Reading & Quarantining

 In Anxiety and Stress, Compassion, High School, Random Thoughts

During this time in quarantine, I’m sure many of us have spent time plopped on the couch with a bag of popcorn and eyes fixated on the TV screen. Netflix for hours, episode after episode, one take out meal after another. Wired. I don’t doubt that some of us feel as if our brain cells are rotting.

My peers and I have been deprived of a classroom setting where we feed our brains with knowledge. Teenagers may enjoy this time away from school, but we are undoubtedly starting to miss it. Many adults are out of a job, and are probably drained working from home, taking care of their kids, and cleaning the house. Some of us unfortunately, have resorted to thrown-off schedules and mere vegetation, where sleeping at a reasonable hour and trying at-home workouts remain out of the picture. Goodbye to motivation and a healthy lifestyle. We’ve taken our ‘normal’ days for granted. I’m sure that, after all this down time, we will appreciate the routines we once had. But there’s only so much we can do now. 

Having a fairly driven, motivated, and organized personality, I’ve kept a solid routine. I wake up around 7am and relax in bed until around 8. Before I go downstairs, I’ll put on a pair of leggings and a sports bra topped with a large sweater so I’m bundled up, but ready to get moving. I’ll grab my morning fuel, (my specialty oat milk/almond milk lattés if you know me well :)) and take my mornings at my own pace. A couple hours later, I’ll break for my brunch cooking project. I love cooking healthy and learning new recipes, always! (these cooking projects ensue at dinner once again).

Once I gather the energy I’ll make sure to get a workout in–whether it be a bike ride, a run, a walk, some floor work, or tennis if I can. Physical activity is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle; without it, we grow anxious, restless, and lose energy trapped in the house all day. Walking outside for 20 minutes or doing a few stretches in your room never falls short of rejuvenating you :).

When I get back home, I never shy away from cuddling up with a good book. An escape: something we all seem to need right now. Reading has been my source of refuge in times of boredom, and especially of sadness we are prone to feeling these days. Yes, TV provides this alternate reality, but not like reading does. A good book not only entertains you, but it enriches you with valuable lessons to think critically about. When a passage jumps out at me, I’ve taken the time to parse through it a few times to extract from it all that I can.  I’ve been marking up the margins, highlighting what resonates with me and jotting down take-aways on post-its. There’s no rush or pressure to be reading things quickly: no deadlines, no assignments, no due-dates.

 

Indulging in mostly non-fiction, I find it necessary to remember which experiences lead to success and which lead to failure in people’s lives. Going off to college soon, it’s important that I prepare for the journey ahead while I have time now. It’s essential that we find purpose and meaning during these alienating, dark times. 

There are so many excellent books out there–from those at the back of your book case at home to the favorites of your parents and friends. The purpose of this post was for me to share my top picks an
d take-aways with you and hopefully, inspire you to read! Here’s my current list that includes books I’ve recently read in quarantine and just others I’ve enjoyed:

  • Apeirogon by Column Mcann
  • The Haj by Leon Uris
  • In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson
  • The Education of an Idealist by Samantha Powers
  • A Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl 
  • A Higher Loyalty by James Comey
  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
  • Behind Enemy Lines by Marthe Cohn
  • The Trilogy: Night, Dawn, & Day by Elie Wiesel
  • The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
  • The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

In the following days, I plan to post short blurbs commenting on some of these books–from my opinion to what I learned. Remember, even during this self-isolation period, it’s essential that we stay on track and keep a balanced lifestyle. A little bit of everything everyday goes a long way! Eat healthy, exercise daily, fill your brain, binge watch a little netflix, and of course, watch great movies and cozy up with a new book. Please reach out if you ever have any questions, want to discuss a book, an article, or just want to talk. If you have any book recommendations for me, please let me know, I’m super open to anything! Stay safe and healthy everyone 🙂

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