Monday, May 25th, 2020

5 Strategies To Survive Quarantine And Feel Connected

Published on March 18, 2020 by   ·   11 Comments Pin It

Times are strange! And scary! The past two weeks have drastically changed how we interact with our friends and family, how we work, our sense of safety, and so much more. I’m personally having trouble remembering what day it is because that information seems so trivial and unimportant in comparison to what’s going on around us.

One highlight I take from this experience is that we are all in the same boat. Yes, privilege is still very prevalent, but this pandemic affects even the most privileged among us. We’re all just doing our best to navigate uncharted waters. And we are NOT alone, even when isolation and anxiety tells us we are!

I urge you to find the community any way you can. Let’s focus our love outward and inward. Let’s take some time to appreciate the people in our lives and show up for them, even when we can’t physically show up. Let’s support our community by committing to do what’s best for the group, even when it feels overwhelming and difficult. We are adaptable; we can create new routines, new methods of connection, new ways to inspire.

Here are five things that are helping me feel okay, and I hope they are helpful to you, too


5 Free Survival Strategies To Survive Quarantine And Feel Connected


Incompetence and Evil: An NYC Pediatrician's Take On COVID 19

There is sooo much information on covid-19 floating around the internet right now, and frankly the abundance of scientific articles, advice videos, and press conferences to sift through can be super overwhelming! However, this article that my friend sent me helped me understand what it means to “flatten the curve.” It uses a simulator to visually demonstrate how the virus is spreading. Understanding the basics of something relieves so much anxiety even if I can’t change the outcome. Knowledge is power, y’all!



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For the one facing new unknowns: You are entering an all new territory. Be patient with yourself as you’re learning. Even when others are not patient with you, remember what is true: No one is traveling perfectly. We all hold both strength and struggle. Even the ones who seem to be the most prepared are learning new things along the way. So when you feel overwhelmed by the unknowns, ask, What can I learn here? And perhaps, you will still grow no matter the things you fear. MHN I created and sent this series to someone this morning who is currently facing new unknowns. And as exciting as this new season is supposed to be, it comes with its own uncertainty. I intentionally chose bright colors because to me, bright colors say, “alive.” It was my hope that a colorful landscape would remind her of her own aliveness. Up until recently, I almost always wore black and neutral colors and decorated in the same way. I still like my softer/neutral tones, but color can give a sense of hope and that’s why I often paint that way. I hope wherever you are today, you can notice the small things that give you a sense of hope, amidst the unknowns. ☀️🙏

A post shared by MHN (@morganharpernichols) on

There’s nothing quite like a pandemic and huge waves of gut-twisting anxiety to discourage you from doing, well, anything. It can feel very pointless to keep working, creating, or pursuing your passions right now. When I feel discouraged, I like to look at Morgan Harper Nichols’ work and feel how much power she projects even from places of deep uncertainty. We live in uncertain times, and her art is a great reminder that you can make beautiful things even when you feel lost, unstable, insecure, or just plain sad. Fear doesn’t define what you are capable of.


You Think You Know Me Card Game, $30

You Think You Know Me Card Game, $30

My ideas for connecting with people during isolation include:

  • Write letters to friends!
  • Call loved ones and tell them your favorite memory of them or a really funny joke or compare star charts etc.
  • Play question games like You Think You Know Me!
  • Take turns reading to someone and having them read to you.
  • Watch movies/TV at the same time. This experience is enhanced by cozy pajamas, good snacks, and wine. And it’s better when the movie is absolutely terrible (if you want bad movie suggestions, HMU).
  • Make dinner and eat it “together.” Pretend to be on Chopped or any other cooking show. Rate each other on presentation, creativity, etc.
  • Come up with art/writing prompts and send them to a friend(s). Then, share what you created! Alternatively, write part of a poem/story/whatever, and then have each friend add something onto the last sentence without revealing the whole thing until the end.
  • Dance parties via Facetime. Be brave! Be silly! I guarantee you will end up laughing on the floor.
  • Costume parties! Commit to your character completely. Make up a backstory, attempt an accent, and interact with your friends as if you’re meeting for the first time.


Broad City, available for download on Hulu or Amazon

Broad City, available for download on Hulu or Amazon

Sometimes bringing back the familiar can make your whole world feel more “right” again when your routine is disrupted. My favorite show to rewatch during hard times is FRIENDS. My comfort movies are anything with Meg Ryan (hellooo Sleepless In Seattle– a classic), and the Lord Of The Rings trilogy. I’ve listened to Harry Potter audiobooks more times than I can count. Yes, I’m a huge dork! But anyway. Being able to predict how the story goes is very comforting. Plus, you WILL notice something new every time you rewatch or re-listen to a story!


Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

This one is not specific to stressful times– this is an everyday joy. Dogs ALWAYS make me happy, without fail. They are precious angels on this planet and they bring joy and love everywhere they roam!!! Here are two of my favorite Instagram dogs, Paw-Rudd and Tofu Chan. I hope their sweet faces and shenanigans bring you comfort and make you smile. There is so much goodness left in this world if you’re lookin’ for it.

Love you all so dang much! Community is essential right now, and I’m very very thankful to be part of this one. Be safe this week. Wash your hands, don’t touch your face, limit your social interactions, take deep breaths, eat comfort food, be patient with yourself. And remember: you are not alone.

Cleo Otto is a 25-year-old vegan living in Portland, OR. Otto is a writer and content creator for Herbivore Clothing Co. Their interests include watching rom-coms, listening to true crime podcasts, reading voraciously, and eating many, many vegan chocolate peanut butter cups. The Herbivore Clothing Co. has been making vegan look good since 2002. Compassionate messages and everything you need for a cruelty-free lifestyle. Follow them on Instagram.

5 Free Survival Strategies To Survive Quarantine And Feel Connected

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