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Life in Quarantine When You’re Already a Homebody

Life in Quarantine When You’re Already a Homebody

If I really wanted to, I bet I could look back on my journal when I was 20 and find an entry wishing everyone would just stay home. I just never imagined it would take a pandemic, and I never imagined it would last months.

I struggled with FOMO (the fear of missing out) early in my 20s and nearly hated Saturdays for this reason. At the time, I was a full-time college student with two part-time jobs. My Saturdays were often spent writing essays, studying, and putting together a fashion magazine.

But that’s not what most people my age spent their Saturdays doing. Everyone else I knew slept in all morning and then had fun all night. I, on the other hand, spent my weekends prepping for the week ahead.

The thing is: I liked being home. But nobody else did.

home·bod·y (noun): a person who likes to stay at home, especially one who is perceived as unadventurous.

If you know me personally at all, you know that I’m a homebody and an introvert. I typically prefer a night in over a night out, small gatherings over large crowds, and I’m not the biggest fan of socializing with people I hardly know. I’m guilty of saying I’m busy (I usually am) or sick (I’m usually not) just so I can stay home and not go out to socialize with everyone else.

All of my favorite hobbies—reading books, writing, and playing video games—are solo tasks I’ve always liked to do in the comfort of my bedroom or in an empty library.

Unfortunately, nobody I knew thought it was “cool” to enjoy being home—especially at 20. I felt outlandish for savoring the indoors and secretly wished Saturdays weren’t The Day You Go Out And Do Something Fun. For years, Saturdays gave me so much pressure to “go out” that when I didn’t, I felt like I wasted the day—no matter how much personal work I accomplished.

Every Saturday, all I wanted to do was stay in. I was constantly away from home during the week, either at school or at work. On the weekends, I just wanted to relax and not make “a day” of anything.

Nobody else I knew felt the same way, though.

Stay at home? No problem!

So when the stay-at-home orders began over two months ago, you can probably guess how I felt: relieved. I was worried that the virus had become serious enough to warrant it, but at the same time, I was fine with being forced to stay inside. Also, since I work in New York City, I was concerned about my health more than anything.

Fortunately, I’ve been able to stay healthy during the last two months. I’m extra careful when going to the grocery store and grabbing take-out. I have also properly social-distanced from everyone apart from my boyfriend, who lives with me.

But when anyone asks me how I’m dealing with the “stuck at home” part, I hesitate to say I’m doing fine—maybe even great, actually.

Most people in my life are getting impatient and want things to “go back to normal” as soon as possible. While I, too, wish a global pandemic wasn’t threatening life as we know it and killing hundreds of thousands of people, you can’t deny that it is.

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I do miss date nights at the movies and going out for breakfast with my mother. I miss aimlessly wandering around Target without wearing a mask. But all of that can wait, especially if that means my loved ones and I are safe.

Making the best of an unfortunate situation.

So how is a homebody like myself thriving in this time of unease? I have been spending a lot of time with me. I’ve also been:

  • journaling daily and even recording voice memos while walking my dog
  • reading books on writing to help improve my craft
  • playing a lot of Animal Crossing: New Horizons and treating it as a creative outlet
  • catching up on a lot of new TV shows, like Broadchurch and Derry Girls

With everyone forced to stay inside over the past two months, I have felt much less guilty about enjoying my hobbies because, well, there isn’t anything else to do. It has been a relief to just be myself without having to come up with excuses about why I don’t want to go to this party or to that happy hour.

Honestly, this quarantine has felt like a strange dream. Between the climbing death toll and the purely political discourse, it has been disheartening. I know friends and family who have gotten sick and recovered. I also know people who have died.

Yet, I have tried my best to find positives during this tragic time. These past two months have helped me connect with friends through fun video chats, cementing my belief that it’s possible to maintain friendships without being face-to-face at all times. It has also helped me focus on myself, my health, and my needs without apologizing or making excuses. And I plan on practicing that mindset long after this is over.

I do look forward to returning to work and the world being safe again eventually. But I will also remember this time as when I was finally able to be myself guilt-free.


How have you been coping with this unfortunate situation? Are you a homebody like me or do you miss your favorite hangout spot? I’d love to hear from you, and most importantly, I hope you are healthy.

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  • Oh Megan, I’ve been anticipating this post since you told me a bit of what’s coming and I have to say, it’s the first time I’ve read something during this period of time that resonated so deeply with how I’ve been feeling.

    I have also been a homebody myself (it may be a thing with us writers). Like most humans, I of course need connection, but throughout my teenage years and earlier 20s, I felt major FOMO myself. It was like everyone else was so connected by this main desire to go out and have fun and socialize – that is, everyone except me. It was this odd sensation that triggered my feelings of not belonging, of feeling like an alien in this world.

    I also have had my fair share of ups and downs during this quarantine period, and though I don’t wish suffering on anyone, I do feel like it gave me permission to finally do all of the things I wanted to do, guilt-free! I could read, write, practice yoga, mediate – all of which are solo-activities similar to yours. The truth is, I like being in solitude and I’ve spent the majority of my life fighting against that very real part of myself.

    When asked how I’m doing, I’m almost afraid to admit that I’ve been better and more in-tune with myself than ever before. I’ve been learning a great deal about areas I still need to heal, topics I still want to explore, ideas I want to bring into fruition – all of which has made me feel so comfortable that I noticed how much discomfort I’ve endured only to please others, convincing myself that I should want those things, too.

    Like you, I’ve been journaling and focusing so much on my writing craft, which is something I always beat myself up for not having enough time for. Suddenly, I’ve been given that space and time.

    I think that collectively, we might begin to shift in terms of our understanding of time. I think we might just begin to value it so much more and prioritize it over all else. It’s not that I never had time before, but it was challenging for me to create this time for myself – mostly because of social pressures. I’m so happy that you’ve been feeling this too and this post made me breathe this giant sigh of relief that I’m not alone.

    Thank you for putting this out there. After all, we do what we do to release ourselves from our ourselves, but also to hear those small voices that gently raise their hands to say “me too – finally someone said it.”

    So thank you for being that someone who said all of the words that made me raise mine.

    • I’m so happy to hear I’m not alone in this, Misha. I knew if anyone could relate, it’d be you! Thankfully, my FOMO has worn off a lot by now, but I do still worry about how I spend my time and who I spend it with. It has to feel worthwhile.

      Isn’t it sad that we’ve both been fighting against this part of ourselves for so long? Almost every single one of my friends has made me feel guilty for being this way at least once during our friendship and it has always been disheartening. It’s still a struggle to find people I can be my complete self around, but here’s a step in the right direction: honesty. Transparency. I value that a lot.

      The older I get, the less I care about social pressures. I think I’m just getting tired of caring so much, to be honest. I’m also tried of trying to put other people’s comfort before my own—something I know you can relate to a lot, judging by one of your most recent blog posts. Hopefully, we can both work on this part of ourselves more and be better people because of it. x

  • I’m also a homebody and was slightly relieved that stay at home orders were enacted in my city (though I was really anxious about the virus). I was starting to feel overwhelmed all the time and just wanted a break from everything. These past few months, though the circumstance is terrible and horrific, has given me time to reset and fall in love with old hobbies again. Thank you for sharing!

    • I share the same feelings! I was very overwhelmed from all the news and worried about my safety constantly, especially since I was traveling in and out of New York City every day. While it’s horrifying this has happened, I’m glad we–and many other people–were able to take a bit of a break to reevaluate, reset, and give ourselves some more attention. Thank *you* for reading!

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