Expectation: I’m going to love all the extra family time
On the other end of the spectrum, you have people who are quarantined with lots of other people. The expectation is that you will want to play all the board games, watch all the movies, and enjoy every moment of family bonding. Or is it bondage? “It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the socialising – particularly if you’re naturally more introverted, Sultanoff says. “It’s okay to take some time to yourself to just breathe.”
Reality: “Designate somewhere that is your own physical space and schedule time each day to retreat to it, alone,” he says, adding that walks outside or sitting in your yard can also be good opportunities for alone time.
Expectation: Nothing is going to change with work
Nearly everyone has been affected professionally in some way by this pandemic and it’s unrealistic to think that you’ll be able to maintain the same level of work as you were before, Wolkin says. People who lost jobs may experience an extra level of guilt and shame, worrying that they weren’t good enough. “If you’ve lost work, know that it wasn’t your fault, you didn’t deserve this, and you couldn’t have prevented it,” she says. “Don’t make this economic disruption personal – your job doesn’t define you as a person.”
Reality: Set aside an “office” and schedule regular work hours, doing your best to do your job, then resist the temptation to either slack off or become a workaholic, she says. “You have to keep the big picture in mind, this isn’t going to last forever,” she says.
How not to fail at quarantine
Whenever you feel FOMO, one of the best things you can do is to simply treat yourself and others with extra kindness and gentleness. “Kindness kills competition,” Sultanoff says. If you’re not feeling very kind or connected, laughter is powerful medicine. “Humour has physical, emotional, and cognitive benefits,” he says. “Nothing helps you regain perspective and remember that we’re all in this together like a good joke!”
Reality: Go read funny quarantine quotes, check out coronavirus memes, watch funny videos, listen to hilarious podcasts and then make sure you share them with others and spread the love.
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