Living in Brooklyn

For those of you who may not know, prior to the pandemic, I made the move to Brooklyn. 

And although I didn’t picture spending as much time at home as I have these past few months, I am well aware that it’s been an unprecedented, yet life changing experience to witness my city undergo major changes around me from the comfort of my couch. 

To be completely honest, quarantining in the epicenter has had its ups and downs. 

On the one hand, at first it was a bit difficult having to adjust and take things day-by-day. 

But on the other, more positive hand, I’ve shifted my focus concerning some of my habits, worked on maintaining my mental health, and have become more appreciative of aspects from our “old normal”: 

How I’ve Been Adapting to the “New Normal”

One thing I’ve been doing while adjusting to the “new normal?” Closely monitoring my screen time, and trying to make sure that it doesn’t increase dramatically. 

Earlier I wrote about how it can be easy to get absorbed in a Netflix binge session, or spend hours scrolling through various social media feeds.

And I know I’m not alone in these habits, considering that people are spending 20% more time in apps amidst COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.

Additionally, I’ve been trying to get outside as much as possible while maintaining social distancing protocol and wearing a mask. 

Between walking my pup or exercising in the park, I’ve learned that fresh air time has been important for me in order to maintain a positive attitude throughout this uncertain situation—and there are even studies that enforce this theory of nature being a mood-booster.

I’ve definitely felt my priorities shift as I’ve had more time to think, and in addition to spending a concerted amount of time thinking about my future at a macro level, I’ve also been trying to keep my mental health in check.

Maintaining My Mental Health and Battling Anxiety

There’s no doubt that there’s been an increase of anxious feelings permeating the city as a cause of the pandemic. 

Chores and errands that were once simple have become suddenly more complicated—even going to the grocery store to pick up food can feel nerve-wracking now. 

In order to calm myself down when I begin to feel overwhelmed, I’ve been implementing the following 4 techniques:

  1. Closing my eyes and focusing on my breathing to center myself. 
  2. Moving to release anxious tensions through activities such as running, or even just throwing on some music and dancing in my apartment.
  3. Making a list of entities that have remained the same since the pandemic began.
  4. Reflecting on times when I’ve overcome different challenges or uncertain situations.

Elements of the “Old Normal” That I Now Appreciate Even More 

As the pandemic has progressed and different states have begun to embark on the reopening process, I’ve definitely begun to realize different facets of our “old normal” that I might have been taking for granted prior to quarantine. 

One aspect from our “old normal” that I missed immensely? Dining at different restaurants. 

The feeling of dining out for the first time after months, and being around people and enjoying a nice meal, even while we’re all spread out and wearing masks when possible, felt so much more impactful after not being able to have the experience for a period of time.

Another activity that I’ve missed engaging in has been traveling. 

Although there are a variety of stressful factors in regards to traveling, I’ve been trying to hop in the car and take a few road trips whenever possible so that I can still explore while remaining safe. 

Finally, a third element that I’ve been missing while COVID-19 directives have been in place is simply spending time with others. 

Even though most of my social interactions with friends and family members have been through FaceTime or Zoom, I’ve been making a concerted effort to stay in touch with people more often since our social activities and capabilities have become limited. 

Adopting a Team Mentality to Tackle the Pandemic

It’s important to remember that even though the pandemic has caused unprecedented difficulties and changes, we are all in this together. 

We need to adopt a team mentality by viewing our country as our community, and the fellow members that comprise it as our teammates.

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