We’ve all spent at least a month in quarantine. Fairs, concerts, playgrounds, movies, and more have all been delayed or completely shut down. Schools have closed. We’ve all be forced to see things from a new perspective. Rather than a waypoint between activities and a place to rest our heads, home is now where we all have spent most of our time.
While we are all a bit relieved to see quarantines being eased, there are some lessons about life and frugality that we should take away from this experience.
- Things can’t make you happy. There are plenty of memes asking introverts to check on the extrovert friends or showing gamers and bookworms enjoying being stuck at home. But studies show people (yes, even introverts) need other people (healthline).
Our minds crave mental connection, and our bodies are designed to release the hormone oxytocin from a friendly hug, workplace handshake, or even a pat on the back. Lack of human interaction can lead to depression, anxiety, stress, and sleep deprivation. No amount of technology, books, or things can trigger the same hormonal release.
So, when you are thinking about getting out of the house, consider free or low-cost experiences…with people.
- Learn to do things for yourself. With coffee shops, tax providers, salons, and other convenience services closed, many people have had to resort to a do-it-yourself attitude. While you might be craving your local espresso fix, think about how much money you have saved by brewing at home. Now extrapolate that to other, more intensive tasks like creating meals from scratch or clearing a plumbing clog. Anything you can learn to do on your own will not only save you money but potentially give you new ways to help others, too.
- When overwhelmed financially, reach out. A large number of loan, credit card, and other companies made it a point to assist those in financial distress due to COVID-19. However, a great deal of the options they provided were already available to individuals who called up asking for help if they hit unforeseen financial hardship. So, don’t be afraid to reach out if you do need help – even if we are not in the middle of a pandemic.
While quarantines may be easing, it is not necessarily time to go out and live it up. There are life and financial lessons to be learned from our time spent away from our regular lives. Let’s try to make the most time and consider these lessons learned.