Quarantine And Self-Care
by Saleam Singleton
A year ago
I've been thinking lately about what I’ve gotten out of quarantine. At first, it wasn’t much different from the years prior. I had been home-based for some time. I had gotten used to time in front of screens, as I did my best to use my living space as my workspace. In the beginning, it was easy because it felt like more of the same. I had already gone through the challenges of living alone. I didn’t think there were any lessons left to learn from the experience. I took it for granted then. I was so focused on work and creating, I forgot all about taking time for myself.
It took me a while to realize how different things had become post quarantine. For the first time, I didn’t have a choice in where I worked or spent any of my time. Things did begin to slow down. This gave me space to truly analyze my life in New York. When I was based at home by choice, I didn’t allow any time for self-reflection. As cliche as that may sound. I needed that valuable “me time”. Not just time by myself. Especially in a city like this. I suddenly had time to stop pretending I was so busy. The problem was that I needed to slow down.
Only now have I been able to take the necessary steps towards better self-care. It’s not an overnight miracle or a story of self-discovery over the summer of 2020. It’s a process that I’m truly just starting. Having this time has allowed me to look at myself from the outside. Of course, it isn’t complete perfection. I can either break old habits or create new ones. At least I’m getting the opportunity to understand myself a lot more. I get to rediscover what I want and need. These are things that change as we get older and move throughout our lives.
What have I gotten out of quarantine? It became more about what I lost. It was the luxury of choice. I could no longer choose to put off those deeper aspects of self-care. This includes personal relationships and mental health. It’s still an ongoing process. Now I have the luxury of time. It turns out I needed that more than I ever knew.