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How Do I Make Use of My Time During the Pandemic?

By: Bridgette W. Gottwald, LPC, NCC

“Everything that happens to us happens to our minds as well. Anything external has an imprint on everything internal.”

 To understand and comprehend what affects us on the outside, we must look inward. We all can’t go outside and do what we normally do, so it’s time to go inside. 

If You Can’t Go Outside, Go Inside: How Do I Make Use of My Time During the Pandemic?  

2020 has been an incredibly challenging year for all of us in such different ways. Our senses of freedom have been ripped away from us as the world faces a global crisis. Although it’s been frustrating that we can’t rely on factors outside of ourselves to maintain our happiness, maybe we can take advantage of the time to look inward and make personal life improvements. 

Signs

It all takes place within our bodies. Have you been feeling emotional pain lately? Perhaps this is a sign that something needs to change. Maybe anxiety functions as a sign that we need to shift our focus. What if depression is a sign that we need to deal with our inner daemons? Tiredness and burnout mean we need to slow down and engage in more rest and recovery. In the hustle bustle of everyday life, I think we forget to pay attention to the signs because we aren’t really listening or looking for them. However, amidst quarantine and this difficult year of 2020, we are provided with an opportunity to do so. 

Slowing Down

Our society and culture tells us that hustling and keeping busy is the normal and healthy way to live. No matter what, there will always be more to achieve, attain, buy, and do. Amidst society, we are shown appreciation for our busy-ness and “relentless pursuit of the next accomplishment.” Now is the perfect time to allow yourself to get to know yourself without the distractions of the world constantly interrupting. Be willing to meet your true self and embrace it, in all of your flaws and weaknesses. Notice the signs that your body is sending you and try to cater to them in a new way that busy-ness and non-stop movement can’t. 

Being Selfish 

You are your own responsibility. Given that this pandemic has slowed down the candor of society and the world, it’s given us more time to pay attention to what our needs are – and actually cater to them. In reference to being selfish, I’m not talking about being greedy or neglectful. What I mean is making an intentional effort to prioritize yourself and forgetting about constantly pleasing others. Perhaps during quarantine would be a good time to start practicing saying no – it will certainly be a bit easier than it used to be given less options and more constrictions. 

Reshuffle Your Priorities 

Quarantine – it’s been a bad time for a lot of things, but a great time to work on yourself and re-evaluate. Perhaps you have realized how much you have to loose and life has become more precious. Amidst this time, much of our focus has been on our health and loved ones. Isn’t that what life is all about anyways? Living a hustle-bustle lifestyle can cause us to forget or lose sight of this. It is absolutely useless and entirely counterproductive to fight the tide – so wait it out. Reconsider old goals, remind yourself of things you’ve always wanted to do, be or have. 

What are some things you’ve never had time for? I’m talking about the things that life always seems to be pulling you away from? Although it might feel like it at times, the world is not ending, and most of us won’t die. Most likely, we won’t run out of toilet paper, and if we do, we will find a way to manage and adapt. We are far more resilient than we think, or than we give ourselves credit for. Hang in there everyone!  

Reference: 

Fontaine, Z., (2020). If you can’t go outside, go inside. Retrieved from: https://zitafontaine.medium.com/if-you-cant-go-outside-go-inside-e4f0c08cd12a

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