Finding peace in the panic
Jackie Junco | Monday, April 20, 2020
As a country, we are doing fairly well with abiding to this new normal, and although calling it the new normal may sound scary, it actually may not be entirely a bad thing.
During these days in quarantine, we either have been continuing our best with online courses, being with family, finding forms to better ourselves, developing new hobbies or going back to old ones, being an essential worker or maybe simply resting. Regardless of what, during these many hours of what feels like countless days, there have been moments in which we’ve just sat and been with ourselves.
The idea is that this moment, this moment of being still and not scrambling to pursue our daily lives, isn’t entirely negative. Living in a technological time, we are given the benefit of staying connected with others — our social interactions haven’t entirely stopped.
However, at the end of the day we are either with those who we are distancing with, or simply by ourselves. This doesn’t mean that social distance is equal to being in solitude. I’ve seen lately how many people on the news have tried to outsmart the “six feet apart” rule or just couldn’t handle being at home. While I also feel that way, I realize this time has also given me the opportunity to really understand myself. Even though I thought being a first-year in college would be an opportunity to find myself, further develop my interest or find what I want to do with my life, this quarantine is helping me do so.
The connotation that isolation is something bad is because we, as a social species, feel as though being alone means that we tap into something negative about ourselves, that there must be something wrong about ourselves that we can distract that with our dependency on our interactive lives. However, this time of quarantine doesn’t mean that being secluded is the gateway to lunacy. Learning to be by yourself without going crazy is a crucial lesson that this time has been teaching me.
Learning to enjoy your own company is one of the many steps to self-love and giving yourself the chance to be able give one hundred percent of your energy to you. The whole world being on pause gives us a chance to pause, sit back and reflect. It’s like a retreat — it allows us to find some of that free time to journal, to jot down our thoughts. Being students with many obligations sometimes doesn’t allow us to find that time to fully indulge in ourselves. While everyone is different in how they perceive their relationship with themselves, it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t stop and listen to ourselves.
This pandemic is bringing a lot out of our government, our standing as a society — but that doesn’t mean it can’t bring something out of you. There is something about yourself that you have never realized that can be good or changed for the better. We are always learning and growing, so using this time for finding peace within ourselves while there is chaos revolving all around is something that can set things in our control at ease.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.