NMI Spin: Our Take on Quarantine
DISCLAIMER: Along with most of the world, we are taking COVID-19 very seriously. We are genuinely grateful and sincerely applaud the frontline workers, health care professionals, and everyone else who is taking the appropriate precautions to flatten the curve – no matter how difficult it may be these days. We are all in this together.
That being said, we’re sure you’ve noticed the content on your social media timelines changing – many of your favourite brands are sharing their contributions to fighting coronavirus, or tips and tricks for working at home, or opening up discussions on mental health, and encouraging you to keep your chin up during these weird times. As important as these topics are, it’s starting to feel like an overwhelming flood of the same flavour of kool-aid.
You may have noticed that we are taking a different approach – we’ve been preaching the “working remote and staying productive” message for years, that’s been our progressive norm. The question we were struggling with is “how can we approach this time and our own efforts in true NMI fashion being fresh, exciting, and thoughtful?” We realized that our strength is in changing perceptions and finding new ways to do things, we are masters of different (if you’ve been following our journey, you know this is literally what we do). So, we chose to help you reframe the way you’re looking at this quarantine. Here are some simple “swaps” to put in your own vocabulary to help shift your thoughts from negative to positive during this time.
SWAP “I’m stuck at home.” FOR “I GET to be at home!”
It’s not just you, everyone else is in the same boat too. These are uncertain times for the entire world, and the anxiety can be consuming if allowed. But if you were told in January that you had to stay home for a couple of months in the spring, would you be worried or excited?
This one is a tricky shift but do your best to set aside all the daily challenges to see that this truly is a beautiful opportunity that you may never get again. You have a roof over your head, food in your fridge and your “loved ones” around you (we get it, styles are being cramped and even your pets are finding ways to hideout by now, but there is still love deep down). Embrace the moments because good, bad or funny these will be memories and stories that none of you will forget.
SWAP “I work 9:00AM – 5:00PM.” FOR “As long as it gets done.”
Consider making time your friend, not your enemy. You're struggling to find that perfect routine balancing work life, family life, social life, personal time and keeping healthy and sane all under one roof – and that’s okay! During quarantine life, you get to break the structure of what a ‘normal’ weekday looks like. What’s ‘normal’ these days anyways right???
Instead of fighting to write that thoughtful reply while teaching a home lesson and cooking lunch, ask yourself, “when does this need to happen really?” Let’s be honest, you could probably get that wrapped up in 5 mins of focused time versus 25 mins of one-word at a time mayhem – so give yourself the day to be a parent, or a spouse and once your household has powered down, take the time to focus on your work and hammer it out faster distraction and stress free.
SWAP “I’m social distancing” FOR “I’m only physical distancing”
Just because we can’t be together right now, doesn’t mean we can’t keep in touch (virtual touch of course). Start a group chat, arrange a video coffee date with that person you haven’t talked to in a while, make a care package for your parents and drop it off on their porch, draw bright pictures in chalk on your sidewalk for neighbours and fellow community members, have online parties with your friends. You are not alone in this, you do not need to be alone in this, we just have to be more creative with the ways that we bring people together.
SWAP “My _________ was cancelled” FOR “Now I have more time to _________”
Remember when life was so hectic that you spent most of your waking hours running around to fulfill all your commitments, wishing you had time to ________? Maybe now is the time. Finish those home projects you started months ago, learn a new skill, make that Pinterest recipe, find an exercise regimen that you actually enjoy, read a book that’s been on your shelf for years, plant a garden, explore new hobbies. Try making the most of not having house guests and a long list of engagements, you have time for YOU.
SWAP “I should be better than this, I should be doing more” FOR “I’m allowed to just BE for now”
This is a hard time for everyone, from every walk of life so stop beating yourself up and be kind to that person in the mirror. Again, what a great opportunity to tune into your inner self – what do you need? How are you finding joy? How can you make yourself feel better? Slept in for an extra 30 minutes? Who cares, maybe your body needed that. This is a time for not sticking to a perfect routine, for not crossing everything off your list, for needing to take an hour to yourself. Let this be a time of self-reflection and self-care. Unfortunately, we don’t know how long this will last and that can be scary but sometimes you just have to say f*ck it and ride the wave.
Let us try hard to make the best of the situation. Let us support each other and show kindness to ourselves and the rest of the world. Let us find joy or moments of nostalgia to quiet our mind for a little while. We are here to help remind you of the good! What mental swaps have you been making?