5 Important Things I Have Learned During Self Quarantine

Life lessons come in many shapes and sizes and often in times in which we least expect it. On my own personal journey across the world, I am constantly faced with new lessons (some harder than others).

As I am traveling, my mind is constantly being exposed to new ideas and beliefs, which is why traveling is so addicting for me.

I have had many realizations throughout my travels, but what I have realized is that the BIGGEST and most transformational lessons that I have had until this moment have been when I consciously took time to “disconnect” a bit from the world and connect deeper within.

When I say “disconnect,” I refer to just a slight change in pattern from my normal digital nomadic life, where my computer and phone are always in hand, and my mind is constantly in motion, thinking of new ways to earn money while on the road so that I can continue to live my dreams of traveling the world.

As a digital nomad, the amount of time you spend connected to your computer, creating content and pitching ideas to companies, highly depends on the amount that you will make (or not make) at the end of the month.

Just a disclaimer: I would NOT trade my nomadic lifestyle for the world. Everything in life has its pros and cons.

I do admit, however, that a little disconnection from time to time is not only healthy but absolutely necessary.

Since 2015, I have traveled extensively across the world, trying to experience as much as humanly possible while I have no significant other or family to answer to.  Traveling is not a vacation for me, but rather a lifestyle. It has become my norm so much that even the thought of “settling down” or staying in one place for a short amount of time makes me feel a bit claustrophobic.

SO far from the normal right?

Most people my age, especially from where I am from in the USA, are looking for stability, a promising job, a good husband, and eager to start a family.

And me….

Well, I am an oddball and definitely the black sheep of the family, BUT that’s okay. We all have to live our own dreams, although it might be off the wall, right?

My life as a traveler is everything but isolated and quiet. However, in the midst of the world COVID crisis I am forced into solitude. All my travel and life plans have been completely turned upside down and we are all left to wait and see just what happens next.

In this article, I wanted to share 5 lessons that I have learned (or better said, just realized to a greater scale) during this isolated time in self-quarantine.

1. IMPORTANCE OF CONNECTION TO SELF

 

We are meant to connect and share with other human beings. For many people, these human physical/emotional connections are everything and without them, they feel completely empty and alone.

In a time of strict isolation, it is normal to feel disconnected, and even a slight feeling of loneliness. 

I think we have all felt it at some point or another, no?

Sure, we live in a technology age and in just a click of a button we can connect with our family and friends all the way across the globe, although it’s just not as good as human to human contact (in my opinion).  The crazy part is that many people say that this global crisis has actually caused them to connect more than they ever have in their lives with others.

I have to admit, this has not been my case.

You would think with a person that is constantly on the go and meeting and talking to new people every day, like myself, would be going a bit crazy and reaching out to as many people as possible.

But no…..

It has been very strange for me.

I am an extroverted person, but this quarantine has caused me to walk in the shoes of an introvert. I have spent hours a day reading books, going on long silent walks/runs, and just keeping to myself. I have been trying to fully engage myself in my own personal growth and development journey and just simply living in the moment.

While it is great to have a community and connect with others, it is even more important to first be truly connected with yourself, on a deep and unconditional level.

This sort of deep connection to self (where the mind is not at work) is hard to reach in the midst of chaos, noise, and constant motion. This is the still, calm part of us, that has no connection to time. Some people call it God, others call it pure energy or self.

But why try and put a label on something so deep and beyond our understanding?

Once you tap into this space, it does not matter if you are in complete isolation and quarantine, or you are in the worst moment of your life, you are still able to enter into this timeless space and find the infinite joy, peace and love that is there and accessible to everyone.

The easy thing to do is fill that quiet space with noise and the emptiness in your heart with excessive materialistic possessions, fancy houses, cars, and relationships, with the hope to find some sort of fulfillment in those things.

Unfortunately, those things will never truly satisfy you in the long run. 

Connecting with yourself in a deeper way and feeling a sense of peace and satisfaction with being alone is not something that comes overnight, but rather a journey that you can choose to take that will absolutely transform your life forever.

2. IMPORTANCE OF MAKING YOUR HEALTH AN ABSOLUTE PRIORITY

 

During quarantine, it is SO easy to fall into a love relationship with the couch or comfy bed. They are both so warm, cozy, and welcoming.

To be honest, it can be very hard to not say NO.

It brings great comfort to be all wrapped in your favorite blanket, watching Netflix, with some Oreos, brownies, and/or your favorite bag of potato chips and popcorn.

Sounds pretty magical no?

Now don’t get me wrong: I am absolutely a firm believer that it is absolutely necessary and healthy to set aside certain days to just splurge, chill out, and not take yourself too seriously.

However, some people turn those “occasional days” into a very frequent encounter, especially during a time in which they are stuck inside, with no set schedule.

During the first days of being trapped indoors in a small apartment in Ecuador, (where I was originally quarantined) I was totally relaxed. I just chilled in my pajamas, ate when I wanted, and allowed my schedule to be all over the place.

However, as soon as I realized how bad the crisis was becoming and fully grasped in my head that the quarantine would not be only a week or two long thing, I decided to get serious about taking control of my time and life.

It doesn’t matter if it is only 20 minutes, prioritizing your health is KEY, not only for your physical health but to your mental and spiritual.

