Unless you're an introvert , self-isolation and social distancing does not come naturally to you - nor is it likely to appeal to you. Your morning traipse to the coffee shop and a chat with the barista…gone. A happy hour drink after work…gone. Taking in the latest Oscar-buzz movie, or finally finding out what Tovar Dal tastes like is also out of the question. But don't despair: Being stuck at home is not torture, it's a golden opportunity to get to know someone whom you haven't connected with in a very long time - YOU.
Here's how to start: Sit down with a pen and paper, and answer the questions in the exercise that follows. Consider each question carefully before writing your response.
Exercise: "In the end zone, or benched?"
- What goals would you like to achieve this year, or in the next five years? Write down as many as you can, including everything on your bucket list.
- Next, for each goal you have listed, write down why you want to achieve it. What would achieving this goal mean to you? Why does achieving it matter so much? If you don't accomplish it, how will you feel? Disappointed? Unhappy? Indifferent?
- If there are any goals that you were not able to justify, and/or that you feel indifferent about, cross them off your list. Why? Because we tend to adopt goals that we think we should pursue, but don't really want to. Maybe becoming a doctor is on your list of goals - but are you aspiring to this because it's what you really want, or because it's what your family expects of you?
- Prioritize your remaining goals in order of importance. Which ones do you want to achieve as soon as possible? Which ones can wait?
- On a separate piece of paper, write down your top three goals. For each objective, write down five concrete steps you can take right now to get the ball rolling. For example, if your goal is to visit to Scotland, your steps might consist of the following:
- Set up your budget. Find out how much it will cost to fly to Scotland, book a hotel, eat, and travel around to different cities for a week or two. Look into guided group tours, as they may be most cost-effective.
- Set up a savings account for your "Scotland Fund." Put $50 a week in the fund, or whatever is feasible for you.
- Create a list of the places you'd like to visit.
- Talk to people who have visited Scotland, or browse through travel blogs. Create a list of recommendations.
- Conduct some research on typical Scottish weather so that you'll know exactly what to pack.
The idea of using this time of self-isolation and social distancing as a chance for introspection may seem like a frivolous luxury, but consider the benefits. How often do you complain that you never have a moment to yourself? How often do you crave a little "me time"? While it's important to stay informed about what's going on in the outside world, staying connected with your inner world is equally essential. If not now, then when?
Take the free Pandemic Resilience Test. Need a little help reconnecting with yourself and your values, desires, and needs? Check out these Queendom tests to gain some added insight: