Former Norseman staff member’s take on COVID-19: Robert Morgan – Class of 2015

My Loneliness Is (Not) Killing Me: Tips on Surviving Quarantine

Wake up. Eat breakfast. Watch a home workout video on YouTube. Shower. Watch TV. Eat lunch. Watch the news. Freak out about the news. Scroll through Twitter. Watch Instagram stories. Eat dinner. Facetime friends. Watch TV. Go to bed. Rinse. Repeat.

This is our new reality. In the blink of an eye, our lives and routines were uprooted. School doors are shut, businesses are closed, and people have lost their jobs. We all can be feeling a whirlwind of emotions – we’re scared, angry, lonely, and sad. We miss our friends, we worry about our loved ones, and we’re begging for this to end. Will this ever end?

That is one of my biggest worries: will we get back to a sense of normalcy? When I try to make summer plans or think about next school year, I can’t shake the feeling that we might not go back to the life that we knew or that we’ll have to go back into quarantine at the end of the year. Will I ever get to see my grandma again? Are my students okay? Will my friends and I get to be together again? These thoughts swirl around in my head everyday and I’m trying to find even the smallest hint at an answer.

Not everything has been bleak, though. I’ve laughed with my family while playing jackbox.tv games, I’ve been inspired by the healthcare workers who keep us safe, and I’ve been able to virtually reconnect with old friends. I’ve laughed at TikToks and been drawn into the drama of Tiger King. I’ve gotten to snuggle with my 15-pound cat more. In these unprecedented times, finding moments of hope and joy keeps me moving forward.

With everything in our lives being turned upside down, it’s important for me to have some tools to help me when I get overwhelmed. Here are four tips on how I manage to get through the day:

  1. Breathe in, breathe out. When I get overwhelmed, I breathe in for 4 seconds, hold that breath for 4 seconds, and exhale for 6 seconds. This technique is proven to reduce stress and it redirects your focus from what is overwhelming you to your breathing.
  2. Spend some time outside. When I’m inside, I’m glued to my phone or the TV all day long. The constant “Breaking News” alerts I see make me feel like I cannot catch a break from COVID-19, so putting my phone down and stepping in the sunshine for at least 5 minutes helps me reset and feel better.
  3. Rest, rest, rest. You all have been working hard on learning how to use Schoology or how to do your jobs while social distancing. We live in a world that prioritizes productivity which leaves us feeling overworked and burned out. Don’t feel guilty for taking time to rest, you deserve it.
  4. Stay connected with your friends and loved ones. Just because we have to be apart doesn’t mean we have to be alone. Phone calls, group Facetimes, or sending friends a funny meme you saw, any of these can help us feel connected to each other in a time that we need it the most.

We don’t know if we have reached our peak infections yet. We don’t know when social distancing will end. We don’t know when we will get a vaccine. There is so much we don’t know going forward, but we do know that we must all take action to keep ourselves and our neighbors. Wash your hands, stay inside, and take care of yourself. We will get through this.