March 27, 2020
For Metro Manila students, you have reached your third week of no classes.
For the rest of the Philippines, it’s now the second week of Enhanced Quarantine.
Have any of you been on Netflix lately? One of the things I hate about binge-watching a series is that I have to wait for the next season to come out. Season-enders leave me hanging. What happened to my favorite star-crossed lovers? Who was the real culprit? It’s hard to move on from wanting to see what happens next.
That is pretty much where we are today.
Life has seemingly been put on pause. We are stuck in our own homes and cannot move on to our “next season.”
Speaking of pausing—since we’re talking about staying home, why don’t we pause and recount the previous weeks?
How did you spend most of your time? Were these activities worthwhile?
Were you fulfilled with how your days and weeks went?
Did the things you consumed online feed your soul?
Have you been feeling more tired or more alive?
Would you want to start over and make changes to the way you spent your days?
One of the things I realized after a week of staying at home is that things can become really boring and unproductive unless I change my pattern and shift the way I do things.
This has been the daily routine for many of us: Wake up. Eat. Netflix. Social media. Eat. Sleep. We even miss taking a bath sometimes.
Today is the day to kick idleness out of our lives and wake up! This may be a difficult season, but it has given us a precious gift: time. You can either take it for granted or you can use it well and be grateful for the results.
First, try waking up before 10 a.m. and taking a bath. This will help you start your day fresh.
Learn something new that can be done in the comfort of your home—learn a new skill, explore new interests, or dive into a new language. Or maybe try reading a good book.
What are the things you have been wanting to learn but didn’t have the time for before? Now’s your chance to do it, so don’t delay!
How did your life look before the lockdown? What were your usual habits and routines?
The past couple of weeks have been marked by disruption, and we’ve developed an entirely different set of habits while stuck at home. If your life in quarantine has become somewhat unproductive, then it’s time to take a step toward being productive again.
Schedules help us create rhythms. These rhythms help us to function well, help our brains work, and bring order to the day.
Without a clear schedule, we may slip into a rabbit hole of constant binge-watching, endless scrolling, relentless TikTok-ing—with minimal fulfillment.
Why not change your rhythm a bit and include some creative habits that actually feed your soul? Start by spending quality time with your family. Try these three simple things:
Start meaningful conversations. You’ll be surprised by how many new things you can learn about your parents or siblings. Since you’ll be spending an entire month at home with them, why not make the most of it? Ask questions, start a conversation, and listen to their stories.
Suggest doing an activity together. If your family isn’t too fond of conversations, maybe doing an activity together would work. You can suggest holding a watch party with your siblings to create memories with them, instead of watching on your own.
Set a time where you can gather and play board games with your family. Ask your parents about the games they used to play as children.
Share memories. Sometimes we underestimate the potential of the mundane. What’s interesting about chores and routines? But imagine with me: What if you get to do a simple chore with the people dear to you and make it more fun? We are fond of watching other families enjoy their time together; that can also happen to you! Treat this extra time as an opportunity to capture more memories with them!
Write down your new plans and goals, and take this week to see if they work for you. Assess which of these drain your energy and which reenergize your life.
My prayer is that as you do so, you will start to feel more alive—even as you stay at home.
When the quarantine is finally lifted, I hope we that we still managed to flourish despite the difficulties.
The good news is, we still have more than two weeks to make the most of our days! My prayer is like that of Moses in this psalm:
So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 90:12 (ESV)
Be wise, world-changer! You may be in your home, but you have a choice not to be stuck. You can keep moving forward. If you have been doing these things and being productive at home, that’s awesome! Keep on with it, and don’t lose hope! More than the discomfort of a lockdown, may this season highlight how you were productive, inspired, and fruitful—how your life changed for the better.