Elle’s Edit: How To Keep Your Independence When Being Quarantined at Home

These times sure are weird, aren’t they?

I want to make this clear. There are thousands of other “bigger” problems right now than worrying about your independence. I get it but I want to be as real as possible as I know many people are dealing with this right now. Being in quarantine is just plain weird. You are trapped at home, it feels like you are doing something bad when you go to the grocery store, and you get joy when you can go for a walk. Not at all normal but hey, this is what life is right now and we are slowly getting accustom to this type of living.

Depending on your current living situation you might have made the executive decision to ride out the storm at mom and dads. That is what I’m doing after I spent some time in nyc, alone, in a 60 story apartment building that I just didn’t feel safe in as I was terrified to leave to go for a walk or to the grocery store. Even though I am enjoying my time at home, more space, have my parents, can take care of them if anything happens, etc it just feels different. I told my friends this but I feel like I’m back at boarding school. You live on a “campus”, you spend all day going to work, you have sports at the end of the day aka going on a walk or working out, and you go to the dining hall for dinner but lunch is kind of a free for all and you go between classes, you have to get permission when you leave campus but all that is missing is being with your friends all the time. I feel like I am back to my high school / middle school self and it is just weird to someone who is in their 20s.

Many people, like myself, whether married or not have made their way over to their parents. Since we will probably be here for at least another month, what can you do to keep your independence and live a normal life?

Keep your normal routine. Wake up at the same time, “get ready”, have breakfast, make your coffee, and do what you normally do at home before heading to work. When you are done with work do what you normally do. It is probably hitting the gym, having dinner, and then watching TV before bed. You can continue that at home and see it as just being blessed to have someone to eat dinner with.

Have me time on the weekends. I think this is when I really feel like I don’t have independence anymore. During the week I’m just so busy with work there really doesn’t feel like a difference between being “home” and not at my home. I went for a long walk, alone, on Saturday where I listened to MY music and it was so helpful. It is important to continue having time to yourself especially if you are quarantined with someone else. After my walk I also went on a drive and spent about an hour in the car. Let me tell you, it felt AMAZING getting out of the house and I felt like I wasn’t 16 anymore. On my drive I also stopped in the grocery store to get a couple of things that my mom needed (we try to go to the store every 2 weeks) and I bought things for myself that I normally would by and paid for it myself. I think that is really important to not be a “free loader”. Sure those words are harsh but I’m 100% a free loader right now and with that being said I wanted some things at the store so why not buy them myself? Gives you the sense of independence and at this moment of time it really goes a long way.

Tell your parents thank you. Have that conversation with them. My parents know that I am grateful that I’m down here but they also know that I miss my life, my apartment, my friends. They do feel “bad” for people in their 20s living in an exciting city with so much life and having life on pause for a couple of months. I think having that open and honest conversation of what you are feeling is important and they should respect what you have to say.

Continue to FaceTime your friends. We need to continue the friendships that we have and keep life as normal as possible. Since we are no longer going to restaurant and bars we have to try to keep that in our routine. Do a happy hour with friends or talk to them after dinner and play some games. This will feel like you are “going out” and will make you feel a sense of normality.

Do you feel like your independence is lost?

Thanks for reading Elle’s Edit. If you have any topics that you would like for me to discuss, feel free to email me at elizabeth.lane.dooley@gmail.com. I would love to hear from you! xo

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