• Shabby Talebi

COVID-19 Diaries: My Week In Quarantine

Updated: Sep 21, 2020

Like the rest of the world, our team has had to transition into working from home due to COVID-19. Spending a lot of time alone is usually very difficult for me - I’m what most people consider a “social butterfly,” constantly spending time with others and always being out and about. The thought of quarantine alone actually gives me severe anxiety, but what makes it even worse is the unknown of what lies ahead. Apparently, I am not alone in this feeling. A national survey from the American Psychiatric Association shows COVID-19 is seriously affecting Americans' mental health, with half of US adults reporting high levels of anxiety. That being said, I’ve decided to document what my (first) week in quarantine looks like to provide some insight and show my fellow extroverts that they aren’t alone.

Day One: My thoughts - “This is going to be great, more time for me.”

Today was our first half day in quarantine. We went to work this morning to prep our office space for closing, grab last-minute items, and get our team on the same page for what the future might look like. My family surprised me with an early at-home birthday dinner from Olive Garden ( I LOVE their breadsticks) and La Madeline dessert (their Sacher Torte and Tiramisu are to die for) since it’s coming up in a few days and it’s seeming like there won’t be much excitement surrounding it. A lot of cities are enforcing Shelter in Place so this might be the last time we get to eat some restaurant food. I spent the entire rest of the night completely rearranging my room and making it a more efficient space to work from home. If you haven’t done so already, I highly recommend making a space for relaxing, a space for working, and a space for eating. It’s counterproductive to be working from everywhere and to be constantly working. This WILL eventually lead to burnout or frustration. If you are looking for more insight on best practices working from home, there are lots of resources to reference right now.

Day Two: My thoughts - “This is weird, but I’m adjusting, right?”

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I think I had about 7 different Zoom calls today. It’s interesting because we have always used Zoom at work for client calls, but so many of my friends have never used it and are all so fascinated by it. I focused today on creating a schedule for work I thought I could stick to, and also checking in on all my friends. They think this quarantine will last for 14 days but I’m hoping it will be over sooner than that and we can resume a normal life. I did a Zoom call workout today, maybe I will actually focus on my fitness with the time I have at home now, considering that I am now saving at least two hours of drive time. I've been wanting to make fitness a goal for a while now, but always felt like I didn't have time. I guess there is no excuse now.

Day Three: My thoughts - “I can’t do this anymore, I am going to lose my mind.”

Well, the emotion escalated quickly. As I said earlier, I am extremely extroverted and don’t go a single day without socializing so my excitement of alone

time has quickly turned into a panic of never seeing my friends again. I get it, that’s a bit dramatic, but at the moment, that’s how it feels. I started my day with a team meeting via Zoom, followed by a client meeting via Zoom. I completely cleaned out my computer and hard drive today. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while, but never found time to get to it. I also started reading “The New Rules of Marketing & PR” today. If you are looking for ways to better yourself but want to step away from the screen, I highly suggest finding a book to fall in love with. If you are down for more screen time, take advantage of online classes being offered at discounted rates. For example, Brit + Co. is offering all their classes for free for a limited time with code “SELFLOVE” at checkout!

Day Four: My thoughts - “Let’s get it!”

Today is my BIRTHDAY! No one wants to spend a birthday in quarantine but there are ways to make it FUN. I decided to get done up today and really focus on the excitement of the day. As always, the day started with a team meeting. I worked for a couple of hours then prepped for my virtual birthday party. If you have a birthday during quarantine, this is a must-

do. My friends all joined the call, played trivia about me, sang to me, and we ended it with a birthday cheers! After the party, I headed to my Dad’s because SURPRISE, today is also the Persian New Year, also known as Nowruz.

Day Five: My thoughts - “I’m gonna be okay, we all will.”

Happy Friday. What an emotional rollercoaster of a week. Today’s focus was catching up on all the things I was behind on as well as trying to get ahead for the week. After I dominated my work I decided to complete my Brit + Co. class and even create some Tik Toks! It’s really important to incorporate fun into your days in quarantine. To wind down from the day, I took a bath with my favorite Buff City Soap bath bomb, a glass of wine, and a face mask. I've realized I used to make more time for self-care but really stopped focusing on it the busier life got. I'm glad this quarantine is allowing me some time for myself.

Day Six: My thoughts - “Is this the new normal.”

Today I had a lazy day. I spent all week trying to stay productive and positive, never really allowing myself a moment to take this all in. It’s okay to be sad you can’t see your loved ones, it’s okay to be sad your birthday was in isolation, it’s okay to grieve all the things you had planned. I think a lot of people are using this time to tackle all these new things when in reality, sometimes we just need to pause and breathe. After I spent the day binge-watching New Girl and eating Flaming Hot Cheetos, my friends organized a Zoom game night (are we picking up on the trend that Zoom is saving me at this time?). If you are looking for something fun to do I recommend getting some friends together, getting some booze, and playing a couple of rounds of Jackbox or Scribbl.io!

Zoom Game Night with the Brady Bunch

Day Seven: My thoughts - “This too shall pass.”

Yesterday I sulked, today I feel re-energized and ready to GO. I dominated a couple more chapters in my book before making a gourmet-style brunch with the family. I think it’s time to learn a new skill. My business partner has been teaching herself Hawaiian which really inspired me to tackle a skill I've always wanted to master. I whipped out my 5th-grade keyboard and have attempted to relearn how to play! I spent some time with my family playing a few rounds of Spades, and ended my night journaling about this really wild time. Maybe one day when my children learn about the COVID Crisis of 2020, I can just share this blog and my journal so they can read how I dealt with it. Sounds like this quarantine isn’t ending soon, so I am interested to see how the rest of this time will play out.

Until next time, stay safe, stay healthy, and remember to stay indoors and sanitize. How have you been spending your time in quarantine? Share your experience with us via social media! Remember, we’re all in this together. If you or anyone you know is struggling with anxiety or depression regarding COVID-19 please reach out for help.

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