recently in the comments!

Guilt – Free Fun Time

  • Binge favorite TV show or movie
  • Dig out the board games
  • Engage your inner child 
    • Make a blanket fort
    • Pretend the floor is lava
    • Play with kinetic sand or play dough 
    • Build a Lego or model 

Physical Exercise

Nutrition 

  • Try a new healthy recipe
  • Bake sometime fun

Intellectual Stimulation

  • Read – See the books I am reading here
  • Take an online course
  • Pick up a new hobby

Emotional Wellbeing

  • Connect with networks over video chat
  • Lean into your spiritual side
  • Meditate and practice intentional living
  • Journal

What has been helping you in isolation?

Share your favorite at-home activities below !

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