Last Wednesday, I received a phone call from my boss that my business was opening back up on Tuesday and I’d be starting back up at full time, just like before I left. I couldn’t believe it; I had been furloughed during the COVID-19 crisis and had just hit two months of being unemployed.
In the beginning of quarantine, I was struggling. I was used to my busy routine and was not ready to try and fill endless days ahead. I found myself feeling depressed, lonely, and the most bored I have ever been. My roommate was the only other human I saw for weeks and although we get along well, I was missing the rest of my friends and my family. Mentally, I was pretty low. I was focusing a lot on things that happened to me in the past, specifically the bad parts of a toxic relationship I got out of about six months ago that I am still healing from.
After a while, I became more and more comfortable with my new normal. I took a long walk each day, and would set new small walking goals so that by the end of quarantine, I was able to walk 10 miles. I dove into a full daily skincare routine that I wouldn’t normally be able to do during my work week. I was calling friends and family more often and felt more connected. The last two weeks of it, I even began to enjoy it.
So, when I received news I would be starting back at my pre-quarantine life in just six days, I had mixed emotions. At first, I was actually disappointed. I knew I wouldn’t be able to take long walks in the sun anymore, or have as much time for selfcare. But, I was also excited. It felt like the first step in the world returning to normal, or at least as normal as it can be.
I am now back at work and I still have mixed feelings. During my time of quarantine, I did a lot of healing. I started journaling which I haven’t done in years, and it was incredibly therapeutic. I wrote about my struggles openly, and did not hold back or filter any of my thoughts, even if it involved painful topics. During the final two weeks of quarantine, I felt like I was making great progress. My therapist told me she could tell I had gained more of a sense of self, which is something we have been working on for over a year now in our sessions.
Prior to quarantine, I pushed a lot down. I didn’t ever allow myself to think about my toxic relationship, during it and especially after. Any time my ex popped into my head, which was many times during the day, I did everything I could to block those thoughts. I did not reflect on the emotional abuse that I went through. During quarantine, I allowed myself to reflect and more importantly, to feel. This resulted in many tears and lots of heartache, but it felt incredible to release it openly and not repress it. Whenever I allowed myself to do this, it felt like I was breaking down a wall.
My goal now that I am back is to continue working on this progress. If I feel an emotion that I don’t want to feel, I am going to work on not pushing it down immediately and finding distractions. I want to continue journaling, and taking long walks on the weekends. I feel overwhelmed at the moment with being thrown back into a busy job, but I am excited that the world is healing, just like I will continue to do.
Do you have a job that you have to start back soon and how are you feeling about it? How did you take care of yourself during quarantine? Feel free to share below!