Quarantine Diaries: The Things I'll Take (And Those I'll Leave Behind)

Aleksija Vujicic

As I reflect on what is now more than 30 days of quarantine here in my apartment in Nolita, New York City, I consider the habits I have picked-up and formed during this unusual time. Some, I look forward to bringing with me once we are… dare I say it, let back outside.

Others force me to contemplate how I got here in the first place. How have I fallen into a rut of performing these mindless activities day in and day out, with no end in sight? These are the habits that I will happily leave in the past.

Both categories, however, have helped me think about the person I always want to be, quarantine or not. It’s a useful exercise that helps me feel like this time has not been wasted, but rather has helped me grow and expand into a better version of myself, which is something I’m always trying to do anyways. Perhaps they’ll help you, too, as you think about what habits and activities you would like to incorporate into your quarantine, and how post-quarantine you will be one that grew and learned from this experience.

Without further ado, the thing’s I’ll take and the things I’ll (happily) leave behind:

 

@aleksijavujicic

THE THINGS I’LL TAKE

 1. Making My Bed Every Single Morning

Before quarantine, my attempts to make my bed were, admittedly, a little sporadic. On mornings where I had a little extra time I was always conscious to make it, with thoughts of productivity (as well as slipping into a well-made bed) in the back of my mind. However, I was also guilty of haphazardly leaving my sheets undone as soon as I felt even the slightest bit rushed. In quarantine, I have no where to go, and consequently always make my bed. With 28 days of doing so behind me, I have officially formed a habit that I will continue every day from now on (and not every other day).

2. Game Nights With Loved Ones

I live away from my family, and pre-quarantine catch-ups consisted of simply talking on the phone. With this extended period of time, we’ve been forced to get a little more creative, and have engaged in family game nights on the Houseparty app, or having coffee over FaceTime. Similarly, my quarantine buddy and I have taken to playing card games on weeknights, painting side by side, and other similar activities, when before weeknights were restricted to very strict work night routines (dinner, work, TV, etc.)

These creative ways of bonding are something that have brought even more connection and closeness between myself and my loved ones, and is something I hope to continue even when it isn’t necessary.

3. Reading Fantasy Fiction Books

This is a big one, and I think one that many can relate to. I have always been an extremely avid reader, and one of my favorite activities is to curl up with a good book. Despite that, I seem to always have reasons as to why I don’t have time to read the books I love. Quarantine has gotten rid of those excuses, and now I read for nearly an hour every night before bed (if not more!). There is absolutely no reason I cannot continue to do this post-quarantine. What was I spending that hour doing anyways, if not mindlessly watching Netflix?

4. Being Mindful About Movement

Prior to quarantine, I woke up every single morning and headed out either on a run or to the gym, where I did some variation of the same running/HIIT routine. As the gym is no longer an option and I have chosen not to go for runs on the crowded west-side highway, I have been forced to become a little more creative while working out on my apartment building’s rooftop. This has, surprisingly, forced me to become more in-tune to the kind of workout my body is craving. I switch up my routines more regularly, allowing myself to listen when I feel like I might need to slow it down and work on stability (which is always difficult for me), or speed it up with some HIIT to burn off excess energy. Sometimes I just want to dance it out and so I tune into a Megan Roup class. Both my body and my mind feel better, and I look forward to including this variety when I do head back to the gym.

5. Actually Eating Regular Meals

My eating habits prior to quarantine had become, in truth, abysmal. As a result of my hectic schedule, I could not seem to plan my meals properly. I ended up not eating for hours at a time, leaving myself literally shaking with hunger, or otherwise never eating a meal and just snacking all day. I knew it wasn’t good for me, but I also couldn’t figure out how to rewind, reset and get my eating habits in order. Well, the universe answered and I have certainly had time to do that! I have returned to planning my weekday meals, making myself healthy snacks (like energy balls!) and eating at regular times (like actually having lunch!). I hope to continue these habits when I’m no longer at home all the time.

 

THE THINGS I’LL (HAPPILY) LEAVE BEHIND:

 1. THE ENDLESS DISHES

I know it’s not just me when I ask WHERE ARE ALL THESE DISHES COMING FROM. Why is the sink endlessly filled with dishes. Why do I feel like I am constantly doing chores. When will it end? I will not miss the endless pits of despair that have become my kitchen sinks. In fact, I will be grateful for the few times I have to load the dishwasher after this.

2. Cooking… and Cooking… and Cooking

Yes, I am grateful to have returned to a normal eating schedule. What I am not grateful is for the endless amount of food that has to be prepared to keep myself full. I don’t even think I realized how much food I needed to eat to nourish myself properly? If I have to look into the fridge and prepare myself one more snack one more time I’ll… Let’s just hope it’s over soon.

3. Spending All of My Time On My Phone

I don’t think I’ve ever spent this much time on my phone and been this unhappy about it. Being calling each one of my grandparents on a rotating basis, to checking in with friends and loved ones, to doing goodness knows what else, it feels like I am ALWAYS ON MY PHONE. For someone that gets serious social anxiety from texting and their phones in general, this is something I can’t wait to move past.

4. Live Stories Taking Over My IG

I get it, every brand (including us!) is trying to find new and fun ways to connect with their audiences. And I’m here for it. There is also some really fun IG content coming out of it, like Miley Cyrus’ Bright Minded Series or Olivia Perez’ interview with Joanna Czech. But it has gotten to the point where I have to scroll past the endless live stories that occur at all times just to see my own friends’ stories. I will not miss that.

5. My Health App Recording 6 Steps Per Day

I am the type of person that takes pride in my health app. Truly. I check it every night and if I don’t get over 10,000 steps, I’m bummed. Now, I average around 6. Turns out circling your apartment isn’t that great for steps. Catch me walking around the ENTIRE city after this. You want to meet uptown? I’ll walk there. Oh, you want to grab dinner? I’ll leave an hour in advance to get my steps in. I’m not getting in a car or metro I am WALKING. Take that, health app.

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