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 though 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 odd ball 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 its 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 full engage myself in my own personal growth and development journey and just simply living in the moment.

While it is great to have 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 over night, 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 bad dancer, like myself)
  • 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 waken 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 on board 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, wedding or even 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 of 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 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 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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5 Positive Actions to Take During Quarantine

People are constantly complaining about being overworked and needing personal time for themselves.

In fact, if you ask the average person why they are not reaching their own life goals outside of work, you better bet that the excuse is a lack of time.

Why do you not exercise? Well, I have long work hours and I’m EXHAUSTED when I get home.

Why do you not learn another language, like you have always desired to do? I work 6 days a week and my mind is fried at the end of the day.

Why do you not spend time with your family? My boss asks me to stay late and I can’t say no….

We all have our excuses and reasons for not taking actions towards our dreams and goals.

However, at some point in our life, it is important to stop and take time to reflect on WHY we are not achieving the results that we desire.

In the case of many, it takes something life changing to get their attention and wake them up to the point that they take action. I am sure that you have met many people that are out of shape, consuming fast food on a daily basis and told they should change their habits, but they ignore the advice. This person might be told this over and over again, but the real action takes place when something more serious happens, like a heart attack, or news from the doctor that they have a serious case of diabetes or high blood pressure.

Many of us wait for something huge to happen before we take action, when we have the opportunity TODAY to be proactive and make changes in order to create the life we desire.

Right now, the whole world is in a state of panic with the Corona Virus. Thousands have lost their jobs and the price of this tragedy in our world is well over the billions. A large percentage of the world is being placed on strict home quarantine, unable to go to work, and with an unlimited amount of free time on their hands.

I want to first say that I am by no means trying to lighten the situation and tell everyone that all is okay and that we should all just be happy and positive during this time.

This crisis has been a been traumatic for many of us and getting motivated and proactive during this time is not exactly the highest on the priority list for lots of people. The easy thing is to lay in the bed, go deep under the covers and just give up..

I think many of us have felt that way at one point or another during this time, especially ones that have lost family/friends, have had a reduction in their income, have lost their company and simply have no idea how they are financially going to survive.

As much as we all hate it, there is nothing that we can do to change what is happening right now. We must all have patience and know that this will eventually pass. If we start to program our mind in a different way, we will actually be able to see this down time as an opportunity to pause and reflect on all the things that we want to accomplish in our lives, the goals and dreams we have in our hearts and our personal life vision.

Being as sensitive as possible to people in all walks of life, I wanted to to write this article to inspire you on 5 ways that you can raise your vibration and create positive changes in your time in quarantine, so that you are able to take advantage of this time and feel more accomplished in your own life.

MAKE A POSITIVE MORNING ROUTINE

It is easy to lose your normal routine and fall into some bad habits, especially the more free time that you have on your hands.  If you are in quarantine and see that you are not being intentional about your time and actions, I really want to intervene and challenge you to try something different.

A few months ago, I came across a book that truly shaped my life, called the “Morning Miracle” by Hal Erod. This book has been read by millions of people across the globe and the teachings in this book are used by many successful entrepreneurs and leaders.

This book talks about the importance of waking up early in the morning, setting positive intentions, which in return will give you a huge advantage on starting off your day and reaching your own personal and professional goals.

The book challenges readers to use the 6 SAVERS each morning to power their morning and get their mindset in the right place. How you wake up, the thoughts that you think and the actions you take will set the foundation of your day, so we must be intentional about making our first minutes count.

S — Silence (meditation)

A — Affirmations

V —- Visualization

E —- Exercise

R —- Reading

S — Scribing (journaling)

If you start your morning off by just doing just 10 minutes of each of the SAVERS, that is equal to just one hour of your whole entire day–that is NOTHING, especially if you are home all day.

After the quarantine, if you want to implement the SAVERS in your routine, but you do not feel like an hour is humanly possible, even one minute of each of these can be a game changer. Sometimes all it takes is just waking up with this intention, even if it’s only 6 minutes of your time. This will force you to break the “autopilot” mode and get you more conscious of what you are doing and feeling in the first part of your day.

GET INSPIRED

It is easy to get caught up in to the negative talk about what is happening in the world right now, the financial crisis, the falling economy and all the rising cases of Corona Virus all over the world.

While it is important to be up-to-date on what is happening around the world, it is actually more important to take care of your mental health and to create a positive space for yourself.

As I always say, your mind is like a computer. If you’re constantly downloading junk into your computer, it will run slow and contract viruses. Along the same line, if you’re always absorbing the negativity of the world, your performance and energy will be hindered.

During this time of being locked inside, it is absolutely fundamental to take care of your mental health and stay motivated. There are so many resources out there that can help get us inspired, whether it’s interesting self-help book or video on Youtube.

