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Now Might Be a Good Time to Start a Quarantine Journal

By Ching Dee for Belo Medical Group on November 5, 2020

When it comes to having good things to say about the year of our Lord 2020, most of us are likely to come up short. After all, this year began with the eruption of a long-dormant volcano, and it’s ending with a holiday season with a beleaguered populace entering over 300 days in community quarantine. Because of a virus that’s gripped the world and brought it to its knees. Yeah. That’s 2020. 

But what we often forget is that we’re living in some pretty historic times—the last time a pandemic of such proportions seized the world was in 1918, when the Spanish influenza infected 500 million people…and killed around 50 million of them. This is the type of thing people who live to tell the tale tell their grandchildren about. So, now might be a good time to start a quarantine journal.

Do you remember how you felt during the day of September 9, 2015? That’s a totally random day, BTW. Nothing extraordinary happened then (at least, not to our knowledge). That’s because humans forget easily. You may think you’ll *always* remember how 2020 made you feel, but someday, this time in our lives is going to be (hopefully) a distant, not-so-fond memory. So to provide yourself with a time capsule, here are a few tips for keeping a quarantine journal:

1. Write down the habits that have kept you busy.

You must have picked up a new hobby (or five) this quarantine—with all this time spent at home, we all had to broaden our horizons. Remind Future You of all the things you did to keep yourself entertained (or wind down from the post-WFH shift exhaustion) with a nifty and colorful list.

2. Doodle reminders to keep your mental health in check.

The person you’ll be spending not only the rest of quarantine, but also the rest of your life with, is yourself. That’s why you should be your own best friend and cheerleader. Jot down your favorite inspirational quotes as a reminder that this, too, shall pass.

3. Fill it up with photos.

Treat your quarantine journal like a storybook for Future You to wistfully flip through…and all storybooks need photos. Whether it’s a silly pic of your cat or your proudest homemade meal from April, document this time as best you can!

4. Be accountable to yourself.

Allow us to preface this with a gentle affirmation: it’s OK if you didn’t meet any of your 2020 goals. This year threw the whole Earth in for a loop, after all. But if you’re determined to hit at least some of your targets this year, you can use a quarantine journal to take account of your progress (it may be nearing mid-November, but it’s not too late!). 

Journaling may sound silly, and you may not have picked up some good ol’ pen and paper in a while. But going back to this simple ritual might just be what you need to get through the rest of this truly crazy year. And, 10 years from now, you’ll have a piece of history in your hands. Your story, at least.

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