Hope After Quarantine

What Will Life Look Like After COVID-19?

by Kim Engstrom

Financial Frequency. myWellness

May 15, 2020 . 3 min read

If you’re at all like me, you’ve been watching a lot of movies during this personal sabbatical we’ve been forced to take without warning or planning. You might be watching old favorites, binging on mini-series, theme selecting based on your mood (can you say Romantic Comedies?), or getting into early access rentals. Even Walt Disney Pictures has delayed the release date for the live-action remake of “Mulan” due to coronavirus concerns. When will we be able to go to the theater again?  

A personal favorite is Eat, Pray, Love, one of the few movies I’ve seen and read the book.  I remember having a distinct love/hate relationship with Elizabeth Gilbert, the main character in the story played by actress Julia Roberts. I was her at one time, heartbroken, uninspired, and lost and I wanted to be her. Who wouldn’t want to take a year to eat their way through Italy, heal in India, and fall in love in Indonesia? Here’s my COVID-19 version of the story. 

I ate my way through April. I used the reasoning I was supporting neighborhood restaurants, and a worldwide shutdown was the best reason I knew for ordering generous amounts of food from all the places I’d never been before. Did you know straight from the oven bagels are carb-free during a pandemic? And that a stay-at-home order is a perfectly good excuse to have a “brookie” whenever you feel the urge. (That’s just as it sounds, a half brownie/half cookie still so warm the chocolate is melted) 

My stock up visit to the grocery store in shutdown week one was for all of my favorite comfort foods. If I was going to be stranded home alone, I live by myself, I better have all the necessary supplies. No one alive had ever experienced something to this magnitude so we didn’t know what to do. I neglected to get  caught up in the toilet paper frenzy because I was too caught up in buying ice cream, an essential food item totally classified as nutritional in times of suffering, especially before bed. Food restrictions no longer applied as if I’d been granted permission to eat whatever and whenever I wanted. The end result? I enjoyed every morsel. I’m not going to lie. Eating my way through April was magnifico! 

Ciao April! Hello May, the PRAY version of my quarantine adventure. Time to check on your mental health. This month I’m partaking in activities that soothe the soul: meditation, yoga, journaling, bike riding, writing, nature walks, and camping. I am by no means an expert in any of these. Who cares! I’m practicing giving things up like looking good and extending forgiveness to myself and others. I’m going to catch as many sunsets as possible and maybe even a couple of sunrises. I’m going to get out of my head and search for heart and soul clarity in a material world that’s still very uncertain. I’m participating in virtual events scheduled to support the community attending three special family occasions via zoom and leading a business conference online.   

I’m taking more downtime while it’s still an option. I’m going to tell people I care about just how much they mean to me by acknowledging who they are for the world. I’m going to support my Muslim friend and do a version of Ramadan a time of spiritual reflection, self-improvement, and heightened devotion.  I plan to fast, cook healthy food, practice yoga and limit my screen time and the mindless hours of scrolling for nothing.  I didn’t think it was possible, but I find my pace slowing down even more and I’m in no hurry to return to the rat race. 

If I end May even having brought one of these practices into my life, I will consider myself blessed. May is for creating space for what is next. My prediction when we all get to touch each other again is that love will be in the air. Let’s see if May flowers bring Summer LOVE!