The Art of Quarantine: Making the most out of your Quarantined days

By Mala Thapar, Chief Executive Officer at Independent Minds LLP

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2018, my sister had lungs failure, Pulse & BP untraceable, swine flu and pneumonia. She was on ventilator for many days. After 1.5 + years of treatment she is in perfect condition today. I used to be my sister’s “attendant “during her ICU, Isolation rooms, quarantine days when she was a patient. She and me were isolated/quarantined for 18 months or so.

In today’s Coronavirus days, people are shy to quarantine themselves? Most of them are confused as to what to do at home? Working professionals are also confused about business, economy and work from home timelines. Isn’t it?

Many people know how to destress themselves in this busy world but what to do when you have you to unexpectedly quarantine yourself? Am no saint nor an economist nor a politician but I write from an attendant’s perspective.

Conscious Choice:

Whatever be the crisis or disease and whatsoever be its magnitude, the individual MUST make conscious use of positive words. Be like a powerhouse of positivity. Search for at least one positive thing in every situation.  Remember” every dark cloud has a silver lining”. When you consciously make that choice, it is seen in your body language and you never know, it can give life to someone dying!

Before getting up from the bed say “what a wonderful day” 24 hours given by God for hope”.  During the day, try to live in the moment. Live in “NOW”. While retiring to bed, make a routine in your mind t to be thankful of three things that happened during the day. Seek and ask forgiveness for three things during the day.  Within no time, you will surprise yourself!

Park your labels!

For a while park your labels which your office or family has given you. Don’t bring them in your quarantine time at home. Don’t be a department head or team player at home. Don’t act like CEO to your children or Management Advisor to your old parents or Housekeeping Company’s Consultants to your household help or CFO to your partner or Board of Director to everyone on the Dinner table. Neither, don’t act like a father or mother at home. Don’t be a son or daughter or a wife or a son in law, mother in law etc.  at home. Don’t hold on to old labels.  But adopt the new label.  “Be One”. Be one with yourself and be one with others.  Be one with your family. Whatever role or responsibility you have, just be ONE VOICE and not your only Voice. Be united within self and family! Here it will require a lot of mental effort to let go off the labels for a while. But remember what Alexander the Great remarked – “King or beggar -Everyone goes empty handed”. So, park your labels and enjoy everyone’s presence in your presence!

Brake, Rest and Align!

You already had a routine for many days, years by now. Suddenly a halt now. But your mind and body are in auto mode. Hence, you are confused or shying away from quarantine. Remember brakes in the car are not to make your driving slow but to make it fast. Also, if your car engine is on all the time, then there will be a break down sooner or later. Therefore, pull your brakes. Rest! Align your mind, body and soul. Do whatever you wish to or do nothing. Just halt and align! Soon the fast life will start but by then your power will be refilled!

Just Make it!

If you are confused about the current time or shy to quarantine, then please start with the Principle which Dale Carnegie wrote in his book” Stop worrying and start living”. The principle is “Start with the end in mind”. The whole world is saying quarantine yourself and praying that such times should not come again, then? When you think that your quarantine period has an end date, make the most of it and make it memorable.  Lot of emotions will come to surface. Whatever you chose, make the most of your time. Also remember Shakespeare wrote his plays when he was quarantined due to plague. What memories are you writing? Whatever- Just Make it!

New Reality!

What is the new reality? Approx. 9000 + days before internet came and times changed. A quarter month before corona has come, time has changed and what avalanche effect it will have, nobody knows. I had no clue of ventilators, swine flu, any medicine, effect of food on body and mind, operation of oxygen cylinders but lessons learnt during my sister’s illness made me educated enough to face the new reality. Today I know what to do in times of crisis.

How about educating yourself during the quarantine time? You will ask Educate on what? Anything big or small topic, anything on professional or personal front, anything, which the hush hush of life had not given you time for. Perhaps the universe has given you this opportunity. Perhaps this is the time for you to learn something useful for a new role or a new job or a new business. Prepare to face the new reality!

Hygiene is a mandate

High level of hygiene, we maintained from the hospitalization days to home ICU and till date. Hygiene should be a by default habit, we had to educate to many including medical staff at times. My sister required a 24-hour oxygen monitoring support for her lungs and pulse monitoring. Medical fraternity people who had cold, cough and flu would come for duty. This could have been fatal for a lungs patient but : “chalta hai” was the attitude for some. Therefore, we used to stop them and do the job ourselves. If any house member had same symptoms, they quarantined themselves for the sake of my sister and self. Corona has highlighted hygiene as a mandate which was earlier a habit of convenience for many. Perhaps your leather shoes need to be polished, perhaps your almirah needs to be vacuum cleaned, Perhaps your kitchen masala boxes needs new labels, perhaps your purse needs to be like a purse and not mini store, perhaps your credit card bills needs to be torn. Have alook they are plenty of stuff that needs to be cleaned and made hygienic. Just make hygiene a mandate!

Look within!

Did the world give you time and space to read your own manual? Perhaps now you have got the opportunity. Accept the fact that you cannot get peace by going out to gym, dance classes, hang outs, movie, party, mutual funds, security bonds, movies, marathons etc. It may be to some extend but the real peace is to be at peace within when everything around you is a question mark. Real peace comes from inside and not outside. Understand your emotions and mood. See yourself from a spectator’s lens. There is a lot to explore. It will be start of the journey within! Just change your looking lens and look. You never know from the realms of inner self; you may find a key that can unlock the masterpiece you areBut for this and you must ensure a Quality Quarantine for yourself.

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