Quarantine – Week 1

Wednesday (25th):

Finally! A day off from work and I was able to stick to my quarantine schedule.

Work Out √ Meditation √ School Stuff √ Eat & Sleep Well √

Thursday (26th):

Work Out √ Meditation √ School Stuff √ Eat & Sleep Well √

Friday (27th):

Work Out √ Meditation √ School Stuff √ Eat Well √

Oh, and it was the start of my wife’s weekend. Time to drink some wine! Whoops…the bottle is gone…and, I fell asleep at 2am.

Saturday (28th):

I woke up at 12pm and saw that my professor sent me an email telling me that the paper was done incorrectly for a reason that was out of my control. I felt dragged through the mud. It was almost as if my computer had crashed when I was writing my paper and I had to muster up the motivation to restart it from scratch. I was completely deflated.

I tried to stick to my schedule this day…and, I kind of did…but, I skipped school stuff…I couldn’t go to bed till 2am for “some” reason.

Sunday (29th):

I woke up at 8am. Tried to stick to my schedule, but I couldn’t motivate myself to do anything for school. I chalked it up to…“well, I needed a weekend and I will start back on Monday.”

Monday (30th):

I was frustrated with myself. I was going to bed late while distracting myself with The Office, Ozark, Super Smash Bros, and various movies. I was starting to feel my school and health responsibilities scream out to me from behind a semi-soundproof wall.

During this 1st week of my quarantine, I was reading 10 articles per day on COVID19. I was seeing the amount of deaths, the societal controls in place, the suffering businesses, and the millions of people suffering in financial and emotional ways. But, as I usually do when I hear about the sufferings around the world, I had a wall up. At first, my wall was sturdy; the stories were just objectively informing me without piercing my emotions or my personal context. But, slowly…this wall began to deteriorate. The email from my professor informing me that my paper was done incorrectly definitely threw down my defenses a bit. The crumbling of my “perfect” quarantine schedule smashed the wall more. Each COVID19 news article that had no positive conclusion (all of them), took away one brick of my wall at a time. My wall was teetering like the end of a Jenga game. My fears and doubts were doing everything possible to tear the rest of it down and get my attention. I was distracting away from those thoughts and feelings with entertainment to the point that I could only close my eyes and fall asleep to the sound of a television series melting its story into my brain.

Tuesday (31st):

My Tuesday and Wednesday classes started up on the 31st after a week-long spring break. During the break, the papers and other items due didn’t seem to hold any significance in my life because they didn’t fit the circumstances of what was happening in the world. However, now with the remote classes back in session, my motivation trickled back.

After class on Tuesday, I was feeling a bit better. I was, at the very least, motivated towards some outer purpose again. With this newly found motivation bolstered by a great talk with my wife, I was able to develop some new inspiring ways of pushing myself forward:

  • I looked at what typically were my life purposes and tried to shift them towards the new environment
  • I also looked at developing perspective, context, and flexibility when responding to the floods of information funneling through my present senses, past memories, and future anticipations in my mind (adaptable thinking)

What I Learned this Week:

Schedules are not going to work 100% of the time. Perfection is an illusion and schedules are typically made by anticipating perfection. Anticipation is never how the actual situation turns out. Schedules should be a framework of understanding. A schedule is beneficial if I glance at it every now and again to ensure I am still staying gently disciplined on the priorities that I put together.

Uncertainty has always been a fact of life. But now the awareness of uncertainty has become a piece of every conversation, every car ride passing empty parking lots, every news article, and even google has a massive caution sign on their search bar to remind us what we are all going through. This forced awareness is unfortunate because it makes it hard to follow one of the most important mental and emotional tips that I have discovered: focusing on uncertainty isn’t productive. It is important to understand how we can all help flatten the curve for the hospitals and our world communities, however reading only one news article per week on COVID19 will suffice for developing that necessary knowledge. Focusing on uncertainty is a black hole. We can choose to go down it…or we can acknowledge uncertainty and then choose to focus on our constantly shifting passions and purposes in life…and all the other good stuff that is surrounding us all the time.

Next Week:

I am getting closer to the wrap up of my 2nd week of quarantine. This 2nd week definitely got worse before it got better. I am really beginning to understand the ebb and flow of this situation…and I will say, that the resilient part of my 2nd week in quarantine has been extremely insightful and mentally & emotionally significant. I am very excited to share week 2 with you 🙂

Meditation Playlists:

Speaking of positive news. If at all possible, try to sit with your uninterrupted mind for at least 30 minutes a day. This practice helps me to see what my mind needs to let go of (uncertainty usually) and what my mind truly needs in this moment. I do a focused breathing to these playlists below. I breathe in through my nose for 8 seconds and breathe out through my mouth for 6-8 seconds. It doesn’t matter if I stop that focus…once I notice that I stopped, I just start the focused breath-work back up again. I do my best to keep that going for the 30 minutes because it helps remind me to let go of any thought or feeling that comes up. Practicing letting go is important, especially right now since we need to get better at focusing on and talking about the positive stuff in life.

