US-NEWS-HOW-PEOPLE-ARE-TURNING-TO-6-NJA.jpg

Being quarantined doesn't mean putting a halt to your life, and this time can even be used to better yourself.

The rapid spread of COVID-19 has increased the need for social distancing. This is a measure that will save the lives of many people, but it can also be disappointing to see the impact it leaves from a social standpoint. Events that some have been looking forward to, such as concerts or sports games, and commencement ceremonies may now be indefinitely postponed or canceled completely. Now, many are stuck isolating inside away from friends and family in a situation they never believed was possible.

Though the thought of being in self-quarantine can be dreadful, there are plenty of upsides to self-isolation that one may not have considered. A global pandemic isn’t an ideal reason for one to have an unlimited amount of time for themselves, but often, life gets busy, and it’s easy to forget the importance of self-care. Balancing a loaded schedule consisting of classes, work, relationships and other social events can easily take up someone’s time and leave little room for them to focus on themselves. 

Now is the time when people can begin projects or hobbies that they’ve wanted to begin but haven’t had the time. For example, one can paint rooms in their house or fix objects that needed to be worked on because time finally allows it. One can spend more time reading or writing, doing art or cooking more. It’s necessary now more than ever that everyone is keeping themselves safe and healthy, and keeping oneself fulfilled by satisfying specific objectives that have been put on the back burner is one of the several ways.

Self-isolation can be a time for self-development. It can be a time for one to reflect on their decisions and re-evaluate their emotional wellbeing. Self-awareness is an essential foundation to have through life because it allows us to be completely in touch with ourselves. 

Now, the world has been presented with an unprecedented amount of alone time that people can use to better themselves. Though the thought of being alone with inner thoughts for so long can be scary, it can be a beneficial time for one to think about their current situation and see if there are any adjustments to make.

If there’s toxicity in certain aspects of someone's life, now is the time for them to reflect on their career paths and relationships that might be inflicting those negative feelings. If someone wants to get into a strict diet or exercise routine, now is the perfect time. In unforsaken circumstances, the world has been put on pause. Now is the time to have realizations and make decisions that’ll grant more happiness to one's life. 

Isolation doesn’t equal staying inside, either. People should be limiting their interactions with others, but spending time outdoors is also an option as long as everyone is maintaining a six-foot distance from each other. Being outside gives our bodies Vitamin D, improves immune systems and increases creativity, according to the Student Conservation Association. If sitting inside begins to feel suffocating, spending time outside is a productive and healthy option.

If there’s one thing society can gain from this pandemic to implement into their daily lives, it's that every day should be lived like tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. Take the time now to do some self-discovering, start new hobbies or finish old projects while stuck inside to make the most out of isolation. 

Joanna Sommer is a sophomore media arts and design major. Contact her at sommerjj@dukes.jmu.edu.