What have I learned about myself during the Quarantine?

Almost 45 days have passed since the lockdown started in Italy and our daily habits have changed. Part of the population is even more busy than before, while others have struggled to manage boredom. 

Are you wondering which part our MBA students belong to? The first part of course!

As CIMBA MBA students, we kept learning and had the opportunity to make the most of the time we had in quarantine. Also, during our coaching sessions and LIFE leadership training we learned to make the best of every situation and to use a powerful tool that in the past days has been very appropriate: the situation reappraisal. 

We took the occasion, during this difficult time we are living, to step back and reflect on our past 7 weeks of quarantine and think about what we learned about ourselves. We had broad and different reflections, some of us focused more on our physical well-being, others more on their emotions or on their hard skills (how to use some of the new technology that became essential during this time), and some of us focused on how all of these aspects of ourselves are interrelated, like how physical well-being triggers mental well-being and vice versa.

Here are some of our reflections:

“Honestly, I learned that I need to move. My body responds very poorly when it is forced to stay physically inactive (without training) for a long time. And this impacts my thoughts as well. I found that I get nervous more easily. I learned that I need to periodically change activity in order to keep my energy level high, otherwise I tend to lose focus. I started being more mindful about my thoughts, especially when I feel uncomfortable, and I take the time to analyze the reason why and to do my best to control them.” 

Simone Casagrande 

“This will be my 7th week in quarantine. I have worked to have a constant schedule. Every day I have made the point of waking up at the same time and carving out time to do exercise and school activities. I have been spending more time with my family, which I believe is a very good thing. I discovered that I am very resilient and positive. I have worked to keep my positive attitude and I have reached out to people that are feeling depressed or lonely to help spread my positivity. I learned that I am more fortunate than I had imagined, and that this will pass like everything has in the past!”

Francesco Gambini

“I learned that I’m definitely more introvertive than I thought I was. It’s nice being in tune with yourself and having more time to be mindful every day.”

Tia McCoy

“I learned how to use social media, such as Zoom and LinkedIn. Also, I learned how to manage my emotions. It is still not easy, but I am doing my best. I also learned how to better deal with some problems in such an

uncertain situation – I realized it was not safe to go back to China for me and for my family. And considering that we are doing our classes online, I wanted to stay in the same time zone with my classmates for better cooperation and communication.”

Zhifeng Dang

“I have learned that I need to go outside and breathe fresh air during the quarantine in order to be mindful and productive.” 

Jaime Mitsos

“I learned how creative and adaptive I can be. I reinvented myself every day. My home became the stage for all events, including the construction of a “mini garden” on the balcony that I made for my dog Luna so that now we can take “mini walks”. Having adapted, I have lived happier days in this quarantine!”

Caroliny Andretta

“I learned how quickly I was able to adapt and to find something positive to focus on. I learned how lucky I am and that existing relationships can solidify and be strengthened with or without social distancing.”

Alessandra Rostirolla

“I learned the power of being flexible to tackle the changes in the status quo positively!”

Alessandro Massarotto

“I realized that I could adapt to colloquialism in business dealings which seemed far from being normal, thanks to working from home.”

Supriya Sharma

“I learned not to take anything for granted and that the little things are the ones that really bring you happiness, even if we tend to focus on more sophisticated ones.”

Mattia De Nadai 

“During this time of quarantine, I have learned to time myself on activities even if I had all the “free time” at home. I find it more useful to work in blocks of time, including time for eating and exercising. This does not mean following the same routine every day, but fitting my tasks and projects into blocks of time to get the work done and have the energy to go through the day with a good feeling. In this way I feel more productive and happier.”

Tiago Schaffrath

No matter how hard this period is for us, we can all benefit from it, as long as we are smart enough to use it to slow down, reappraise the situation in which we are living, and learn something about ourselves in becoming more self-aware. 

The real loss would be to just wait until this pass and then go back to our old activities, thoughts, and habits like nothing happened. 

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