Today’s “Cabin Fever Diaries” is a check-in with the lovely Sailor Brinkley-Cook, who has used self-isolation time to make some important discoveries about herself.
Where are you right now and who you are you with?
I’m in my apartment in Brooklyn with my boyfriend.
Have you learned anything new about yourself since isolating?
I definitely think it’s inevitable to have a lot of new discoveries about yourself, especially your mental state, when you’re forced to be still in one space for a long time. I’ve learned a lot about the parts of myself that I’ve been able to suppress with different activities, work, or travel. A lot of emotions have come to the surface since I haven’t had much distraction from my own mind, which I think is really therapeutic, even though it’s uncomfortable.
What has been the biggest change to your routine?
The biggest change to my routine has been not being able to go to the gym in the morning. Going to the gym is really like therapy for me and not being able to go into a different space to dedicate an hour or two to my body every day has been really hard mentally.
What do you miss most about life before the quarantine?
I miss being able to go and do anything on a whim whether it is go to lunch with a friend, go to a dance class, have dinner with my family. I think, like most people, I miss everything about life before quarantine. But I’ll stay in my apartment for months if it means we can flatten the curve and save lives.
What are you doing to decompress?
I’ve started developing some daily routines that help me feel grounded. I’ll work out in the morning, then try and do at least one creative thing during the day like drawing, painting, writing, dancing, etc. And at night, my boyfriend and I have been trying out new recipes in the kitchen, which is my favorite part of the day.
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How are you staying active?
I turned my tiny apartment into a little gym with a Peloton I borrowed from my mom and a yoga mat and weights I ordered on Amazon on day two of quarantine. When it’s not crowded, I’ll go for a run around my neighborhood. I’m super cautious about not touching anything or going close to anyone.
How’s your sleep?
I usually fall asleep pretty early and wake up pretty early, but recently I’ve been going to bed at around 1:00 AM and waking up way too late.
What are you doing to help others?
I’ve been donating to City Harvest and Feeding America and some organizations/people who have been making and donating masks to healthcare workers. I’ve also tried to create a little community of positivity on my Instagram, recently. I’ve been asking people to share their routines that keep them calm and some things that make them happy. I’ll post all of what they wrote in and everyone else can read it and get some tips to stay sane and positive. It’s a really hard time for people who deal with a mental illness. It’s so hard to find distractions from how you’re feeling when you can’t do anything out of your home, so I’m just trying to spread as much compassion and positivity as I can from quarantine.
If you could be in isolation with anyone, who would it be?
I think I’m pretty happy isolating with my boyfriend. He knows me and helps me through those low moments. He’s also really funny and keeps me laughing through my panic and anxiety.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve found yourself doing isolating?
I find a lot of pleasure in the little things now. Like every day around 4:00 PM, I’ll have a bottle of kombucha and sit on my balcony and listen to some music and it’s honestly become the highlight of my days.
What are you most anxious about?
I think a lot of people’s anxiety comes from uncertainty. At least, mine definitely does. I think not being able to see the light at the end of the tunnel right now creates a lot of anxiety. I just try to breathe through the anxiety and remind myself that once this awful moment in history is over we will all come out so much more grateful and so much more connected as a community.
What have you been watching on TV?
I just finished watching Tiger King, which just blew my mind. And I just started watching Little Fires Everywhere on Hulu. So far, I love it.
What do you want to do when this is all over?
Hug my mom, dad, brother and sister.
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How has the experience changed your outlook?
I guess this all has just reminded me of the fragility of life and how quickly things can change, so you should never take anything for granted. I think through this all I’ve become a more grateful person. I’m so grateful for the doctors and nurses risking their lives to help everyone, jumping into action like the superheroes they are. I’m grateful for the people who work long hours at the grocery stores and the pharmacies. I’m just so grateful to all of the people who keep us fed, healthy, and alive.