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University of Southern California
University of Southern California
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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A Whole New (Quarantine) World


March 30, 2020

Life Hacks

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As occupational beings, we long for social interaction with family, peers, and even with unfamiliar people; we want to explore the world and be with nature; we want to establish our routines, plan for the coming weeks and months as we enjoy life day by day; and definitely, we all want to live life to the fullest! Can you imagine life when we can all do these things? Doesn’t it look perfect? Can you now imagine a life that does not allow us to do any of the said activities? Honestly, for me, I don’t need to imagine anymore — it is actually happening right here and right now.

The quarantine life has affected us in many, many ways: universities transitioned to online classes, companies decided to implement a work from home set up, restaurants and coffee shops are now only available for to-go orders, and so on. But what can we really do? As my wonderful professor Dr. Emily Ochi had told me before, this is something that nobody wanted, or this is nobody’s fault; but its effects and consequences are left for us to endure. And I think she is right — we are innocent victims of such circumstances and yet here we are still trying to keep things going! (Just a quick shout out to Dr Ochi, Dr. Danny Park and his Global Initiatives team, and the rest of the faculty and staff of USC Chan for checking in with us and for making sure that we are doing okay despite everything!!)

Just when I thought that my previous blog post was the most personal that I’ll be posting ever, I think this pandemic proved me wrong. Here are some tips (all based on my personal experience, so please don’t judge LOL), that you can do while being on quarantine:

  1. Check in
    The power of checking in has never been this appreciated to some people, including myself. Who would ever thought that a simple “Hey, how are you?” would mean the world? In stressful times like this, we do not know who to contact or communicate with since everyone is actually going through the same battle. We don’t want to give additional emotional or psychological baggage to our friends and family, because surely, they are also going through a lot. But I think having a support group or being with certain people (virtually) around you and making them feel that you are there for them and vice versa, makes a huge difference!
  2. Escape but always go back
    We are humans and humans as we are, the effects of stress can easily penetrate our mind and body. We should learn when to stop, when to take a break, and when to continue again. When you have so many things at hand and you feel overwhelmed, remember this saying: “Rest if you must but never quit!”
  3. Enjoy today and always try look forward to better days
    I know that when times get rough, it is just not easy to have fun and enjoy every moment. I know that uncertainty always has a way to ruin our mood, but I also know that we are bigger than our uncertainties in life. If today does not feel okay, maybe tomorrow will, or the day after tomorrow, or maybe next week! Funny how this sounds like, but there is always something better that is coming our way. Maybe my plans for this week or next week are ruined, but who said I don’t have the next month to make another set of plans?

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” — a line that represents all of us right now. We are tough and we will continue to thrive, even in the darkest of times. Fight On!

A screenshot of an online hangout by the post-professional master's students

Here is a group zoom photo of some of the students from the post-professional master’s cohort. Fight on from our screens to yours!