Paola Duran is the new editor-in-chief of Aztec Gold Online student news website. (Photo by Paola Duran)
Paola Duran is the new editor-in-chief of Aztec Gold Online student news website.

Photo by Paola Duran

What I Learned in Isolation

Quality Me Time

September 10, 2020

The idea of isolation — at first glance — brought me feelings of anxiety and fear.

Photo by Paola Duran

But as time went, on the picture became a lot clearer and a lot brighter for me. For the first two months, I did nothing but sit on my bed, do online work, and spend all my time on my phone, jumping mindlessly through the different apps. Going out was not an option and when I did try to venture out, I came home filled with anxious thoughts about the virus.

I stopped exercising due to gym closures. I stopped socializing and I stopped caring about my body. Overall, I stopped doing the things I loved and I started falling into unhealthy habits. I soon started to notice this unhealthy behavior affecting my mood and my relationships with friends and family, so I decided to pick myself back up.

I began taking free online courses since school had just finished. I started doing daily exercise even if the gyms were closed. I ate healthier foods and I found new hobbies. My phone usage went from 8 hours a day to 2 hours. I now had the time that I longed for throughout the school year, when my days were just filled with work, work and more work.

With all this extra time, I started doing SAT practice and looking at colleges. Everyday I did something different, whether it was painting, reading, writing, baking, playing a sport, or most recently, taking pictures, I was exploring new interests and learning something new everyday.

I realized isolation was simply spending time with myself — something that just strengthened me and allowed me to be a better sister, daughter and friend.

I broke away from the idea we are constantly fed; that the source of our happiness is found in others. I found that true happiness is formed by me and only me. Whether it be actions, thoughts or choices, we are truly in control.

I broke away from the idea we are constantly fed; that the source of our happiness is found in others. Whether it be actions, thoughts or choices, we are truly in control.”

— Paola Duran