Prior to the stay-at-home orders of the COVID-19 pandemic, I would discover numerous ways every day to distract my mind away from challenging thoughts. Hanging with friends 5-6 days a week–often numerous friends in one day–was my personal status quo for years preceding the virus' emergence. I refused to be alone with my thoughts for too long, I always wanted to stay active and on-the-go in a way that was productive for my avoidance and not my true mental growth and healing. Being forced to spend multiple months at home, with limited social interactions, has proven to be a challenge; a challenge that I have learned many lessons from.
One of the major lessons I learned from quarantine is that it's okay to take time for yourself– not every day has to be lived for distractions. Although the act of hanging with friends can also be seen as living life for yourself– it's not very helpful for your own psyche when your social life is used to avoid your own difficult thoughts. Instead of needing social interactions with people I love on an unrealistic basis, I have learned to find content-ness in myself even when spending time alone at home.
It is okay to struggle whilst battling your difficult thoughts. I used to consistently find ways to avoid confrontation with my own difficult or challenging thoughts. Instead of taking note of a toxic friendship, I continuously hung out with that person on a weekly basis, multiple days a week, because it was a 'fun' distraction. I no longer hang out or associate with this person anymore because I took time while at home to challenge the friendship and recognize that the toxicity of the friendship outweighed the fun. Quarantine has taught me to no longer avoid my difficult thoughts and to welcome them in times alone. There is immense power in confronting our more difficult or weighing thoughts head-on to learn and adapt according to your own introspective, conclusive thoughts.
Even though quarantine has proven to be an immensely challenging and life-consuming time, it can also be a powerful time for personal growth. Challenge yourself and face your more difficult or weighing thoughts head-on; take heed of what your gut is trying to tell you.