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Within a few months, the coronavirus pandemic has impacted countries all over the world, including the United States. Our typical lifestyles have been put on hold as we undergo a massive quarantine. Our favorite fast food restaurants like In-N-Out and Chick-fil-A are only open for takeout, our gyms are closed and we have had to say some sad and unexpected goodbyes. Some may be wondering: how do we function in our newly restricted lives?
With the abundant amount of free time suddenly dropped into our laps, it is imperative that Biolans now address what we too often neglect—self-care.
Make no mistake, I miss my friends at school and it hurts to know that I won’t see them in person for a while. However, getting away from our hectic campus life has allowed me to spend more time in self-reflection, which has truly been a blessing in disguise.
Self-reflection is such a crucial part of growth. What are we insecure about? How can we be praying and reading our Bibles more? How can we find the time to implement a healthier diet in our lives? All too often, we get caught up in the craziness of ski trips, concerts and homework to the point where we forget to make time for alone time. Now is the time to slow down, ask questions and pursue answers.
Self-reflection takes on different forms for different people. For me, journaling allows me to be more mentally organized, but for others, personal epiphanies can manifest through reading, prayer, or even activities like walking and cooking. Something it’s as simple as setting aside ten minutes in the morning to breathe and clear your mind. Give your thoughts and emotions the time and space you’ve been allotted to reflect.
As cliché as this sounds, it is absolutely crucial that students use this time to get some type of exercise. In October, the Chimes reported a spike of 103% of high risk and emotional care issues among students since 2011. According to Mayo Clinic, regular physical activity helps manage depression, anxiety and other kinds of health issues.
Whether by going on a run in the neighborhood or buying personal dumbbells at Target, Biolans need to stay active. Fitness apps are abounding in app stores and often provide easy exercises you can do within the comfort of your own home, without equipment.
CHERISH TIME WITH FAMILY
There are many students at Biola who do not get to see their family very often. As someone from Hawaii, I have not been able to see my family much since attending Biola. I now have the time to address new family matters that I was previously unable to attend to. Last August I became an uncle, and it is because of this situation that I can now be more present in my niece’s life.
There’s a sense of peace that comes with finally being able to attend to family matters outside of the craziness of college life. Whether it is sorting out an old feud with a sibling, spending time with a new family pet or meeting a new niece or nephew, now is the time, for those able to return home, to take advantage of these precious moments offered to us.
Looking at it broadly, the COVID-19 quarantine situation is a buzzkill. I understand that many people had plans they were looking forward to, whether it was Missions Conference, Coachella or trips to Joshua Tree. Although those events may be canceled, there is something rare and lovely about the time we have been given to finally take care of what really matters when work and school are taken away—our families, our bodies and our minds. From the comforts of our own homes, let’s finish off the year caring about these.