Like many of you, my world came to a halt when they shut down practically the whole world in March. We were basically forced to just stop, social distance, and wait out this pandemic until further notice. Roads became almost empty. Daily, there was nothing but Covid-19 related news. Everyone was scared to hug our loved ones or go to grocery stores. It was a scary time, and really, it still is.

While being on lock down-except for essential groceries or gas, I quickly learned how to slow down and appreciate life more. We started to hear how pollution was going away with people being off the roads and from industrial and commercial industries being at a halt. It was inspiring to see how many people came together during this unpredictable and scary time.

My boyfriend is an essential worker so he was still working as usual. However, my company, though also essential, chose to have office staff work from home. So there I was, at home and also trying to find every way I could to find anything preschool related to continue to teach my daughter, since her school had closed. It was challenging some days but then also pretty nice to get more quality time with my daughter as well.

Quarantine really taught me how to slow down in many ways and here is what I learned:

1. Quality time with kids.

This was probably the best thing to come out of quarantine for me. Though at times they were challenging, most of the time time I got to slow down and see my daughters life more through her eyes. I got to see first hand how she learned at school.

We played together much more than we ever had. We did more outdoors stuff as a family, around the house of course. She got more confident riding her bike and it was nice to just be present more.

So often, when working full time and commuting daily in traffic, I would get home and only have a couple hours with her before we put her to bed each night. Overall, I loved and appreciated the extra quality time I spent with my daughter during quarantine.

2. A more positive mood.

Oh man, this was a big change! No commute and not dealing with traffic meant a happier me! The effects that sitting in traffic have on your mood are just so negative. Of course it depends on how you make the best of the situation.

In San Diego, people are driving more and more intensely and accidents happen around us almost everyday. Which then causes drivers to get upset or frustrated. Most of the time I let it go after a few deep breaths, but there are definitely times where I brought that mood home with me.

However, with working from home, once I was done for the day with work, I could simply walk out of my home office and voila no traffic other than hallway tiny human traffic. Joking aside, It was the biggest relief.

Even now that I am back to working in the actual office and not at my home office, there is still not much commute and it is so nice. This change altered my mood entirely and brought out a more positive mood. I think many can relate to this, since so many of us are stuck in daily commutes coming to and from work.

3. More time for self-care.

One thing I had more of, was more time for self-care! I noticed many family and friends talked about having more time to focus on this rather than letting the pandemic beat us down and being depressed. Because, let’s be honest, depression and anxiety can creep up on us quickly if we aren’t taking care of and paying attention to our mental health.

I learned quickly to try and keep busy and that’s just what I did. I was taking more time for skincare, and listening to more positive podcasts to better my mental and emotional health.

I also started to take better care of myself physically by working out more. Now I know what you’re thinking, how did a full time working mom juggle distance learning, work, the house and all this time for herself. Let me tell you, life is about how you make the best of a situation, not how you let a situation get the best of you. There may not be time for everything you want to do every day, but you can find time for everything you want to do every week.

Slowing Down Matters

If there is one thing to take away from this arguably terrible time we are living in, it’s that we have to remember to slow down and appreciate life more. As we’ve seen the rise in Covid numbers-regardless of your opinion on the matter, we have to remember that our lives can end in an instant.

Taking the time to slow down, appreciate our loved ones, being more positive, and practicing self care more often are some of the best goals we can set for ourselves to live a better life. Most importantly, these are great goals to set to be a better you.

The quarantine made time basically stop. In the wake of so much tragedy, I am rather happy that I learned to have a different approach and a better perspective on life. I hope this also helps you.

How did the quarantine affect your life? Has this unruly time impacted you negatively or positively?