How to successfully Quarantine
Updated: Apr 4, 2020
Well, no idea, so good luck to everyone! Kidding, kind of. But yeah, 2020 is a weird one, huh? And what would a new blog be in this insane year if there wasn't a post about the new quarantine lifestyle, afterall, this is a lifestyle ish blog.
Being in Europe and seeing how things are happening here and then also in the United States, gives me a bit of a different perspective. Luckily, this perspective allows me to appreciate the most simple of all things. So while by now we should all be taking this extremely seriously, let's look at the global impact of the pandemic, what we can possibly get out of it once it's all over, and how the hell to survive this quarantine without hopefully losing your mind.
The 2020 pandemic and our new isolated lifestyles: Quarantines, isolations and lockdowns.
First, the pandemic itself, from an American in Spain perspective. As we all know by know this is a very serious issue with very serious consequences. I wrote a bit about this weeks ago urging people in the United States to take it seriously, as I had seen what was happening and about to happen in Europe. Well, to no one's surprise, very few people took it seriously and now it's out of control. This is devastating to human life, the health care systems, society and the economy... but this too shall pass.
The time that it takes to pass however, depends upon all of us. I wanted to write this today because our situation is a bit different than what you have in the United States and I'm simply hoping to bring some awareness so that people can better focus on what they do have instead of what they do not; what they can do instead of what they can't.
So what's happening in Spain? Well, we are close to three weeks into our quarantine, except by quarantine I literally mean quarantine, like the actual definition of the word. The country is in absolute lockdown, as it is in Italy and in France. The country here is shut down, similar to how it is in some places in the United States, meaning that only absolutely essential businesses are open; for example, supermarkets, pharmacies, hospitals and some public service workers. That's it, the end. But wait, unlike most of the United States, there's more! We also are not allowed to leave our homes and I mean that in the literal sense. We can only leave to: Go to the grocery store but it has to be for many things and not just bread or beer. What happens if we only get beer or if we don't go alone? We get a ticket. We can only leave to: Go to the pharmacy. We can only leave to: go to our 'essential' job. Don't have a legal document from your employer/the government stating your position and the location of the workplace? Ticket. We can only leave to: let our dog go to the bathroom. Walking your dog around the neighborhood or nearby field? Ticket. What about going out for a walk or run or bike ride? Think again, ticket. Going to visit your parents because you miss them? Ha, no way, ticket. Leaving your house for literally anything other than going to the supermarket for many things by yourself, the pharmacy, letting your dog out or if you happen to be an essential worker? Ticket.
So that's Spain... but what's the attitude here? It is surprisingly positive. That doesn't mean that it isn't incredibly, incredibly difficult both mentally and physically, but we are all trying to join together to be positive. That is the only way that we are going to get through this and as quickly as possible. Spain, especially Madrid, isn't like much of the United States where a huge number of people have actual private homes and yards; most people here live in apartments or townhomes. So for those of you in the US that have homes with yards, please appreciate that and take advantage of it. Most of the country is still able to go for walks, runs or hikes. So with that, please, try and be a little more positive and realize that most people throughout the world do not have those abilities. I would love to see a bit more positivity coming out of that part of the world, and appreciation for the things that you are able to have, as Americans, that most people do not.
That being said, yes, there is no denying that it is difficult. The mental aspect of this is tough. Life drastically changed very quickly, and change is a hard thing to manage at times. I've had a few breakdowns myself, so I'm not here to tell everyone that things are all rainbows and butterflies if you think it because that would be a lie.
But our attitude and reactions are things we can control, so let's at least do our best to create the best possible situation. I'm here in an apartment with a 5 month old and I heavily depended on going for walks, being at the park, shopping and going out for dinner with my partner. I depended on those for a break and for a little sanity. Yet those are temporarily gone, but we're trying to make the best of it. Be creative! There are some things, in my very strong opinion, that should be done every single day to maintain that sanity. I'm introverted(meaning that my energy recharges alone, not that I'm shy) so sure, for me this isn't the biggest deal in the world. The most difficult part is not being able to go outside. But for those extroverts, which is the majority of the world, I get it, it's energetically difficult, so hopefully some of these things will help. There are tons of other things that can be done for enjoyment, no matter if you are living with roommates, alone, with a partner, a baby or with children. So no matter what your living situation is, whether you are male, female, whatever, here are some ideas.
What things must we do each day
Get dressed! At very least, put on something other than pajamas that will make you feel good about yourself. That is the first and most important step to feeling confident.
