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How can we stay mentally healthy in quarantine?
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Staying engaged

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Make a Parlia map; quarantine is an inherently creative moment

Restriction calls for innovation. Globally, people are finding ways to both foster relationships and let their voices be heard in unconventional ways. Researchers underline the importance of fostering community, especially during a crisis. You are likely finding ways to live fully without even realizing it!

The Argument

Social isolation is a challenge for multiple reasons; one of the most prevalent is the sudden change in our day-to-day lives, suggesting we have no control over the world we live in. The feeling of powerlessness can lead to anxiety and low motivation.[1] According to author Leon F. Seltzer, if we don’t feel understood, then it is unlikely we will feel appreciated within our community. Using our voices and feeling as though they land on someone, whether or not they entirely agree, is the greatest form of external validation. Yet, acknowledging that our voices are heard or serving as the receiver of another’s opinion, actually draws us out of ourselves and into a greater context. We are reminded that we are part of a collective; our voice both matters and is one in a million.[2] Parlia, the Encyclopedia of Opinion, (and the platform you’re engaging with right now!) is a space for the investigation of opinion. Parlia is a wiki, so it is able to be edited by an enormous community of critical thinkers. If you feel like sharing a perspective or researching an opinion opposite to your own, sign up to become a member of this global opinion platform. Especially in quarantine, creativity and engagement of the mind is vital.[3] According to Psychology Today, quarantine is actually an inherently creative time. This is not to say that people are finding their true calling or artistic prowess while locked inside their houses, but they surely are finding security, love, and some purpose because they have been forced to do so under restrictions. Jeffrey Davis writes in his article of the globe’s astounding will to live; he notes activists’ artwork on their street and on their Instagram and balcony music to connect with neighbors and lift spirits. Make no mistake; this is still a pandemic and not a sudden idyllic society where we connect more intentionally. However, from constraint is born creativity, and David reminds us that we actually might be living in a moment ripe for innovation without even really trying.[4]

Counter arguments

When stay-at-home orders were issued due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it seemed that social media and online sources were immediately telling us to take advantage of the time we had been granted, as if there was not a traumatizing pandemic just outside our doors.[5] Productivity consultant Chris Bailey explains that this message is difficult to put into action and also quite shaming. He notes that it is already quite challenging to remain focused for multiple hours a day in one spot, like many of us already do. Yet, during a global crisis which has affected all aspect of our lives, our minds are even more scattered, no matter how hard we try to ignore it. Journalist Nick Martin calls it the American “hustle culture;” if you stop to breathe because you’re not a machine, you’re somehow behind. According to the New York Times, added stress and shame of not being productive can just impede one’s daily routine even more. And that’s not even the point; people no longer understand how to just “be.” Existing should be enough to assign value to one’s life, but there has been a gross commodification of our lives.[5] Nick Martin explains that we have not all been allotted the gift of time. Many of us are essential workers and nothing has changed except for a spike in danger when we go to work. Those who do “have time,” are not on vacation. They are in quarantine, worrying about loved ones they cannot see. Martin asserts that it is normal to experience a significant lapse in one’s mood. If you need to take a break or adapt your usual to-do list to the current pandemic, do it. No one is actually expecting you to both become the next Shakespeare and write the best Parlia map in the world.[5]



Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Wednesday, 15 Jul 2020 at 15:21 UTC

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