As we all know, the world has changed a lot this year. We all have had to adapt to the changing environment and really change our perspective in life. For some of us, it has also been really hard to let go of our normal habits and daily routines, when we just simply can’t go outside to live our normal lives. And the truth is, this situation will continue like this a long time, and we just simply have to find a way to make our peace with it. The important thing in an uncertain situation like this is not to lose hope and keep thinking positive. I have personally learned a lot while being in quarantine, and I would like to share some of my main learnings with all of you.
The first thing that I have learned during the past few months is to appreciate little things. It may sound like a cliche, but it really has made a big difference in my life. For example, just taking a walk in my neighborhood and listening to music while watching the view and the beautiful nature has really lightened up my mood every day. I have started to pay attention to the little things and started to appreciate the fact that we in Finland have nature around us all the time. Walking and watching the trees and enjoying the beautiful landscape has just made a big impact on me.
Another thing I have learned is how to enjoy my own company. I’m the most extroverted person ever, and it is really hard for me to be alone. Of course, I like being alone sometimes, but maybe just a couple of days and then I have to be social again. When I realized that I had to just stay home alone, I was freaking out a little bit. It was really hard for me to just be alone at first, but then I kind of got used to it. I found ways to enjoy my own company and to entertain myself. I have learned a lot about myself lately and I can say that being alone a long time is not such a big issue to me anymore.
While being alone, I have also learned how to focus on myself. I think that during these past months I have grown as a person more than ever before, which is kinda amazing. I have had time to concentrate on improving myself and really focusing on my ways of thinking. I have learned how to make time for myself instead of worrying about other people all the time. I have also taken time to do all the things that I love and I don’t usually have time to do that much. For example drawing and painting. I have been drawing a lot, sometimes the whole day. I have always loved drawing and everything artistic, and doing those things makes me feel good. I have also been singing a lot lately because I love singing and it makes me feel free in some way. I think that making time to do those things is really important if they make you happier. You have always time to do something you care about if you really want to.
One thing that has made me stay sane is making every day somehow productive. If I have something to do every day, I feel a lot better. It doesn’t have to be anything big, just planning on cleaning the apartment or even taking the garbage out can make me feel more productive. I’m the kind of person who is scared of wasting time and I have to do something all the time. That has given me the motivation to do something creative or important because I can’t say that I don’t have time. All I have is time.
As well as being productive, I have learned how to relax. I have never liked to just chill and stay in bed all day, I just need to be moving all the time. I always feel guilty if I don’t do something important all the time. But in quarantine, I have had time to learn how to relax and not feel guilty about it. For the first time in my life, I have spent some days just watching movies and not doing anything else, and that has been kind of liberating. I have learned that I can just chill and that is okay.
After all, I think that the most important thing I have learned in the past few months is how to be more self-aware and how to really concentrate on my own health, mental and physical. I have also learned how to be more and more positive, even if it feels like the world is falling apart. I have learned how to keep myself together in the middle of chaos, and that is a pretty good accomplishment.
This post was written by Eina Hakulinen, Vice President of Outgoing Exchange of AIESEC Oulu.