A month ago, everybody was complaining about how little time they had for themselves. Now, everybody is complaining about the sheer amount of time they have.
The same people are cursing and complaining regardless of the situation they are in because it is not the events that are causing their unhappiness or discomfort but their reaction.
At the beginning of the pandemic, I found myself stressed just like the rest of the people. I found it difficult to sleep and found myself reading a news article every day.
Yet, I remembered a famous quote by my favourite Stoic philosopher. Two millennia's ago, Epictetus said:
Some things are in our control and others not. Things in our control are opinion, pursuit, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever are our own actions. Things not in our control are body, property, reputation, command, and, in one word, whatever are not our actions.
I think his words apply best to our times.
There are two reasons why many people find it difficult to cope with the pandemic.
First, they don't admit to themselves what is out of their control.
I relaxed immediately when I told myself the following:
"This whole pandemic virus thing is completely outside of my control. "
Second, people don't admit to themselves how much their reactions are under their control and how much our mindset determines what we see.
I asked myself how can I make use of this situation?
I could practice my drawing skills more.
I could catch up on my reading.
I could improve my CSS skills.
When I wrote these things down, suddenly my sense of despair changed into curiosity.
I know It is hard to keep doing things we found meaningful just a month ago. When the whole world goes to frenzy, it is way easier to stay in bed than to learn about typography.
I began exercising at home and found good use of the extra time I had.
I have been improving on drawing and designing for the last week and couldn't be happier.
Maybe you got fired from your job, maybe you can only see your spouse through your monitor because of self-quarantine.
These are all hard things but do not dwell on them because they are not in your control.
It is you who chooses what to do with what life throws at you.
How you spend your time matters
Will you moan and grudge against what the world has thrown at you?
Or will you use your extra time to learn new things?
Go ahead and connect with your partner and spend extra time with your pets.
Write that novel.
Practice your typography.
Do the things you always wanted to do because you complained about the lack of time.
No matter what you do, choose to become a different person at the end of this pandemic instead of the same one.
Otherwise, you are already dead.
So keep practicing your writing and your design, mate. Because this self-quarantine will end and 6 months later it is up to you to emerge as a better designer and a human being.