As most of us have been experiencing (hopefully), I have been quarantining in my apartment for the past two months by myself and while I have been beyond bored with the slower pace of life (and mainly being at home all the time), I have utilized this time to learn new skills and come out with “wins” for myself, which was a goal I set back in late March.
As quarantine starts to slowly loosen up and activity starts to pick up again, I wanted to reflect on how I’ve spent my time in quarantine and what I’ve learned from it all. For those of you who will have more time on your hands as we head into summer; whether that is because of classes being done or currently not working full-time, perhaps this reflection post will give you new ideas on things to do by yourself while at home.
*Released a new personal brand product aka ebook
For a long time, I wanted to be able to release a product that is strongly related to my expertise, professional work life, and everything I preach regarding my mindset. Early on in quarantine, the idea came to mind, which eventually became my ebook; The Everyday Girl’s Guide to Career Success. The 55 pages in this book is a reflection of the countless hours and 1am nights spent on putting together the idea and combining all of my work, results, and mindset into words. I knew I wanted to be able to share resources that I wish I had when I was still in college, preparing to graduate and searching for jobs. And surely, I’ve seen that it has already done so for many and I am eternally grateful to see the continuous support.
*Getting Lasik eye surgery
A year ago, I had my annual eye exam and as my prescription stayed the same again for another year, my eye doctor asked me if I would ever consider Lasik. My immediate answer was HELLLLLL NO. I am absolutely never doing that, not for me. LOL, joke was on me. Because exactly a year later, I had Lasik done and I am so glad I took the opportunity to do it during quarantine! For reference, my contact lenses prescription was -4.25 for both eyes aka it was very blurry for me without glasses or contacts. Two weeks later as I write this post-Lasik, I can see pretty much 20/20 in both eyes and wake up every day being able to see clearly!
*Perfecting languages I can already speak and learning a new language
If you know me well, you know that I am a continuous learner. I love to learn and become better at something that I am a beginner at. After binge watching the show, Jack Ryan, I realized how crucial it was for the main character to be able to speak multiple languages fluently. Not only did he save his own life and others’ on multiple occasions, but he didn’t have to worry about not being able to understand the enemies and their discussions. From that moment, I decided I wanted to brush up on my Spanish and hone down on my Vietnamese even further, and on top of that, learn a new language that I’ve always wanted to learn–aka GERMAN! So as I am writing this, I am a few days in to learning German through videos and the “Thinking Method”.
*Trying new workouts and improving a skill
Before COVID-19, I was always active at a workout studio; either taking lagree at Trim Fitness, HIIT workouts at CAZ Training Club, or SoulCycle spin classes. But as we all know, group classes have taken quite a break and at-home + outdoor workouts have been the move. I’ve obviously been trying many at-home workouts, which have been great…but one other new workout I’ve been improving on is boxing! I’ve done boxing occasionally in the past since moving to California, but seeing how effective it is as a cardio and strength workout, I figured it’s time to give it a consistent try. So thanks to quarantine, I’ve been able to box with my trainer for 30-45 minutes each session 1-2x a week.
*Indulging in shows/movies I would have never had time for
When I was working my normal 8-5 job out in the field, I literally never had any worthy time to devote to watching a show or movie. My days would start at 6:30am when I woke up, getting to the office by 7:45am, going straight to my workout class at 5:30pm after work, then coming back around 6:45pm and eating dinner, prepping something for my podcast, and/or prepping shipments for my business. By the time it was 10-11pm, I was barely finishing up my personal work and would be so tired and even sometimes pass out with my contacts/make-up on. So I have been able to devote some time lately in trying to watch some shows to learn a thing or two and low and behold, after watching Jack Ryan, it inspired me to learn a new language (lol).
*Connecting with more podcast guests
With business and activity being slower for most people, I was also able to connect with more guests that would typically be more difficult to get ahold of during normal time due to their hectic schedule. Not only was this helpful for my podcast content, but this was awesome in building my personal network and creating new relationships that I could connect with in-person down the line.
*Not wearing makeup every day
As someone who previously struggled with some acne and not the most amazing skin, it’s pretty incredible to see how much my skin has improved, to the point that during the past two months, I was never wearing makeup and more importantly, felt confident in my own skin too. I was going out in public and to many places that I would’ve hesitated (before) to go out without makeup and this is likely thanks to having more down time to take care of my skin–which I’m sure my skin is thankful for.
I’m sure there are quite a few more I could list, but I wanted to list the top “wins” I had or ways I spent my time as a way for me to look back one day and see what I actually did during quarantine 2020 or perhaps help inspire another person to try something similar.
We all know it’s been hard, shitty, and boring since this all started, but it can only certainly go up from here and even on days we don’t feel like being “productive” or active, just remember that it’s always the small actions that add up to the wins. So don’t feel like you need to write a book yourself or find a cure for a disease, but rather, maybe set a small like “work out every Tuesday and Thursday” and commit to doing so. Reflect on how it feels after doing it consistently for 3 weeks and let me know how it goes.