October 20, 2020

And Now My Turn: What I’ve Realized About Myself Since Quarantine.

What Ive Realized About Myself Since QuarantineLast week, as some of you may have seen, I asked the question “in what ways are you different now than before quarantine and Covid?”

The answers truly blew me away because of how raw and honest they were. If you missed it and are interested in some of the responses, I saved a highlight to my stories titled “Covid Changes.” (if you’re reading this from your mobile, the Instagram links won’t work, but they’re in my highlights).

After reading all of your answers, I felt it was only fair that I shared mine. There’s no doubt that this year has been my most difficult one yet. On top of covid, I lost my father, so yea…. I’ve been unpacking a lot. 

I’m continuing to learn a lot about myself and what I need and don’t need to be genuinely happy.

What I’ve Realized About Myself Since Quarantine

Socially & Personally:

As I get older, I love being home. I love being with my family and I love being in a home that feels, I don’t know… homey?  I always like to set the mood by playing my favorite jazz playlists and with lighting that feels warm. At one point, Keith purchased some plant lightbulbs (don’t ask) that felt like they were out of a psych ward and it genuinely affected my mood. My surroundings have such an impact on how I feel and even something as trivial as the wrong light bulb shade trigger me to not feel comfortable or content.

Even when I’m renting a random Airbnb, I started emailing the home owner to inquire about the lighting situation. I don’t even mean natural light because obviously a lot of light is always ideal, but even having enough lamps and overhead light to feel bright and cheery. It sounds crazy, but it’s very important to me. I can also admit and it’s probably no surprise that home aesthetics really matter to me.

With that being said, what I knew to be true, has been confirmed over the last few months.

As much as I like being home, I need a social life. I am definitely not content just sitting around home, day after day, wearing nothing but loungewear. I need an excuse to get out. To get dressed up and to see people other than my family. I need quality friend time (and alone time) as much as I need family time.  A true libra in the sense that I thrive off a balance. I love intimate get togethers over dinner and wine and meaningful conversations.

If I don’t get enough of that, I start becoming very aggravated.  On the contrary, when I was reading all of your responses, many of you mentioned that you enjoyed being home way more than you thought and not having any social obligations or plans was kind of great.

I found the complete opposite to be true. I’m an ambivert and am not fully content just being home. I really need both to be happy. Now that we’re seeing people a bit more, I make it a point to have plans at least once a week.

One thing that I will say is that I have way less patience for BS. Covid has really enforced that I just want to spend time with people whose company I genuinely enjoy. I’ve removed myself from situations or people that I’ve questioned in the past. As the saying goes, ain’t nobody got time for that!

Mentally

I’ve definitely been way more anxious and snappy than normal and I am not proud of it. I often end up feeling guilty, especially if my patience is wearing thin with my family. It’s really the main reason that I’ll muter to myself “wow, I need to get some movement in or some fresh air…” It’s what helps me feel better and what makes me be a more patient mother and wife.  At one point, I was talking to my therapist (who I started talking to after my father passed away) and she said “just remember and I always have to say it, there’s always medication and there’s nothing wrong with that.” Right now, working out, getting some fresh air, seeing a friend for dinner or having a glass of wine seems to be doing the trick, but there are some days that are way harder than others.

Maintenance

While I’ve been wearing a lot less makeup than I ever have, I’ve realized that I enjoy “the maintenance” of taking care of myself. I don’t like to have unpainted nails (even though it happens), even if I’m just hanging around the house. I’m always walking around with a hair mask or face mask or some sort of odd contraption like an LED Mask.  It makes me feel like I’m in control of something and it adds to my overall “mental well being..” I’m happiest when I feel put together and it’s something I do for no one other than myself (maybe a little for Keith). Call me shallow, but it is what it is.

Physically

One positive is that quarantine has been good for me on a fitness level. I’ve always worked out, but never consistently. Since quarantine happened, I’ve been doing some sort of physical activity at least 4x a week. Even if it’s just for 20 minutes. Right now it’s a combination of Peloton and Melissa Wood Health.  In the past, I may have worked out for aesthetics, but these days, it’s way more for my health, sanity and mental well being.

Alcohol

I always loved a cocktail or a glass of wine, but admittedly, like many of you, I’ve been consuming way more since Covid. Now that things are not as crazy as they were in the early months, it’s less, but if many of you have admitted this, I’m right there with you.

New York City

This has been one of the most difficult ones for me. Currently, New York is not the city it was pre-covid and that’s dealing with another level of grief. It feels slightly weird and unfamiliar and there’s this weird energy in the air. I’m fortunate that where I live, it feels normal (considering the circumstances) and I really do love it. However, the island of Manhattan itself – well, that’s a different story.  Lately, I’ve found myself hypothetically fantasizing about what it would be like to live elsewhere. Somewhere a bit more peaceful, with a lot more space. The thing is, I don’t know where. I also don’t drive, so there’s also that major factor.

