Amina’s Story: What I’ve Learned About Myself in Quarantine

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For most of my life I’ve been a planner, from tackling homework to organizing weekend activities, to writing to-do lists. Planning has made tasks of any size manageable.

As a young person with a physical disability, I believe that no accomplishment is too small. Daily tasks lets me structure my day and ticking check marks down my lists say “hooray, you did it”!

After months in quarantine, I’ve spent many nights in bed trying to fall asleep thinking if there are friends to check in with, post pandemic plans to make and what to put on my to-do list tomorrow? Ironically, finding that answer became my single task the next morning and  I wondered why a simple question was so hard to answer. Then it came to me…my to-do lists highlight tasks that are most important to complete as I typically organize tasks based on the level of urgency. After some reflection, I realized that items that I normally have on my to-do list often fail to nurture my personal wellness. With that in mind, I started brainstorming new items based on forgotten hobbies and activities that sparked joy. I returned to my love of fantasy adventure novels, which started in the age of Twilight and The Hunger Games. It turns out that they were not as superficial as I originally thought! These books spoke to me. When I was in high school I didn’t have many friends or attend extracurricular events, so I got lost in books and characters that overcame extraordinary circumstances or helped others by using their “special gifts” that made them unique and different. I felt that I could relate to these characters and they inspired me to use my special gifts to help others which then led me to my post-secondary education in social work.

Although not seeing family and socializing in person has been extremely frustrating at times, my to-do lists keep me grounded when I feel overwhelmed. This is a very overwhelming time, but I’ve realized that I need to shift my focus and prioritize my personal wellness as a long-term goal, not just now, but beyond the pandemic. I’m so grateful that this time in quarantine has led me to a new relationship with myself…and I’m thriving!

Guest post written by a CTN volunteer, Amina. Amina is a post-secondary student in the Social Work program at York University. If you have a story to share, please send an email to Cecilia Remo at