With everyone in their homes self-quarantining, there are all kinds of suggestions for what to do while stuck in the house. Pick up a hobby, keep a routine, make yourself a schedule, allot certain times in the day for work, play, self-care, etc. The list goes on and on. But for me, I have found that the best thing to do every day is to not plan to do anything.
I wake up every day to no alarms, unless you count whining dogs jumping on you as an alarm clock, and no plan for the day. I may get up right away and eat, brush my teeth, and start working on some college coursework online. I may lie in bed for a while on my phone before I decide to get dressed and play hide and seek with my younger cousins who live with me. While I shelter in place, I’ve just been going with the flow.
I tried making myself a routine to follow but because I was the person who was telling me what I had to do, I didn’t want to do it. It’s not like I was going to punish myself if I didn’t wake up at 9 a.m. on the dot and instantly start on my history notes. If this virus has taught us anything, it’s that we can’t plan every aspect of our lives. In early March, I was sitting in class with my friends planning a trip to an amusement park on Easter Sunday. I planned to actually come back to school after spring break. I planned to attend my sister’s college graduation in May. I planned to be a camp counselor this summer. But the universe had other plans, so I am no longer planning out every single day of my life anymore. It’s the best way I know how to deal with all these new changes.
While having all of these plans fall through made me feel really hopeless and small for a bit, I have to admit it hasn’t been all bad. It slowed my life down, but after a few weeks of a slow-paced life, I found that this was actually kind of well-needed. Without having things to do and places to go to every day, my stress levels have gone down a significant amount. I feel more relaxed. Having all my plans suddenly gone has also really helped me learn how to just go with the flow. I can’t control everything, and that’s okay. Feeling like I needed to control every aspect of my life was a very tiring and fruitless mindset. Now, I just focus on the things I know I can do and worry less about those I can’t.