Anyone tired of quarantine? ??‍♀️

I’m feeling a little conflicted right now. I’m suffering from both a case of cabin fever (need to get out!) and hermit syndrome (can I just stay in?). How’s that for contradictory?

I’m so ready to blast out of these four walls and go do something, while at the same time I’ve officially established the habit of not getting ready, drinking coffee all day, working from 5 seconds after I wake up until 5 seconds before I go to sleep, and sometime worrying if my social skills have all but disappeared.

It’s easy to become weary right now, to keep the shades down, to stay hidden, and even feel forgotten. It’s also normal to feel restless, listless, irritable, and frustrated. Even though we’re all in the same boat, it doesn’t make it any easier!

We still have a long way to go before things feel like the normal we remember. But we have to be careful that we don’t succumb to believing that our current state IS our new normal. It’s not. It may feel like it, but we will recover. It may be a bit of a roller coaster until then, but we will recover and this will one day be a season where we grew individually and together for the better.

In the meantime, let’s take it one day at a time. We are given this day. Let’s make the most of it.

Here are a few ways I’ve learned to keep the sun shining while in quarantine.

MusicalWriters Festival speakers Macy Schmidt Drew Gasparini

Get some fresh air!

If you can, get outside for a little while every day. Spending time outdoors has been shown to lower stress, blood pressure and heart rate, and buoy mood and mental health.1

There have been many days the past few months that I didn’t go outside once. And I could tell it was wearing on my nerves. I’ve learned I have to make myself get out of my office chair and get out of the house! It does wonders for my attitude and anxiety. I’m finding much needed solace in taking my white lab Bentley on long walks (or maybe she’s walking me), eating lunch or dinner on the patio, and cutting or picking flowers to bring in and arrange. Little things that make a big difference.

Oh, and we also bought a duck.

 

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Call someone…on the phone.

Studies are now showing that Zoom is exhausting. It was super cool when quarantine started, but soon I had to take a break from all the free classes, webinars, live interviews, etc., because I was just maxed out.

Even here at MusicalWriters, we’re trying not to cram so much into a short period of time. At first it was exciting to provide tons of classes and ways to connect. And those are still great things, but we found it’s better to space them out and not let them become overwhelming.

Since millions are now using Zoom, Facetime, and other video conferencing tools, we’re learning frequent use can leave us tired and stressed (known as Zoom fatigue) and lacking what we inherently and instinctively need when communicating as humans.

So call someone. Maybe it feels old-fashioned, but maybe that will feel good right now. And maybe some of those folks you need to call aren’t Zoomers. I’m calling my parents a lot more, and hearing the phone ringing and then a “Hello, hello!” from my mom is good for the soul.

Find a project.

I have 2 college students and a 15-year-old, so when schools and universities shut down for quarantine and the kids came home, I knew I had better make things somewhat fun or it might get dicey. I went to work getting out all the games we had, digging the Wii out of the attic, and buying lots of food. All of that was extremely short lived (but fun), so I decided to try something else.

Random but effective, the two projects we landed on were:

Paint by Numbers (these took about 6 weeks to complete)

quarantine project: paint by numbers

Our paint by numbers projects

and building a chicken (and duck) coop! (still working on this one)

quarantine project: chicken coop in progress

Our chicken coop…in progress

 

Both are hands-on projects that require patience and tenacity. They’re great to do as a family, and we can see progress.

I’ve been working on our musical as well, but sometimes you need a project with a finite end to feel like you’ve accomplished something. Seeing a start and a finish is good when we’re in a season of uncertainty.

I asked some of our Academy members what they’re doing to stay mentally healthy, physically strong, and personally connected during this season of quarantine. Here are some of their answers:

  • Gardening
  • Taking advantage of all the opportunities to connect with the writing/creative community
  • Laughing
  • Submitting to as many free contests and calls for submissions as I can
  • Letting people know I’m available for creativity
  • Looking out the window
  • Keeping a to-do list and schedule
  • Being kind to myself and my hubby
  • Rewriting my musical
  • Released a single from my musical on streaming sites
  • Created a first draft of a new musical

I’d love to hear what you are doing.  Share your tips, thoughts and projects in the comments below! 

And just for kicks, here are our sources for our paint by numbers and chicken coop plans. Have fun!  🙂

Footnotes

  1. https://time.com/5539942/green-space-health-wellness/