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Quarantine changed us all. It’s not unexpected.

by Sejal 2 years ago in healing
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blogmas day 6

Quarantine changed us all. It’s not unexpected.
Photo by Anastasiia Chepinska on Unsplash

It’s true. We’ve all changed. Perhaps, not physically(though some of us have, thanks to Chloe Ting) but we definitely have mentally.

How could we not?

We’re stuck at home, listening to terrors happening every morning, wondering when this dreaded pandemic is going to be over.

We find ways to cope, things we never thought we would do before. I for one chopped off my hair, began working out, started listening to One Direction(hey, don’t judge me), spent way more time on my phone, wrote more, etc.

These aren’t out of the world copers, but I normally wouldn’t have time to do half of these things. (Probably because my time-management skills were horrible), but I adapted.

We all adapted.

And adaption means change, it means knowing you need to alter a few things. That things may never be the same, and it won’t.

Whether you like it or not, 2020 completely changed our outlook of life.

Other people will change.

When everything goes back to semi-normal, don’t expect other people to be the same. They changed just like you.

They might have met new people, and picked up other hobbies.

Maybe they got a new haircut or a different wardrobe. Maybe they have a different music taste now, or a different personality.

Perhaps you don’t recognize them anymore. What do you do then?

Nothing, because you don’t have any control over who they are. Just like they don’t have any control over who you are.

You could distance yourself, find other people.

And no one should fault you for that.

That’s your choice, it isn’t shallow to do that.

If they ask for an explanation, it would be polite to tell them. How? Well, here are some ways to word it;

- We all changed these past few months, and I feel like we don’t have the same interests anymore.

- We’ve grown distant, and sometimes I don’t recognize you. It’s not your fault, since these past months have taken a toll on all of us.

- I’m a different person now, and I believe our interests don’t align any longer.

The intention is to not sound condescending and rude but to get your point across at the same time.

By Noah Silliman on Unsplash

Lockdown was a distinct experience for everyone. Several had a stressful one, whereas others got a break. It transformed us in different ways, so if someone is short with you, it may just be because they have a lot on their mind.

So take into consideration that people have busier minds than usual.

It’s December, and for most, that’s when finals happen and the semester is wrapping up. Or when work gets more hectic, to finish those tasks before the deadline.

How are you supposed to get back to routine? Your precious routine, that, unfortunately, got disturbed.

You can’t. No way around it. Your usual routine won’t be beneficial anytime soon. All of these modifications, especially if you can’t stay at home anymore, will get in the way. It’ll leave people frustrated and worn out.

And that’s completely reasonable. People adapt and adjust, that’s just how we’re hardwired. And that’s frustrating at times.

You can’t fault anybody for that.

Have you changed?

On the other hand, how do you know if you changed? Well, ask yourself these questions;

  • When you look back at the previous months, do you resonate with who you were back then?
  • Think of a simple conversation you had in early 2020, would you act(or react) the same way?
  • Do you think someone from early January would recognize you(not physically)?
  • If you had to write a letter to yourself twice. One from January 2020, and one from August 2020, would they be different?

For me, the answers are clear. I am not the same person I was in January 2020. Are you?

But what happens if someone distances themselves?

You’ll probably be confused. Maybe you haven’t talked to them lately, and their decision surprised you. What do you do?

You respect their decision, that’s what you would want if you were in their position.

However, you can always ask them. Maybe, you’re genuinely confused as to why. Communication is so vital. Especially during these times.

Drop a quick text, or call them. Whichever is the most comfortable for you.

By Hassan OUAJBIR on Unsplash

But importantly, let go. You changed. They probably did too. It’s normal, let go and find someone else.

I’ve always believed that there’s a reason why people are placed in your life.

And they’re taken(murder does not count)away for a reason as well.

Be it the Universe, God, an unknown force, whatever you believe.

Different Coping Mechanisms

Let me be upfront, there’s no one size fits all. There are several coping mechanisms for dealing with stress.

And what works for me, may not work for you. But you won’t know until you try it.

So here are some positive coping mechanisms that you can give a try;

  • Writing(I find journaling extremely therapeutic){If you want to start journaling read this)
  • Drawing(especially with some soothing noise in the background)
  • Putting on some music and having a dance party by yourself
  • Try an instrument(this is frustrating for me- if I mess up- but others may enjoy it)
  • Take a warm shower(argue, debate, sing, it’s your shower time)
  • Take a walk(but wear a mask), walking in your backyard is fine too
  • Watch a favorite movie or at least one that won’t induce stress
  • Reading (If you're struggling read this.)
  • Play with your pet(if you have one- don’t steal your neighbors’ pet)
  • Read some inspirational quotes.
  • Cry(boy-o-boy is this one effective)
  • Exercise(It clears the mind, by making you wonder why you’re torturing your body)

These are just some positive coping mechanisms I use day-to-day.

But what about negative coping mechanisms?

Negative Coping Mechanisms:

  • Procrastination(This is a big one for me, folks)
  • Criticizing yourself
  • Chewing your nails (Yup, I do this too)
  • Binge eating(Guilty of this one as well)
  • Driving fast
  • Not eating enough
  • Drinking too much or drugs
  • Yelling(or taking your frustration out on someone)
  • Violence

These are just a few, and some may be more harmful than others.

By Nghia Le on Unsplash

Limitations

But like all things, coping mechanisms have limitations.

Such as;

  • Not being available on a daily basis
  • Not being able to provide complete relaxation
  • May lead to more stress(hectic holidays, competitive sports activities, etc)
  • Not being useful anymore, because of overuse.

Find something that works for you, and if it stops working try a new positive one.

Conclude

Quarantine has changed all of us. And it’s not our fault. When you look at the mirror remember we’re hardwired to adapt.

And when you look at someone else, remember the situation they may be in. Because they’re hardwired to adapt and change as well.

How you cope, may not be how others cope. Try a few positive coping mechanisms, and attempt to quit any negative ones you’re doing.

The circumstances might never be right, so just be who want to be.

How do you think you’ve changed these past few months? Let me know on Twitter!

Take care. (⌒∇⌒)

Disclaimer:

The original article was published on another platform.

healing

About the author

Sejal

Writer & Blogger | Student | Gen Z | Avid Book Reader | INFJ | (she/her)

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