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Progress in a Pandemic: How We’ve Kept Our Cool During Quarantine

Has anyone else felt like the 5 Stages of Grief relate a little too closely to what they’ve gone through during quarantine? If you’re not familiar, let’s quickly examine them:

  1. Denial – “This isn’t so bad. If everyone stays inside for a month or two at the most, we’ll be back to normal before we know it!”
  2. Anger – “What the &$*#! ANOTHER 30 days!?!? Am I ever going to be able to go outside again??”
  3. Bargaining – “I promise I’ll wear a mask and stay six feet away from everyone in the known universe if we can just get through this by summer.”
  4. Depression – “I guess I’ll just shrivel up on my couch and live the rest of my lonely existence here.”
  5. Acceptance – “If this is the new normal, I guess I better embrace it. How much is a stationary bike, anyway?”

Sound like your own experience? We’ve all been through at least some of these stages, while some of you may have been through the entire cycle two or three times by now! But every cloud has a silver lining, and quarantining during a global pandemic is no exception. Losing the hustle and bustle of regular life means we’ve gained time to slow down and take a breath. We’ve been gifted the opportunity to look at what brings us joy, what new hobbies we might want to try, and what we can learn about ourselves in the process. With that said, we thought it would be fun to ask around our employees to see what they’ve been up to at home during the last few months!

 

Without a doubt, the most popular answers had to do with home projects or organization. Some folks mentioned DIY projects while others talked about gathering unused books or other items for donation. Multiple people referenced Marie Kondo when discussing what they’ve accomplished…or attempted to accomplish…during this time. Clearly there’s something therapeutic about organizing or reimagining a space in your home that has seemed messy in the past, which is why it has been such a popular activity for so many people in the last several months. Looking to channel your own inner Marie? Just remember to take it one drawer/closet/room at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed and you’ll achieve neatness nirvana in no time!

 

Cooking has also been a focus for many of our staffers, whether they started as novices or hardcore foodies before 2020. Some of us have given our Instant Pots some attention by trying new recipes, while others have kept it old school with “labor-of-love” dishes like lasagna. One employee even mentioned they brought back one of their favorite meals of the past: a grilled cheese and egg sandwich (!!) and I think we should all follow in their footsteps immediately.

 

With all that cooking going on, it’s no wonder that fitness and outdoor activities have also become popular among us recently. Here in the Pacific Northwest, hiking is one of the most common outdoor hobbies for good reason. It combines exercise, beautiful views, fresh air, and a chance for that perfect selfie when you reach a peak. While some of us have been braving the trails for the first time, others are simply taking advantage of the opportunity to explore new ones around the state. Golf, biking, and running were also mentioned; the standout example being an employee who casually said they now jog 6 miles every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday!

 

Although there has been plenty of personal productivity in our group, we would be remiss not to mention some of the things we’ve done in the interest of shutting off our brains and relaxing as well. As you might expect, Netflix and Disney+ got specific mentions by more than one P2Per, with many of us finally bingeing cult-followed shows we’ve missed out on in the past. Video games got a nod as did Tik Tok, both entertaining time wasters in their own right. Gardening also came up more than once, which can be a very relaxing and rewarding venture during this time. Or, if you’re like me, it can be a great way to grow a 6-foot-tall tomato plant that has yet to show signs of producing a single tomato…but I digress.  

 

Clearly, we have all managed to keep ourselves somewhat busy over the past several months, but much more important is what we have learned about ourselves. We decided to ask that as well, and the answers were even more interesting. Spending habits were a common theme, with a few folks expressing quiet pride that they can survive easily without as many luxuries and vacations as they’re used to. Some marveled at the energy and excitement they’ve experienced for some of the activities mentioned above, like exercise and outdoor time. But the most impressive introspections centered around taking time to slow down and enjoy what we have right here around us. We’ve learned how much we love our homes and our neighborhoods. We’ve been having fires in our backyards or reading books during quiet time. We’ve made the best of a less-than-ideal situation, which is more than enough in a time like this.

 

We want to hear from you! What have you been doing to keep busy and what has it helped you realize about yourself? Drop us a comment and let us know!

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