• Tess Varley

Coping with Self-Isolation

I was beginning to think that I would never contract COVID-19, but two weeks before the end of the semester, I found myself in quarantine at home. This concludes my semester, where my classes will transition back into fully remote. Now, alone, I am struggling to deal with the anxiety of who I’ve potentially infected, what symptoms might come next, what the long term effects may be, and overall, being alone. There is still so much of the virus that is so unknown, which adds on to the stress of uncertainty.

Over the years, whenever I found myself in need of reflection, I always stuck to the same routine. I would go for a run, walk, do some yoga, or just get outside. Now, during the moments I’m in most need of a coping mechanism, the things I always turned to are out of reach. This self-isolation means I need to find new ways to relieve stress; calming my mind, body, and soul. Therefore, I created myself a routine. I wake up and do five minutes of breathing, open the shades, and create a mental plan for the day. I prioritize finding time to drive 1A, the scenic road that overlooks the ocean in New Hampshire. I pull over to my spot, and write.

I find myself looking for gratitude in the simplicity of nature around me. I’m grateful for the peace I get from the noises of the ocean. The calmness that overcomes me is something unique—I feel grounded. It reminds me that what I am feeling now is so small in the grand scheme of things. Almost every day, I am able to catch the sunset, something that, no matter what, will always remain. Even in the rain, when you can’t see the colors, you know that behind the dark clouds the sunset is still there. In a world of chaos, it is a constant that I know I can always depend on.

These 14 days, although difficult, are possible. This global pandemic, despite isolating individuals from one another, have created a sense of togetherness. I know that I will cherish little moments with individuals and appreciate the simple things more than I would have prior. I have tried to take this day by day, reminding myself that whatever tomorrow brings, today is where I should focus my energy.

Do not forget to take care of yourself: remember to self-reflect, breathe, and remind yourself that it will be okay!

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