In quarantine with Jenna Saraco
Where in the world are you?
Are you currently on lockdown?
Yes, 2 months already.
Are you alone, or with others?
Feeling grateful to share this time with a new partner, and watch how our relationship grows during this time together.
How are you keeping yourself busy, occupied?
I'm lucky to be surrounded by nature, going out for hikes and walks when the weather allows has been keeping me grounded.
Lots of cooking, which I love! I find this to be my meditation most days. My partner likes to cook as well, so it's nice to share this experience every evening together.
Going through my archive of photos from the past few years has been rewarding and very time consuming, then things like journaling, talking to family and friends.
What are you finding the easiest, most difficult aspects of social distancing/lockdown?
The easiest aspect for me has been cooking. It's been two months of preparing every meal, but cooking is meditative for me, and I enjoy it fully. I'm happiest when I'm grocery shopping, and putting together meals that feel healthy and nourishing. It's especially meaningful to me to have someone to share those meals with during this time. I've always felt preparing and sharing a meal was so special, almost spiritual. It's one way I know how to show and share love, even when I struggle with this in other areas of my life.
The hardest aspects have been staying focused. I have to admit I haven't been able to concentrate on one thing for very long, and my motivation to stay active, and keep up with my yoga, or finishing a book has been difficult over the last two months.
Do you have any positive thoughts on what’s happening?
I think this pause is heightening our awareness in many ways, on a personal, social and economic level and helping to expand our perspectives.This time has forced us to slow down, and be more present and really take in what is happening around us.
It's allowed me personally to learn how to be more present, find gratitude for all that I have acquired and accomplished. It's also allowed me to focus on personal relationships, and my relationship with myself. Never before have I given myself the chance to breathe, and take care of my mental health properly. New York is fast paced, and it can feel like if you slow down you immediately fall behind.
I have had the privilege to take this time to start to listen to myself, and figure out what makes me happy...think about what I love, find kindness and compassion for myself so I can share this with others.
What new things are you learning during this time?
I'm learning a lot about communication and vulnerability. I've always been a quiet, shy person, and this time is helping me realize my strengths and weaknesses when it comes to communicating and opening up.
I would also like to learn French.
In your opinion - how will this period change our lives in the future?
I hope this makes us more connected and aware...makes us all more vulnerable, and accepting of each other's vulnerabilities and humanity.
Are you planning on making any life changes when the virus eventually disappears? A new career-path, focus, or hobby?
I think this time has given me space and the freedom to think more holistically about my life and career and take a step back from it. It all feels very unknown at the moment, but my hope is that If things were to change, I know that there will be new things that fulfill me to focus on.
What can we do to help those suffering the most?
Reaching out with small notes of love, and encouragement. I recently made some postcards from some of my photographs that I will send to friends and loved ones. I love handwritten notes.
What could be a new mantra to emerge from this with?
Not sure if this is a mantra, and it's not new but feels appropriate to me at the moment.
“The only constant in life is change” - Heraclitus.
Fierce Attachments by Vivian Gornick,
Henry Purcell in the mornings, Fiona Apple for long walks in the woods, Radiohead in the evening.
I Am Love, The Last Dance (I'm obsessed), Normal People <3
Eating: (indulding in)
Cereal for breakfast
Recently lots of fish and big salads
Jenna's quarantine diary: