Your Quarantine Survival Guide

I came across something that Jeremey Haynes wrote on social media. I think he was trying to motivate people who are stuck at home.

It didn’t really work out that way.

Here’s what he said:

“If you don’t come out of this quarantine with either:

1.) a new skill

2.) starting what you’ve been putting off like a new business

3.) more knowledge

You didn’t ever lack the time, you lacked the discipline”

I don’t know who this Jeremey fellow is, but based on the nasty comments that followed, I’d say his post was not taken too well. Parents, struggling business owners, recently unemployed workers, teachers, and even a trauma psychologist weighed in on poor Jeremey’s philosophy, saying that his advice was unfair, untrue, and even harmful.

Here’s the essence of some of the comments.

I’ve just lost my job.

I’m more busy now than ever.

I’m just trying to survive this traumatic period of time.

I’m trying to keep the anxiety at bay.

I don’t have time.

I’m not going to pick a side in this argument, because both sides are right. So let’s do some conflict resolution here and find some higher ground.

Let’s rework Jeremey’s post into something that is more user-friendly.

Your Quarantine Survival Guide.

I get it. You’re trying to survive this period of uncertainty, pain, and loss. But you are faced with a choice: You can let challenge beat you down or you can use challenge to build you up. Which is it going to be? If you choose to make the most of this challenge then this is the list for you.

1. Gain a new skill.

Skills come in all shapes and sizes. You can learn parkour if you want, or you could learn to crochet. You could practice time management skills with toddlers. You could brush up on your leadership skills with teenagers. You could become a skilled communicator. And here’s a big one: emotional regulation is a skill - the absolute most important skill you could ever have. Become skilled at transforming anxiety to managed concern, frustration to compassion, fear to faith. These are skills and skills take practice.

2. Do the things that matter.

Stop basing your self worth on your productivity. Identify the things that matter to the best version of yourself. Is it make breakfast for the little ones? Is it getting through the hour of school work? Is it washing windows? Does the best version of yourself need to go for a walk, even if it’s just around the kitchen island? Possibly. Does the best version of yourself need to be on social media? Maybe, that’s up to you. Do more of what matters. Do less of what doesn’t. No one is asking you to be a super hero. Just be the best version of yourself.

3. Learn something.

You don’t have to learn a new language or get an online degree while in quarantine. But you can always learn something. Each and every experience, no matter how small, is an opportunity for learning. After every situation ask yourself what you learned. You’ll be amazed at what each day can bring. I learned that frustration trips me up. I learned that yelling doesn’t work. I learned that being calm helps me focus. I learned that I really appreciate my kids’ teachers. I learned that I can be patient. I learned how to apologize. I learned how to have compassion for myself. I learned it’s the little things that have great value. I learned how to give myself a break. I learned how to laugh.

Following the guidance above is not going to be easy. It’s going to take discipline. Consider this: what requires more discipline, criticizing yourself, or having compassion for yourself? Being miserable, or being happy? Being anxious, or calming yourself down? Getting frustrated, or practicing patience? Discipline isn’t a bad thing, it is your commitment to a good thing.

Yes, this is a challenging time. There’s no doubt about it. But how are you going to respond to the challenge? Will you give up? Or will you rise up?

Here’s to Conquering Stress,

The Stress Experts

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