 

Ideas for getting a jump start on your physical health:

  • A quick 20-minute exercise Youtube video (cardio, abs or strength training)
  • Guided yoga video
  • Simply putting on your favorite jam and moving your body in a hidden place (if you are a bad dancer, like me)
  • Jumping (with our without a jump rope)
  • Running in place
  • Strength exercises with a gallon of milk or some heavy product in your house.

There are millions of free resources online that you can use. If you do not take advantage of that, then you are making excuses.

Do not sacrifice your health during this time and allow yourself to come out of quarantine undisciplined, more out of shape and heavier than ever.

This is your chance to take control of your health. If you have not made good choices until now, it is never too late to start!

 

3. IMPORTANCE OF ONLINE JOBS AND STRIVING TO CONTINUALLY BECOME MORE DIGITAL & SELF RELIANT

 

While it seems like this is the polar opposite of what I mentioned in #1 about the importance of disconnection, it is really not.

There have been a tremendous amount of jobs lost during this COVID crisis, which has affected millions of people across the globe. While I feel empathy for everyone in an unfavorable situation, I feel equally a sense of gratification for having random online jobs during this time, which have not been affected by the crisis.

Sadly, most of the jobs that have been affected are the ones in which you physically have to go into an office, while many online businesses have skyrocketed.

This realization has helped me to see the importance of not putting all of my eggs into one basket, especially as a self-employed person. It is more important than ever to continue to explore the vast options that are available online, whether it be writing, teaching, translating, marketing, managing, coaching, or whatever it may be.

This also has wakened me up to see how much more I can do with my own client base with coaching, online courses, and projects. We are moving very quickly into a more digital world and the more onboard you are with that movement, the more you will be able to profit from this now and in the future.

 

4. POWER OF OPTIMISM

 

As a nation, now is the time to practice optimism. Not when things get better and the crisis passes.

No, NOW…

Everyone has their own story of how Corona has destroyed their plans and has left them to worry about how they will get by. Many have been forced to cancel their big travel plans, weddings, or even a honeymoon as well.

It is all VERY frustrating and disappointing.

If you would’ve asked me in January 2020, I would’ve told you that I was going to spend the whole 2020 year on the road traveling. In fact, I did get to spend from January-March in the Caribbean and South America, so I am thankful for that time that I did have.

All the big plans that I had for the rest of the year have been placed on hold, and no one knows what is going to happen in regards to future travel, especially international travel.

What kind of new restrictions will they have once the virus gets better?

When will we be able to travel again, without the high risk of getting sick?

As I mentioned, traveling is not just a vacation for me, like most people. It is my life and what I do year-round. Like everyone, I am not able to travel and at this moment I do not even have the option of going back to my home to Spain, where I have my residency and apartment.

With all of that said, it is so important that we do not sit around and focus on our own LOSS during this time.

If we dig deep enough, no matter how bad things may feel at this moment, we can all find something that we are grateful for and some way in which we can benefit from this extra time we have to stay home.

If you capable of shifting your focus and directing it towards what you ARE able to change, such as your health, keeping your inner peace, and strengthening your relationships, you can come out of this quarantine feeling more empowered than ever.

 

5. THE IMPORTANCE OF PRODUCTIVITY

 

I have woken up between 3:45 and 4:45 in the morning every single day of this quarantine.

Seems quite crazy right?

At this point, waking up early is such a normal habit that it does not even cross my mind. I love the sense of getting a head start on the day and finishing so many things before most people wake up. During this time of being forced to stay inside, I have realized just how many things you can do by waking up at an early hour and then going to bed around 10 or 11 o’clock at night.

That is a lot of hours of daylight, even if you do add a small nap in there.

Most of the successful notable people of today (and in history) all work with the same amount of hours as you and I do.

Your lack of productivity is not the fault of a lack of time, but rather how you structure and organize that time.

Do you hit the snooze button five times and then just roll out of bed?

What motivates (or discourages) you to start each day?

Do you wake up with a strong intention for the day?

What are the first thoughts that go through your mind when you wake up? Excitement, dread, fear, anxiety…..

How we start our mornings and the decisions we make first thing highly impact how the rest of our day will go.

Getting a head start on the day and setting strong intentions will energize and set you up to move closer to your goals, whether it be personally or professionally.

I have heard it more times than I can count…

But Sarah, I wake up, set good intentions, but shortly after something happens and I completely lose my motivation.

If I relied strictly on how motivated I am to get things done, I would probably never accomplish anything.

Emotions highly affect our motivation, which is why it’s key to set good habits and standards for yourself. This way you do not need to depend on your motivation in order to feel good enough to get moving and reach your goals. Your strong habits and standards will take over and dominate when you just don’t feel like doing what you know you need to do.

Other suggestions for productivity:

    • Write down any mental blocks and limited thoughts that stand in your way.
    • Take a shower and get dressed and pretty (even if you are at home in quarantine). This will make you feel much better and more productive!
    • Try setting aside blocks of undisruptive time (1-2 hours with small breaks) in order to take on a big task
    • Move your body and stretch first thing when you wake up (with a big glass of water).
    • Outsource any work that other people can do for less time. This will free you up for more creative things!

 

Don’t be a prisoner to time and let it take over your life.

Take advantage of this time that you have in quarantine to strengthen yourself: mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

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Don’t forget to also check out: 

5 POSITIVE ACTIONS TO TAKE DURING QUARANTINE

SURVIVING MALARIA COMPLETELY ALONE IN LIBERIA

IS SOLO TRAVELING WEST AFRICA WORTH THE EXPERIENCE?

 

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