How to Change your Mindset About Quarantine #AloneTogether


Nhi (Nina) Tran, Mental Health Editor/Contributing Writer, Mayer AZ

Are you staying at home and feeling down that you can’t go anywhere? You’re not alone!

It’s true that with the pandemic is getting worse and our time staying at home will be extended to who-know-when, it is hard to stay optimistic. However, there are many things we can do to make this sedentary lifestyle (which is new to some) a little easier to adapt to.

A wise man once said: “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” (I know there are many funnier versions of this quote but let’s just stick to the original”).

So yeah, when life gives you a bunch of “boring and useless” time at home and you think you have nothing to do, you can still make the best out of it and make this “event” meaningful. All it takes is to change your mindset about self-quarantining, or staying-at-home, which is what most of us are doing right now. That’s what I’m here for today!

These are 6 negative mindsets that we usually possess and 6 positive affirmations to have instead. I hope you will like it and learn something useful for yourself!

1. I’m safe at home

Instead of: “I’m stuck at home”

It is so easy to tell yourself how boring lockdown is, but let’s think about it. Isn’t it super lucky that you still have a steady roof over your head and enough food to eat? Moreover, we are so lucky to stay peacefully safe at home while many people are fighting this virus restlessly (shout out to our heroic health workers who are at the front-line).

I hope you won’t beat yourself up for complaining, but try to slow down and be grateful for what you have and what you don’t have to deal with. I know it’s different for everyone, but there must always be something to be thankful for in your life, right?

2. I will focus on what I can control and make my time at home meaningful 

Instead of: “Quarantine sucks!”

Not being able to go out and have fun for too long doesn’t seem very pleasant. Although we are not capable of putting an instant halt into its spread (but we can together reduce it!), there are many things that we can control and make our time at home more delightful. If you’re struggling mentally or already have for a while, this is a perfect time to take special care for yourself. There are many things you can put in your self-care menu. Here are some of mine:

  • Don’t check the news and social media too often.

  • Eat mindfully and drink enough water.

  • Use the time to think about why you are struggling, what can you do to fix it, and write it down! Keeping a journal is not a bad idea during this time.

  • Be gentle with yourself. You’re trying your best!

  • Stay connected with friends

  • Reach out for help if needed (if you want to chat with an active listener, I recommend 7cups).

  • Before you complain about a situation, try to imagine three situations that are worse than the one you’re facing. You will realize, “maybe this is not that bad”.

Take good care of yourself! Remember, you are not alone.

3. I will do all those things that I told myself I’d do when I have time

Instead of: “I have nothing to do”

I am pretty sure that not just during this time that we have ever said: “I have nothing to do”. I used to tell myself that every weekend, then realize I had totally wasted my precious time that I could have used for my hobby or practice writing.

Have you ever had anything to get done or started but always tell yourself “I will do it when I have the time”? Now you do! Why not using this time to do something useful, like develop your hobby, learn a new recipe, start a remote project, write an article, anything that you’ve always waited for the time to do? This is the time! Let’s all make it worthwhile!

4. I will use my time wisely to benefit myself

Instead of: “Let’s just kill time”

“The key is not in spending time, but in investing it” – Stephen R. Covey

Okay, now we have the time, what’s next? Binge-watching Netflix, sleep for 12+ hours a day, playing games from morning to night? Yes, and no!

It is obviously fine to relax and treat yourself a little sometimes. I used to spend 2 weeks of summer break to watch 9 seasons of the “How I Met Your Mother” series and eat junk food nonstop (I’m sorry, mom). During that time, I didn’t care much about my daily routine and health. My diet and sleep schedule were all messed up!

Little did my 15-year-old self know, the line between self-love (through actions) and self-destruction is very thin. Yes, giving yourself a break is essential, but it’s super important to know when to stop and get back to your usual routine.

Instead of devouring junk food days and nights, why don’t we use this time to try out new, healthy recipes? Instead of playing video games or binge-watching Netflix, we can pick up a book or develop our hobby. It is hard to resist the temptations, but I believe we are all responsible for ourselves enough to make such bold decisions. You can do it, I know you can!

5. It’s great that my friends, family, and I are practicing good social-distancing to protect one another!

Instead of: “It’s sad that I can’t go out and have fun”

Not being able to go out for a while doesn’t seem pleasant. Yet with the pandemic is getting worse, social-distancing and staying-at-home are the only things that most of us can do to reduce the spread, at least in our community. During a time like this, even the smallest acts, like being patient at home or wearing a mask when you go outside could mean a lot in flattening the curve of the increasing cases. Give yourself and your family and friends a high-five for all of the efforts in fighting this virus, no matter how big or small. Besides, there is a bunch of healthy ways to have fun without going out, right? Here are some of mine:

  • Trying out new, trending recipes like Dalgona coffee, souffle omelet, souffle pancakes, etc
  • Filming myself cooking and edit it like an ASMR cooking video on Youtube
  • Creat graphic designs, like posters, infographics, and vision boards on Canva
  • Learn how to dance by following Youtube videos
  • Bullet-journaling
  • Sleep 🙂

These are the 6 positive affirmations about self-quarantine that I believe we all should have. Not only it could help your staying-at-home time more enjoyable, but it can motivate you to do something meaningful and productive for yourself.

Nhi also published her article in The Teen Mag.