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Thursday, 9 July 2020

Yearning in Quarantine -by Aiswarya Roy

Having trouble staying positive? Is Lockdown getting you down? And Yearning? In my Quarantine? It’s more likely than you think...

It is so easy to yearn. If you are in quarantine; stuck at home, hiding from the invisible villain, it can be difficult to stay positive during this pandemic. Whether you’re working from home, or attending online classes, we spend an exasperating amount of time to ourselves, within the four walls of our bedroom or home office. And it has become oh so easy to simply sit back... and yearn.

 Everyone longs for something. Perhaps a get-together with close friends, drink with few laughs, or care of a lover who lives miles away. You yearn for your family, for a breath of fresh air, or for an escape from this maddening monotony. Or you yearn for tastes and smells that have carved itself into your memory, close enough to feel and yet, so far away. You yearn so deeply for something you cannot have. 

 As I lay in bed one night, pining for an ice cream sundae with cherries, raisins and syrup, I became painfully aware of the aches that come with unfettered yearning. It had hardly been a month into quarantine, and I had already spent a good part of the day crying over spoiled strawberries. I could’ve been losing my mind. In my head, I could smell that ice cream and I could taste the syrup, and I craved it so much I thought I would die if I did not have it right that minute.

 It’s so easy to lose yourself in self-indulgent day-dreaming, especially when there is little else to keep our minds occupied. And as easy as it is to let yourself drift down the rabbit hole, the further you go, the harder it becomes to pull yourself out. Like being yanked out of a good dream, upon your return to reality, you are met with a chilling emptiness, and the gates of that dream are shut to you... at least for now.

Yearning is a slippery slope. While you dip your toes in its comforting waters, it is all too easy to lose track of all the good things that surround you. You may stare out the window to sigh and pine like a Victorian gentlewoman whose beloved is off on a long sea voyage. But why stop there? Embrace your inner Victorian lady and pick up a few new hobbies, like knitting or (heaven forbid) embroidery. Because what could be more therapeutic and stress-relieving than stabbing something repeatedly for an hour or so? And by the end, as a bonus, you get something pretty and soft to hold and touch.

I have always dabbled in the arts and crafts, but during this quarantine, I went all in. A new set of knitting needles and embroidery hoops were a treat I gave myself for making it this far and an incentive to keep going, even when the end is nowhere in sight. I soon lost myself to the vibrantly-coloured threads and the intricacies of each stitch. Hobbies that involve repetitive action are known to reduce stress and anxiety, as they have the effect of calming you, body, mind and soul.

 While mindful distraction may temporarily slow down your pining, it is healthy to acknowledge that... it’s okay. It’s okay to yearn for something that is beyond your reach, because we are all in a situation we cannot control. Dreaming about what could’ve been, and what could be in the future is a dangerous yet necessary thought process. It allows you to acknowledge you may not be in the most ideal situation. At the same time, we are required to make the best of what we’ve been given. Your yearning may become the source of your creativity and letting it flow will do more for your mental health than repressing it ever will.

While we crave what we lack, we may lose track of what we have. I wake up from another trip down the rabbit hole and all around me I see unfinished projects, unread books and empty canvases. There’s so much for me here, as there is out there.

Aiswarya Roy

Aiswarya Roy is a BA English student and author of the novel "Home Safe Home". She enjoys reading and writing. She is an avid animal lover, she is also enthusiastic about movies and comic books. 


  1. Well written article, I thoroughly enjoyed the smooth flow of the words.
    ~ SGeorge.