What to do after quarantine

There is a lot of talk about when everything will reopen. Some states are doing it in May and others talk about July. This is the moment we have all been waiting for. Counting down the days to normalcy and getting back to our old ways. At first, I was so happy to hear it may be ending soon. I thought about all of the opportunities. Like everyone else, I am really over this whole quarantine thing.

I’ve made a list of what I’ll do once everything is open and we can return to “normal.” Bring all of the things that I’ve grown out of to the thrift stores. Take a walk around HomeGoods. Go to the pool and hang out with my friends while enjoying a homework-free life. I’ll be able to go get acai from a little smoothie place and get ice cream from a truck. 

Those are all of the things I have been waiting for. It’s almost summer and I don’t want it to be spent inside. It looks like slowly businesses are opening, people are working again, and some bit of normalcy will be coming back soon. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the coronavirus is gone or that we don’t have to take precautions. Still, it seems like there’s finally a light at the end of the tunnel. 

I’ve hoped for that light every day, but now I’m a bit nervous. I don’t know how any of it will work once the stay at home orders are lifted. Will I be able to hang out with my friends? Should I go out? How do I keep myself safe? There are a lot of unknowns and my anxiety isn’t a fan. Planning is what seems to ease the anxious thoughts and this situation is quite the opposite. During this time of uncertainty, I have been able to plan every day at home. Sure this wasn’t the best for my mental health, but I made it work just like everyone else. Now that is going away, or at least that’s what has been said in the news. Here are some tips I use to deal with the constant changes we’ve all experienced lately. 

  • Remember that you are not alone. This has been very influential in my emotions and thoughts. It can be easy to feel alone, especially when in theory we are having to be alone at this time. Quarantine has made it hard to feel a part of a community, but we are all in this together. 
  • Attend virtual therapy. Keeping my therapy appointments each week has been so helpful with keeping a schedule. Consistency is one of my favorite things and knowing that I always have an appointment every Wednesday helps keep that. If you do not have a therapist there are available online platforms. A popular option is Better Help.
  • Create boundaries for yourself. You can’t control the world, you can control how you act in it. Create a sense of routine and guidelines for each new experience. Decide how you want to act as we transition into a more physically social world again. This can be constantly wearing a mask, limiting the number of stores you visit or scheduling a certain time with friends. You have a bit of control in this situation!
  • Think about what you’ve accomplished. During this chaos, we’ve all had time to rest and check in with what we want. Some have started their own businesses, others have cleaned their homes, and some have watched as many movies as possible. Take whatever you have done and think about how it has benefited you. You will be able to take that with you no matter what happens. 

To be honest I don’t know how I’ll adjust to the reopening of everything. I’m sure I’ll be extra cautious and wash my hands every hour of every day. Through all of this, the only thing we can do is look forward to better times and take advantage of the time we have now. My biggest concern is the fact that I will have to not wear sweatpants every day and that is a very sad thought. Regardless, I am keeping a positive mindset and focusing on what I want to do when this is over and I am ready to live my life again. 

Stay happy and healthy everyone.