7 Things We’ve Learned About Ourselves During Quarantine

Though it wasn't always easy to find the silver linings over the last year, we've learned so much about our sense of self during quarantine.

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We hate to be the 10,000th person to bring it up this week (month?) but…can we just take a moment to acknowledge that we have been in some state of quarantine and enduring the COVID-19 pandemic for an entire year now? Like seriously, how NUTS?! 

As much as we’d like to say we’ve been the “there’s always a silver-lining” people this entire time, that would be a lie. We’ve all been dealing with some heavy sh*t and it’s been a trying and eye-opening time to say the least. It’s safe to say that a lot of us have had to re-evaluate our priorities, habits, and relationships in a whole new way. So, we wanted to take a moment to call out a few of the things that we have learned to value in the past year. 

Hobbies

We don’t know about you, but all this extra free time left us seriously wondering how the heck we don’t have any hobbies. Now, suddenly, we were envious of those people on IG always posting about their niche side-hustle or love of homemade kombucha. 

A lot of us turned to baking sourdough and posting the process on our social media platform of choice. It was a rite of passage that we don’t like to trash because, well, it was a desperate time for everyone and also, sourdough is delicious. But once that phase died down, it was really time to face the music. Whether it’s baking, puzzling, needle-pointing, running, or writing poetry, you’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t at least dabbled in the hobby game this year. And we’re here to say, we’re better for it. 

Morning routines  

Those early days of late starts spent begging your little ones to quiet down long enough to get through your morning meeting were SUCH a treat. Let’s be real, those hectic mornings made it close to impossible to focus on daily to-dos and, personally, we felt ourselves slipping from the organized, powerhouse parent we used to know and love. Seriously, who knew we’d actually miss our morning commute?!

As time passed and we were able to get into some semblance of a schedule, changes had to be made. Whether you’re a real go-getter and set your alarm to get up before the kids for that much-needed alone time or take a 10 minute morning walk to get some fresh air for the day, a morning routine has become essential to our well-being. 

Boundaries

Ah yes, the elusive, mythical idea of boundaries that everyone seems to be talking about. No matter how much you love your little ones or your partner, it’s only natural to reach a breaking point when you spend 24/7 with someone…or multiple someones. This year, we finally learned that our mental health is important and that, until we acknowledge what we can and can’t tolerate and actually communicate that to the people we love, we will not make it through this time with our sanity intact. We learned the true value of caring for yourself first and finally understood that you really can’t pour from an empty cup.

Nature

Pre-pandemic, we loved a good ole’ nature walk. Post-pandemic, we need a good ole’ nature walk. There’s nothing like being stuck inside staring at a screen all day to get you craving fresh air and the great outdoors. It’s truly mind-blowing just how therapeutic it is to spend time outside and connect with your surroundings. This past year, we found ourselves making every excuse to get outside for even just a few minutes. Even with a mask on, a walk through the neighborhood, a picnic at a local park, or a drive to our favorite nearby hike has become a key part of our pandemic lifestyle. 

Getting dressed up 

When we say we hopped on the PJ-all-day train fast, we mean we basically started the movement. Whoever spent March and April getting dressed for the day deserves a gold freaking star. However, as much as we love our trusty coffee-stained sweats, it did get pretty old looking in the mirror and feeling like we didn’t even recognize the person staring back. We’re not going to lie and say that we are now in the group that wears denim to WFH (hats off to you). BUT, we will say that we’ve invested in some newer, trendier sweat sets and even put on a little mascara before our all-hands zoom meetings. Plus, on some Friday nights, we put on our favorite slinky dress and do a full out *lewk* that makes our partner do a double take.

Of course, everyone’s idea of looking and feeling their best is completely different but it’s nice to finally know where you land when you don’t have the societal pressures to look amazing on the daily weighing you down. Now, we’re finally dressing for ourselves, and that feels pretty dang good. 

Movement 

Don’t get us wrong, we were definitely those people that happily ditched our exercise routine the first few months of quarantine. The unlimited sit-on-the-couch-in-sweats time was just all too tempting…who could resist?! But the novelty of that wore off might we say…rather quickly, and we found ourselves craving a long stretch on our yoga mat or a hard-core cardio burst more than ever before. 

The lack of stimulation, movement, and endorphins in our new day-to-day routine left us starved for a serious release from the moment. Now, exercise has actually started to become one of the things we look forward to everyday, an anchor in the hectic storm that has become our new normal. Sure, some days we don’t make it on that morning walk or to our yoga mat for our new go-to virtual workout, but we’ve come to appreciate movement for the blessing that it is rather than something we just check off our to-do list. And for that, we’re thankful. 

Practicing gratitude

We’ll be the first to admit that there has certainly been a healthy dose of self-pity to go around this past year. Let’s face it, it’s hard not to think about the woulda, shoulda, coulda’s of life when you’re sitting on the couch watching the world around you crumble. And while we most definitely stewed in those feelings for longer than we care to admit, we found solace in acknowledging the things we’re grateful for, small or large, on a more consistent basis. Whether you list them in your head before bed, share them with your partner in the morning, or write them down in a gratitude journal, acknowledging the things that we’re grateful for has made us happier and more at peace in our day to day lives. 

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