Today is Quarantine Day 60 in Ghana, West Africa.
60 days of doing chores, exercising and developing habits.
60 days of chatting with friends and family, binge watching series on Netflix and scrolling down on social media feeds.
60 days of no work, which means 60 days of no salary.
60 days of contemplation and self-reflection.
Life has not been easy. But instead being miserable, why not change perspective and try get something out of the current situation, right?
Here are 10 lessons I’ve learned while in quarantine:
1. Be present. You’ll never know if you’ll see tomorrow.
Napaka-morbid no? Unfortunately, this is our reality now. Hindi natin alam kung hanggang kailan tayo mabubuhay sa Earth.
So what do we need to do? Be present!
If you are talking to someone, make sure you give them your full attention. If you’re eating, chew and savour every bite. If you need to do something, do it now. Stop procrastinating.
Leave the past behind. You cannot do anything about it. Stop worrying about the future. You’ll never know what’s going to happen next. Be in the moment, because that is what’s happening now.
2. Be grateful. Someone out there will trade anything to have what you have.
Not everybody can afford to stay at home during this period. Some still have to work, else they will starve. Some received assistance from the government, kahit “konti”. Others, kahit anong form of ayuda, wala. Some, meron pa rin silang source of income. Others, wala nang work. Some, nagrereklamo sa status ng life nila. Some, wala nang life.
Instead of dwelling on what you don’t have or can’t have, focus on what you have. Acknowledge that you’re still blessed and you’ll see a huge change in your life.
3. Side hustles are essential.
I am a hotelier. 60 days nang temporary closed yung resort where I work. Wala din kong salary na narereceive now. Still, I have liabilities to settle. Tuloy tuloy sya. If our resort remains closed until the end of the year, nga-nga!
Hindi pwedeng isang source lang ng income. Dapat meron laging back up plan.
Ano pa bang pwedeng gawin? Well my friend, kung gusto, may paraan. Kung ayaw, may dahilan. If you are genuinely motivated, you’ll be unstoppable. If not, kahit siguro si Bill Gates pa ang mentor mo, waley.
4. Be educated WITH manners.
I honestly thought that being educated is enough to be a sensible person. Hindi pala.
Sometimes, it’s the opposite pa. We tend to get cocky if we know na mejo nakaka-angat tayo sa iba. We tend to pass comments na maybe harmless to us, pero in reality, they’re insensitive.
I’ve learned na the more na may alam ka, or the more na nakakataas ka, dapat more understanding and humble ka because it is just a matter of chance that you are in your position. You’ve got nothing to boast.
Review review din ng GMRC pag may time.
5. Watch your mental health. It is a thing.
In developing countries, I’ve noticed na we do not really take our mental health seriously. We have this connotation na pag mental health, pang baliw lang.
We’re more prone to depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses now. Prone tayong mag-breakdown.
It is not shameful to admit that you have a problem and you need help. Speak to a confidant, meditate for 10 minutes, try to make yourself happy. Take care of your brain.
6. We only need essentials.
According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, there are five basic human needs: Physiological needs, Safety needs, Social needs, Esteem needs and Self actualization.
The bottom level if the tier is the Physiological needs which includes essentials for human survival like food, water, shelter, clothing, sleep, sex.
Next is safety needs.We need to satisfy our need for security and safety.
The third level is Social needs. We are social butterflies. We need love, affection and belonging.
Next level is Esteem needs. These are needs concerning esteem for oneself and the desire for respect from others.
The highest level in Maslow’s hierarchy is self-actualisation which refers to self-fulfilment; to become the most that one can be.
One must satisfy each level to a reasonable degree, starting from the bottom.
Now, do you really need to prioritize whitening products over food? Is it essential for you na lumabas labas kahit you’re not sure of your safety?
But then again…
7. Everyone is just trying to cope with the situation. Stop judging.
It is very quick for us to judge na people are being irresponsible because their way of coping is different from our way of coping.
Other people, when they are sad, they go outside to temporarily forget their feelings. Some, as their coping mechanism, they make themselves busy. Others, they just lie on the bed. Some, they feel lonely if they don’t talk to people. Others, they find peace in isolation.
It all depends on the personality of the person.
However, if you’re way of getting through this circumstance cause harm to you, your loved ones and your community, better find other way of making yourself feel better.
It is never ok to be selfish.
8. If you do not have anything good to say, it’s better to just shut your mouth.
If you’re just going to bash, scam, take advantage and make fun of people, better be quiet. The world doesn’t need your negative vibe.
Wether we like it or not, we are all in this together. Achieving self satisfaction at the expense of someone’s peace is not cool.
Pouring out your dissatisfactions and complaints without any recommendations for improvement is unnecessary. Think twice before you open your mouth (or type).
9. People do things they believe are right. Be open-minded and try to know where they are coming from.
“This bag is so expensive and it’s not practical for me to buy now, pero I deserve this because I’m sad and this will make me happy.”
“I feel like my partner is not into me anymore, pero I’m staying because I don’t have enough evidence to leave kahit ang sakit sakit na. It just needs time.”
“Let me do this, kahit it doesn’t seem right, but I know it is for the best.”
Wala naman sigurong human being na gagaewa ng something na alam nilang mali. Kaya nga we make justifications sa mag poor decisions na ginagawa natin.
Instead of immediately judging, why not listen first and understand why people do what they do, and say what they say? After that, then you decide if the person is making sense or not.
Also, every time you speak about things na hindi kayo same ng opinion, do not aim to argue to prove yourself right. Be open-minded and express your thoughts to discuss so you could broaden your perspective.
10. Admit it. We need God.
Religious ka man or not, admit it. We need God. He’s the only one who can save us now.
We humans can’t predict when this pandemic is going to end. But if you have faith in God, you’ll find comfort in the unknown.