Another week of isolation down. 

Whether you’re feeling motivated this week or rocking the same outfit three days in a row, we're showing up to remind you— we're in this together.

To get a peek inside our community’s quarantines, we asked five photographers to share self portaits showing us how they are practicing self care while in isolation. Read on to see how photographer Parker Feierbach is navigating isolation and finding optimism in uncertainty.

Self care has simply become paying attention to what I think I might be capable of each day.

Upon waking up, I've been avoiding the news until I’m ready for it, and assessing what I think I’ll have the bandwidth to deal with each day.  Some days, I take on a huge physical challenge (I ran 9 miles with my dog the other day onto roads I’ve never run) and other days I take care of those things that I haven’t touched in too long - my CV, my website, innumerable classes that I’d paid for and haven’t yet opened.

There’s a social meme that’s been going around that says, “If you’re not using this time wisely to self-improve—you didn’t lack the time, you lacked the discipline”. I find that to be a pretty destructive mentality. There’s no time in this generation’s existence that we’ve had to deal with so much uncertainty, so blatant and open. So many of us are unemployed and in limbo, and our next steps aren't well-defined. The only way we can deal with this is to take it day by day— to make personal goals that will give us something to look forward to.

This crisis has shown us what is wrong with how we’ve structured our society - and because of this I do think there is room to begin gauging what a better future should look like, and to try to be as critical and reasonable with what we think that might be. There will be no return to normal after this. For people like myself, whose industry relied heavily on interacting with others, I think it’s pertinent to seek out those abilities in ourselves we didn’t consider our forefront and give them more focus. 

The way we use our time shouldn’t become about using this time ‘wisely’ and to learn ‘discipline’, but rather to explore ourselves, to come out of this with a better understanding of self. Learn how to adapt by exploring your abilities and seeking out new opportunities for growth. By doing this, I have adapted my anxiety of unknowing into a mindset where I can look forward to the unknown with excitement.

This is the optimism that keeps me going each day — while right now the future feels more uncertain than it’s ever been, that uncertainty can turn into excitement over possibility. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t despair - that is part of the grieving process we must have  because the disappearance of normalcy has left a void that none of us know properly how to fill. What we are able to do now is begin envisioning what to fill it with, and we can only approach that with excitement.

Photography by Parker Feierbach