North Texas Daily

This & That: People shouldn’t be pressured to keep busy during quarantine

This & That: People shouldn’t be pressured to keep busy during quarantine

This & That: People shouldn’t be pressured to keep busy during quarantine
April 17
11:30 2020

i With the coronavirus lockdown still in place for Denton County and no clear indicators of the virus stopping anytime soon, there is a whole bunch of nothing to do. While I do hope everyone continues to do their schoolwork so they can stay on course to graduate, I also hope people use this time to complete short-term goals they set for themselves no matter how small they might be. But you should not be hard on yourself if you do not complete everything you want to achieve.

We are living in a very unusual time under very unfortunate circumstances. It’s obvious there is a change in the atmosphere. Crowded dorms are far emptier than they ever have been and the campus itself closely resembles a ghost town since students went home to be with their families. In addition to this, if you go to the grocery store, aisles of basic items like toilet paper and hand sanitizer are wiped clean from the shelves. Often you have to make multiple trips to different stores to grab necessities only to then go back home and isolate yourself due to the stay-at-home orders currently in place.

Things can get boring really quick and people are missing traditional life like before. People miss being with their friends and having the ability to go out anywhere they want. With the emotional burden of this lock-down, it’s only natural for people to not feel any motivation to do anything. While I think it’s a bad idea to not doing anything during this lock-down, I think people shouldn’t feel pressured to constantly keep themselves busy.

To get through this lock-down, you need to look at it as a blessing and as a curse. Yes, the lock-down does suck but there are ways to manage the stress of being confined to your personal living space. If you weren’t labeled an essential worker and are currently out of work, use this as an opportunity to take a mental break. Americans will typically spend 90,000 hours or roughly equivalent to a third of their life at work. There will be an end to this outbreak and when the lock-down is lifted, there will be far more time to be productive because life will reset to normal. Protecting your mental well-being is far more important.

I’m not an advocate for laziness, but I feel people should be able to use this lockdown as sort of a stay-cation. The virus will most likely drag to the end of the year which means vacation plans during the summer are all but dashed. If you want to spend time by yourself after contributing to this capitalistic society, have at it. Don’t mind if people are judging you, leisure time is yours for the taking. Watch movies or TV shows that will lift your spirit.

If anything, I feel the desire to be productive during this time is the want for a return to normalcy. The old normal was to come home from a long day of work or a long day at school and relax. Now the situation has been reversed and it leaves people scratching their heads. It’s no doubt of mine people are using productivity as a coping mechanism from this lock-down instead of genuinely wanting to keep themselves busy.

People in areas with higher COVID-19 cases are more likely to be mentally distressed than people in less affected areas, according to a report from the University of Sydney. Participants in a study who spent two and a half hours exercising reported a worsening life satisfaction than participants who exercised for half an hour. Both groups were from heavily affected areas.

We have to stick together to get through this event which is frankly taking an emotional toll on everyone. Everyone is going to handle this stress differently. Some people are going to take this lockdown as an opportunity to accomplish goals they set for themselves they otherwise wouldn’t have had time to do. And if some don’t, who cares? Social distancing will keep you from knowing anyways.

Featured Illustration: Miranda Thomas

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Adrian Maldonado

Adrian Maldonado

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