Quarantine: A Helpful Guide

By: Yair Shavrick  |  May 12, 2020

By Yair Shavrick, Staff Writer

Students (myself included) are finding quarantine to be extremely difficult. With taking classes on Zoom, staying inside, and being cooped up, there is a feeling of complacency and lackluster days. Our energy builds up within ourselves with nowhere to output. Here are a few tools I have found to make my situation more bearable, as well as a feeling of positivity and strength to beat quarantine. Try them as you will, and find what works best for you!

The first thing to do is to create a structure. Whenever time is not allotted or accounted for, it seems to slip away with no value. We may also find ourselves filling the time with menial recreations like video games or TV binging.  Setting up a structure will bring into consciousness everything we do throughout the day, which hopefully can energize us to optimize that time. 

The next thing I would suggest to lighten this heavy time is to pick up a hobby or activity. Not all of your time should be devoted to working; humans require relaxation. Whenever I find a time that could be filled with recreation, I try to do a creative activity such as playing guitar, drawing, or learning a piece of Torah. Not only does this produce imagination and creativity, but I also find myself much happier after I do these activities. And you don’t have to be “good” at the activity. I am sub-average at drawing on my better days. It’s all about having an outlet to be productive and expressive. Any activity that would make you happy can really ease the anxiety and tension of these troubling times.

This brings me to my third point — productivity. Making sure to use the time in our day correctly encourages activity to combat complacency. Try to minimize wasting time with menial, less valuable activities, and fill your time bolstering useful skills, your resumé, or anything productive.  Wouldn’t you want to feel a sense of accomplishment throughout this journey? 

When you feel that your routine is too rigid and repetitious, change it up! After a month of quarantine, I found myself feeling down and complacent. I took the advice from friends and family and decided to wake up 30 minutes earlier than usual. At first, I was skeptical. It’s already tiring to attend class over Zoom, finish my work, and collapse into bed. Why would I lessen the one leisure I currently have? The results were baffling to me. The productivity levels of my mornings grew exponentially, and I found myself energized and far happier than when I was waking up later. I then continuously set my alarm back to the point where I’m waking up close to two hours earlier. This is something simple, yet so effective for me — I highly encourage you to try this. Wouldn’t a doable happiness-booster in your life be amazing?

This may sound stupidly obvious — but connect with friends! We are all in the same position in quarantine, and any support is helpful. When I Facetimed my friends, the weight and burden of this scary time seemed to disappear. You may be surprised how much of an impact you can have on a person. Watch their faces light up once they see your lovely face!

My last point may come more easily to some than to others, but with practice and devotion, it could really help your mindfulness and feelings of anxiousness — I’m talking about meditation. You don’t have to do some fancy, candlelit, mat-drawn ceremony. Just focusing on simple techniques such as breathing and clearing your brain can be extremely helpful to the rest of your day. You may find yourself more productive, calmer, and more peaceful than before.

I’m not trying to tell you how to live your life. These are just some simple ideas that I find useful, and could really help someone’s quarantine situation. So try what works best for you, and I hope you all stay safe and happy!