Let me say this right off the bat: I am one of the lucky ones when it comes to COVID-19. I am a healthy 21-year-old who does not need to worry about contracting the virus and having significant health issues, I don’t live with any immunocompromised family who I have to worry about, and I am not an essential worker breaking my back during long shifts saving everyone else (who are all heroes, by the way).
However, I am a graduating college student who just had her life turned upside down — as we all did. My days — which used to be packed with back-to-back classes, long shifts in the office, and excessive job-searching — are now filled with online classes, TV, and trying out all the couches in my parents’ house.
I feel like my life is on hold. My college experience is over, but I am not able to move forward and get to the next step. Many companies have put freezes on hiring and others have been making massive cuts. Plus, nobody is working in offices right now anyway, so who’d even be there to train you? So, basically, job hunting is impossible.
How am I supposed to deal with this pause on my life? I am essentially stuck in place until the rest of the country cooperates and things go back to normal.
So, I decided that I was going to use this time to make good habits and break my bad ones. For those of you who are in my boat as well, I suggest you do the same.
For the past five-ish years, my life has been chaos. Whether it was working 60 hours a week, 18 credit hours of class, or internships, my schedule has been booked solid for a very long time. And although I hate sitting still for too long, there’s nothing really for me to do except wait it out (and donate and self-quarantine!). So I might as well use all this extra time to fix those things about myself that I’ve been meaning to forever but never had time.
I know you know exactly what I’m talking about.
You know those times during the day when you think “I should be doing that” and then you don’t? The workout videos you see on Instagram that make you think “I should be working out” and then continuing to scroll. Or seeing your floss in the bathroom drawer and thinking “I should probably be flossing more,” and then shutting the drawer. That’s what I’m talking about.
Use this time to make more good habits and break the bad ones. Unless you have kids, you probably have fewer distractions than you used to and nowhere to be anymore, so use the extra time at home to improve yourself.
During my first two weeks of quarantine, my goal was to quit sugar. I figured I had better get it figured out now before life starts again and I’m having to suffer through social interactions with lots of sweets. I should not have started with the hardest goal, but I managed to quit somehow.
Then, my goal was to switch to a low-carb diet — that one was much easier. I’ve known I needed to be eating better for a few months — I’m a college student, so I live off of pizza rolls and chicken nuggets — but was too busy to even think about how I could do it. Now, with all the time in the world on my hands, I’m able to find and make easy, healthy recipes that I can handle when I’m out on my own again. No more pizza rolls for me.
My current goal is to floss every night. Simple enough, but probably for the better that I work it into my routine now — just in case I end up with my dad’s bad teeth.
If you are one of the lucky ones like me — the ones who have a month or two to sit at home and do nothing but eat too many snacks and make many attempts at reading — use this time to improve yourself. Create better habits and destroy the old ones.
One way or another, this will all be over at some point. Leave your quarantine as a person who flosses regularly and can do all those weird Instagram workout routines. You might as well.