PRACTICE INTERMITTENT FASTING

There is no better time to practice intermittent fasting than during a time in quarantine, where you are stuck inside the house and less active. Some of the most common benefits of intermittent fasting include:

      1. Loss of body weight and belly fat.
      2. Reduction of the risk of diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.
      3. Lowered blood insulin and sugar levels.
      4. Increase in energy (from my personal experience).

There are many different options for the ones that want to practice intermittent fasting.

The fast that I LOVE and recommend to everyone is 16:8 fast.

I use an application called Zero in order to check in on my phone when it is time for me to fast (and when my time is over). This makes it easier to remember when I can eat again so that I get my full 16 hours in. In addition, this application keeps track of all my past fasts in order to measure my progress, which is extremely motivating. It is absolutely free and I could not recommend it enough!

During the 16:8 fast, one practices withholding food during a 16 hour time frame and only chooses to eat during the 8 hour window. I have to admit, I am not strict about this 8 hour window, as long as I am getting a full 16 hour fast each day. I like to stop eating between 1930-2030 and start eating the next day around noon ish.

Other fasting options out there include:

      • 18:6 Intermittent: 18 hour fast, with a 6 hour feeding window.
      • 36 Hour Fast (aka: Monk Fast).
      • 20:4 Intermittent: 20 hour fast, with a 4 hour feeding window.
      • Custom Fast: creating a fast that suits your lifestyle and schedule. Get creative!

I absolutely SWEAR by intermittent fasting.

Without a doubt, the thing that I love the most about fasting is that fact it puts me in control of my health and habits, instead of giving full control over to my human desires and cravings.

When we are constantly eating throughout the day, without regards to the time of day, or what we are actually eating, we lose a sense of control. When you give yourself healthy restrictions and are more conscious about your eating habits, the life transformation can be HUGE (I am a witness to this statement).

Even if you do intermittent a couple of times a week, it is still better than nothing! If you do not feel like you could fast 16 hours a day, start with something small and then work up to more.

START TO LEARN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE OR SKILL

If I could pick one lesson to share with others that I have learned traveling around the world and living all of my 20´s abroad, is the importance of taking time to learn a second language. I recommend this to all ages, but I LITERALLY cannot stress it enough for younger people.

We live in a world with so many free resources and online tools that can help give us a jumpstart to learning a new language from the comfort of our home. Being stuck in the house all day is a perfect opportunity to form a habit of dedicating time each day to learning the basics of a foreign language. Starting with the basics and memorizing some of the most common words and sentences is an excellent place to start.

I learned my first word of Spanish in 2013, so I know that feeling of learning a foreign language TOTALLY from scratch. I dedicated my 20´s to study Spanish each and every day and finally got to the point that I can comfortably speak on stage in front of thousands of people.

However, in order to get to that point, I had to start with the basics and create a consistent habit of studying Spanish each and every day.

The exciting part about learning a foreign language is that it is a life long process. I am fluent now, but I understand that there is so much more that I have to learn, even in my native language.

With that said, I still continue with the habit of sitting down each day to strictly read Spanish books, articles or listen to podcasts. I always have my phone on hand to write down words that I have never heard of before and different ways to structure my sentences.

Learning a language is SO much fun. Hands down, my Spanish learning time is one of my favorite times in the whole entire day!

MAKE A BUCKET LIST AND VISION BOARD

I am a huge fan of positive thinking and creating our own personal reality. There is no better time than being stuck inside for weeks on end to really sit down and think about your goals and take time to reevaluate your plans and the direction that you want to go in your life.

Do you have a written bucket list?

If not, this is a good place to start. Sit down in a quiet place and let your imagination run free about all the things that you would like to achieve in your future, both personally and professionally.

Do you want to travel the world?

Do you want to start your own company?

Do you want to create an inspiring blog?

A nonprofit organization?

Attend the university or a trade school in order to learn a new skill?

What exactly is it that you want to do?

Maybe you are like many people out there and simply have NO idea. That is totally find as well. In fact, the more you dive into your bucket list and become absorbed in your dreams and desires, the more likely you will find a path or dream that is right and inspirational for you.

Once you create your bucket list, then you can start using that information to create a vision board. I have a full vision board on the wall of my house in America from years back. However, now that I am traveling the world, I use a digital one in order to have a visual of the goals that I would like to achieve in my future.

Visualization of your dream life is very important as you are working and striving to make that goal become a reality.

 

Get creative with your bucket list and do not put any limits to your imagination

 

Take advantage of this time in quarantine do not forget that no one is alone. We are ALL in this together.

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Don’t forget to also check out:

SURVIVING MALARIA COMPLETELY ALONE IN LIBERIA

IS SOLO TRAVELING WEST AFRICA WORTH THE EXPERIENCE?

SUAN MOKKH: 10 DAY SILENT & MEDITATION RETREAT IN THAILAND

 

 

 

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