Just to give some context: I have been fortune enough to work from home since March 13th and I have not been sick yet (my workplace announced that everyone within our organization to work from home and Ontario to be in a state of emergency on that date). I am aware that my experience may not be a true representation of other people’s experiences at this time. However, I always try to look for positive things while also trying to see things in perspective.
Here are some positive things I have noticed since my self-isolation, that I did not expect to experience (not in order of importance):
I get to sleep more. I am talking about at least extra 10 hours of sleep per week! I used to wake up at 6am to commute to work by 8, and now I get to sleep until 8, and start my work at 9.
- My skin and even eyelashes have dramatically improved. Now I use way less makeup as I may only put some once a week instead of regular 6 times per week (I now put makeup on for online chat with my friends or if I have to turn on the webcam during team meeting).
- I get more time. Because I no longer have to commute to work, since I live in suburbs of Toronto, this saves me 3-4 hours PER DAY. As a result, I feel less tired, less stressed, and I don’t just get to have dinner two hours earlier, I get enough time to be able to reflect.
- Building on the previous point, I started reading more, paying more attention to the needs of others (more about it below), I get to spend more time with my pets (and both cats and dogs appreciate it).
- I also started consciously put more effort into managing my diet. At first I wanted to be vegan for a week, but then tried to at least be vegetarian every other day. I also dramatically increased the amount of fruits and vegetables in my diet, all my meals are home-cooked from scratch. In addition, I switched from regular milk to almond unsweetened vanilla milk (it’s pretty good), which makes a big difference since I add it to all my 3 coffees per day.
- Connecting with others. I started connecting more and better and with more people. I finally realized that I do not have to wait months before meeting my friend in person and so instead we connect via videos (Google duo is the best!) every other week. This is, of course, in addition to sending each other 100 corona-related memes per day. I also got in touch with most of my friends that live in other countries or on the other side of Canada. I get to have deeper and more open conversations with my husband, and, even at work I noticed I started connecting with more of my colleagues, more often, and it just feels great.
- Openness to new experiences. As I get to sleep more and have more time to reflect, I became more open to new things. I started a challenge with my friend where every day each of us comes up with the exercise routine for both of us to do and then we report back. To be honest, I have never done press exercises 100 times before! (everything hurt the next day). We also try new foods (current store lineups leave you with no choice but to grab whatever you can. Recently my husband got 4 lobster tails for $16. I will report back if frozen lobsters can be delicious.
- New opportunities at work. This may be more relevant to some of you then others, but our ability to connect and the common enemy enabled me and my team to unite and work together more. We have more brainstorming sessions, we use online tools and organize our files better (because we no longer can just walk to another person’s desk and ask to share things). We develop new plans and strategies and seek to use this opportunity to remind everyone not to take IT infrastructure for granted.
- Perspective. It is almost embarassing to admit, but most of the month of February and March I was feeling anxious because I had upcoming drivers test (it got moved to June). Now, given what is happening around world, with health and economic threats that majority of people are experiencing, it seems like worries before the quarantine took place in another life. I also turned 30 during second week of quarantine. If before quarantine I felt that unless I go to Las Vegas or at least to a spa and get expensive present my life would be meaningless, it quickly changed after self-isolation. Leading to my birthday, I had no expectations and just felt good when I could find a cake in the store. On my actual birthday, what mattered the most to me was that my husband was next to me, I was safe and healthy in my own home, and that my all friends and family thought of me and shared their best wishes.
- On the closing note, I would like to share the quote that my coworker recently shared with me, and we actually use it for inspiration at work. It goes like this: every challenge presents an opportunity. Yes, it is a stressful time but it may also give you insights into things you didn’t have time or energy to look into before. And, of course, stay safe and positive 🙂 nothing is permanent, it shall pass