There is no amazing way for me to send these playlists to you. So, I have them on Spotify for those who have that premium service (or Apple Music if you want me to send them to you separately). If you do not have premium music services like this, then you will still be able to see what songs are on the playlists and hopefully gather them in that order. Yes…the order really matters…so, if you want the Kevin experience, then you cannot shuffle the songs 😊. I love making playlists and I usually put them in an order where it flows the best for the mood that I am going for…and meditation is absolutely a certain type of relaxed mood.

Unfortunately, I can’t fix this one. “Shamanic Healing” won’t play, which is fine. So I replaced it with “Love’s Winged Messenger” but Shamanic Healing still shows up. Please disregard it…Spotify will already automatically disregard it when you play the playlist.

Pets!

SIDE NOTE! I love all the pet adoptions that are happening right now. It is extremely positive that we can utilize this “free” time to love and support the animals in need around each of our regions. My dogs have never been happier 😊

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About Kevin Carlstead

I graduated as a hospitality and psychology student at University of Denver. I spent most of my teenage and young adult years in the hospitality industry. I am still searching for what industry suits my personality and talents so that I can feel more meaning throughout my days. My current career pursuit has me enrolled in a graduate program to become a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I was born and raised in San Diego, CA. I love music with something to it. I love life with something to it. I have made it one of my purposes in this life to integrate both of these things that I love. This blog and my own songwriting has given me the platforms to do that very thing. Thank you for reading.
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5 Responses to Quarantine – Week 1

  1. ncarlstead says:

    Love this so much, Kev! Thank you so much for sharing. I had my first couple of days of – This sucks, I don’t know what to do to best care for myself, I’m unmotivated, I’m scared – this weekend and reading your post was super helpful to not feel alone in all of that. Very excited for your next post! Love you!

    • Hey Nat! Thanks for the comment 🙂 We will all be ebbing and flowing and it’s nice to know that we are not alone in that. I will do my best to stay strong as much as humanly possible right now so that when people ebb…they can borrow some strength from me to get back in the flow. I am sure I’ll need some strength too though and I appreciate you being there when I need it 🙂

  2. ncarlstead says:

    Love this so much, Kev! So helpful to read this. I just had my first couple days of “this sucks, I don’t know what I need to do to take care of myself, I’m scared” and it was so helpful to read about your experience (and talk to you :)) and know I’m not alone in that. Definitely an ebb and flow situation and trying to ride the wave.

  3. Amanda Whiteley says:

    So many great points within this new post. Admittedly, the news has been really difficult for me to shut off. Moreover, I am struggling with social media… Seeing the videos of people intentionally coughing on produce, or hanging out at the parks has me pissed off. It really will suck you in and the media and social media both can equally brainwash. That said, I have had to limit to a morning session, I like to see how the DOW opens lol, and then watch the afternoon/evening session with the task force for about 30 minutes.

    This was really well written Kevin and I could literally see you struggling and I believe that was the point of the article. Perfect is tough, you know I struggle with that as well. I have struggled with always trying to strive for excellence, and eventually that does pay off. It’s best to not be our own worst critics. Keep your chin up, focus on school, and enjoy this time as much as possible.

    I would love to hear your thoughts on how this could change the wave of the future. Do we not shake hands or hug anymore? Culturally, this is transforming America/the world as we know it.

    Cheers,
    Amanda

    • Hey Amanda! Thanks for the comment 🙂 I can postpone hugging, but I will never stop. Love and physical connection will come trickling back as the quarantine laws are lifted.

      I am interested to see how the youth in quarantine grow up after having an experience like this: how they show affection, how they support emotional intelligence, and what kind of careers they aim for in the future. Also, if adults careers will shift to new horizons because of this and maybe an increase in relationship conclusions that lead to an increase in relationship solidification due to understanding what we truly need in our partners after this.

      We can anticipate and assume what may happen after…but truly, I have no idea. It all depends how we treat this quarantine. Are we embracing our mind’s needs or are we distracting and distancing from even ourselves? I am biased…but I think it all comes down to that. And what I know from history is that there will be a percentage of people who become stronger after this, a percentage of people who become weaker after this, and a percentage of people who had no choice in that matter because they were less fortunate than the ones who had homes, jobs, and a source of privilege during these times.

      We will see. If at all possible, optimism, fun, and laughter needs to be sprinkled throughout our days and I hope with how much we both like to succeed and seriously excel that we are both making time for the lighter stuff too 🙂

      Thank you for reading, Amanda 🙂

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