Staying positive while COVID-19 positive

Illustration of a person comfortably seated on a couch and reading, a mug of tea by their side
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I had just come back home from celebrating the new year in New York and was experiencing one of my all-time highs and all-time lows. From skipping down Times Square in one moment to catching COVID-19 in the next, I couldn’t believe how quickly things had changed for my health. Initially, I was frustrated that I had to spend my last days of winter break in isolation. However, I eventually found outlets that helped me release my frustration and reframe my mindset toward a more positive one. 

Laziness as productive healing

At first, I felt intense guilt for my lack of productivity, exercise and time with friends. After speaking to my mom – who was just as sick – she made me realize that my mind and body needed this rest. My laziness was productive for my healing and gave me a well-needed break from the strenuous exercise and studying I did almost every day. 

Reunite with hobbies

With all the time I had, I poked around my house to see if anything would entertain me. I rediscovered books that I had not finished and decided to read them for leisure. I got creative in the kitchen again and started baking with all the bananas people had dropped off at my door. I even taught myself social media marketing – something I’d always been curious about – with books and videos that I flipped through. My forced isolation had turned me into a curious child again, wanting to constantly learn new things.

Vision for the future

Every time I journaled, I had a goal in mind: I wanted to use this hardship as an opportunity for self-growth and development. I created a vision board for the future, writing down habits I wanted to practice and inspirational quotes that would keep me motivated. I visualized what a productive spring semester would look like and a daily routine that would keep me healthy and happy. 

Practice a good routine

With my vision board in hand, I implemented self-care and healthy habits into my days of quarantine. This started with a relaxing skin care routine, one-minute meditations before bed and 30 minutes of reading. As my body got stronger, I practiced getting up earlier, integrating gentle movements and house chores into my daily schedule. Altogether, I no longer felt unproductive, but happier and motivated to continue.

Deepening relationships

The first person I got closer to during this trying time was my mom. She understood everything that I was going through and aimed to comfort me in every way. We watched movies, shopped online and engaged in many philosophical conversations with one another. I also got the chance to connect even more with my friends. They dropped off food at my doorstep, texted me about their day and called me through FaceTime when I was bored.

Although catching COVID-19 comes with its many hardships, there are definitely ways it can make you stronger and more appreciative. If you or someone you know happens to catch COVID-19, remember to implement self-care, human connection and ample rest for a smooth recovery.

Contact Geraldine Yue at [email protected].