Additionally, I fear that I wouldn’t be as happy, but who knows, maybe I actually would?  I really don’t know, but this pandemic has made me question so many things, including what our future holds. With all this being said, I am just thinking out loud and right now, we don’t have plans to move, even though I know we’re not in our forever home. The fact that I just said all of this “out loud” feels crazy in itself.

For those of you who didn’t reply to my stories and wish to share here (obviously, it won’t be as anonymous), what have you realized about yourself or your life since quarantine and Covid?

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13 comments

  • Sel

    How much I miss seeing the unique, beautiful and expressive faces of people. Mandatory mask wearing has, in my humble opinion, dehumanised people.

    • Leah

      I completely agree and it’s so awful. Think of the babies and kids that NEED to see that expression to develop 😞

  • Nora

    Agree with so much of this. We moved abroad to London two years ago. It’s been so challenging not having any family supper nearby. We were just finding our footing and then the pandemic hit. We had so many plans this year to go into London and explore, visit other countries in Europe, and I find myself stuck here in a place that doesn’t quite feel like home. And grieving for missed time with family and friends. It’s a challenging time for all.
    I agree exercise and the peloton have been helpful as well as having a show to look forward to in the evening when the kids are in bed. I think even when I’m doing okay some days there’s all this pent up anxiety and sadness about this whole situation I’m definitely more tearful and irritable.

  • Ab

    I can relate to most of this. I moved from NYC across the country when covid started taking off in March. Now I’m living in my in law’s guest house with my fiancé – smaller than our NYC apartment and we are now both WFH.

    I don’t miss the current nyc and some of my friends left also/are leaving soon. What hits the hardest is moving to a new place during all of this and not being in our own home (that feels like us), not being able to meet new people, and being “stuck” in this weird in-between. Couple all of that with trying to plan a wedding during these times and you have a roller coaster of emotions. Some days are better than others, but the tears definitely come.. and often.

    MWH and Peloton are my saving graces as well 🙂

    I hate to complain as I know others have it much worse, but I just feel like I’ve lost a part of myself and am unsure when I’ll get it back.

    Thanks for sharing this + the responses. Makes me feel not so alone!

    • KF

      Omg AB… I’m so grateful to see someone was in the same situation as me! It was horrible, and very hard on our relationship. We since have left the in-laws (my fiancé has had to return to his NYC office) but wedding planning has been an added stressful burden amidst this. Especially when you aren’t in your own space and can’t then take liberties with that space. Also being with another persons family all the time – yeesh! Anyway you have a Covid experience twin out there 🙂 for me it’s nice not to feel alone in that experience.

  • Francesca Falletta

    Great post! Thank you for sharing. There is so much that has changed or stayed the same but I haven’t exactly been able to put into words. I miss my friends. I miss hugging my mom!

  • Janine

    What an interesting read! Thanks for sharing this and being so raw and honest!
    Xx Janine
    https://walkinmysneaks.blogspot.com

  • Cj

    As the mom of a student athlete I realized during the first major shut down how little margin I had and how much piled up because of it. While tense and super weird/uncomfortable this slow season has been restorative and productive for me. I’m amazed at how things are being rethought to make them work without the need to be in person…church, school, flute tutoring, workouts, etc. And while I’ll be glad, super glad even, when it’s over, I find myself trying to make the most of this time (movies with said Student Athlete, reading, working out with tracked goals beside just being slimmer, cooking more nutritious foods, and virtual time with friends…etc.). Staying focused on my faith and what needs doing is how I stay sane and keep pushing forward…my mind can’t be idle lol for even a short time. There have also been some good shows here and there…

    You are in my thoughts and prayers for the loss of your dear father.

    Also, love your style – have for years so thanks for sharing it with the world!

  • Amra

    Hey, Check this out. You are on our list of top 50 NYC Influencers .

  • Carmel

    I agree that I need a balance of being at home and socialising, even if it’s just meeting a friend for a walk. I exercise everyday now for the first time in my life, just because I know it makes me feel good. I have started putting a little make up on now because I am sick of looking drab. I’ve also realised I’m not a wine girl. For me, a pre dinner cocktail is all I need!

  • armenian

    How much I miss seeing the unique, beautiful and expressive faces of people. Mandatory mask wearing has, in my humble opinion, dehumanised people.

    https://YOUMOVISE.COM/LIST-ARMENIAN-SINGER/

  • Jody Winter

    Hi Helena. I live in Auckland, New Zealand. And while our quarantines have not been as intense as yours in the U.S., I hope you don’t mind me contributing to this conversation. Lockdown has confirmed that I am happiest when I have less social contact and fewer commitments and appointments. I’m very introverted and I really only like short bursts of social contact, then larger phases of isolation. I think I have learned to embrace this as ‘who I am’, and not some weird abnormality to be ashamed of. This has been very liberating. Maybe – thanks to COVID – there are things about ourselves that we previously thought went against social convention, but actually make us better humans? I know that I am more gracious and nicer to be around when I can socialise and be around others on my own terms.

  • Jatin Arora

    Great post! Thanks for sharing this! In my opinion, the mask should be mandatory for everyone! And the thing I miss the most is my get together with my friends.

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