Do your hair and/or makeup. Whatever you used to do when you left home- do that!
Exercise. Even if it's 10 minutes, do something active everyday. There are tons of free apps for every type of exercise. Walk or run the stairs. Do yoga(my favorite!). Stretch your body. Just move and stretch it every single day.
Shower. I have an infant so honestly this one is sometimes very difficult. But yes, do that.
Clean something, anything. It's important to have cleanliness and organization.
Eat at least one healthy meal a day. I prefer to do this for every meal, but at very least-one. Your body and mind will thank you.
Take 10 min. to quiet your mind. Again with an infant, this is tough, I get it, but it's incredibly important. I often do this when my baby is sleeping on me. Even a 10 min. meditation will do wonders for you mentally and physically. If you can waste 10 min. on social media, then you have time to do this!
Fun things you can do!
One of the reasons that I wanted to get this blog up and running so quickly is because we are all going to be home for quite some time, so hopefully a few things on here will help during this isolation period, especially the recipes!
Cook! Obviously this is my go-to. On here little by little and everywhere online, you can find easy, healthy and delicious recipes. If you have questions about specifics, please ask, I would love to help!
Reorganize things at home. Declutter, get rid of clothes, make things more clean and beautiful.
Read! Finally there is time to read something other than instagram or the news... please stay away from the news other than to be quickly informed.
Play with your own clothes, makeup, or hair. Dress up for no reason or try something different and crazy.
Date night! Whether it's with your partner, roommates, children or anyone... get dressed up nicely and enjoy a nice meal together. Maybe a few drinks?
Drink! Drink responsibly please. But be creative and make new random cocktails, because why the hell not. My Spaniard makes an incredible Mojito, so let me know if anyone wants that recipe.
Have children? Imagination games. Play house, go to an invisible world, scavenger hunt through the jungle or space. Invent anything and everything-trust me, your kids will imagine some incredibly creative things.
Art. Adult or child, doing random crafts, painting, sketching or scrapbooking is therapeutic in my mind.
Music. Play it, listen to it, make it. Music is very therapeutic and it gets me through many days. There are many DJs and musicians who are giving free live concerts via instagram, so look into those. Also, have a dance party with the kids, they love it!
Travel virtually. Look at blogs or photos of random places that you want to visit someday. Make future plans for when this is over. Or use it as inspiration for a vision board.
Go to museums virtually. Museums all over the world are giving free virtual tours. View them on your TV so everyone can enjoy them together. Pretend that you are physically going and get dressed and everything.
Learn a new language. Stop being lazy and do it. Sometimes I do Babbel or DuoLingo with a sleeping baby on me. Yes, I am hypocritical here because I'm very lazy with Spanish and opt to re-learn German, but it's a good use of brain power!
Play games, physically or virtually. Apps like Houseparty and Zoom allow you to play games with groups of people.
Create some memes, because humor is necessary.
Have an infant? Well then, good luck doing any of these, but at least try one!
Having years of experience in childcare and education, if anyone would like additional ideas or websites about things to do with kids, please don't hesitate to ask.
How to stay safe when you must go out.
Again, going through this experience in Madrid, a place where this is absolutely devastatingly heartbreaking, I wanted to share some safety things for those of you taking this seriously. But first, DO NOT PANIC AND DO NOT HOARD. Because no one likes, needs or appreciates those people. Be calm, just safe.
Don't leave unless you must. But if you are going out for a walk, to the grocery store or wherever it may be, then please be safe.
Wear gloves of any kind, everytime you leave.
Wear a mask if you have it, if not, please do not obsess and try to find them, leave them for the healthcare workers.
Leave your home alone, do not go with other people. If you must, keep your distance.
Don't walk near other people. So at the grocery store please calm tf down and give people space, especially the employees.
Don't touch things unless you absolutely must.
When returning home:
Leave your shoes outside. Do not walk in the house with them. Same with the gloves.
Take off your clothes, as they are now dirty.
Wash your hands thoroughly.
So yeah, what a crazy year huh? We will all get through this though, so long as everyone takes it seriously and does their part. Remember that it's not about you as an individual, it's about others. It's about everyone as a collective whole. Life will eventually get back to normal, but for now, take advantage of the extra time at home that we have with our families! There's so much more time to do things that we "never had time to do". Limit the news and Netflix and do something that will stimulate your mind. Again, I know it's tough, but try and spread more positivity and maybe in the end the world will be a little better of a place. Here's hoping! Best of luck to everyone!
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Stephanie & Audrey