I’ve said it before: I’m used to working from home. I’m perfectly capable of staying home and working on my own, and I can be pretty productive and disciplined.
That said, I have always enjoyed my freedom and flexibility, and the fact that I can’t go out is just infuriating. And depressing.
If I’m suffering from the cabin fever, I’m sure Lucas is, too. For the past year, he’s been going to play school three times a week. Since January, he’s been there every day. Now, he’s stuck at home with us. The adjustment can’t be easy for him either.
So how are we coping?
1. Find a routine.
So much of this situation is so uncertain. When I’m dealing with so many unknown factors, it helps to organize what I know and what I can do. I can’t do anything about what’s out there, but I know what I can do at home. Food needs cooking. Clothes need washing. Lucas needs to spend less time in front of a screen. Oh yeah, and we have to work too.
So we drafted a routine, and hope that some sense of predictability will lead to some sanity.
So many of my friends have been taking free online yoga classes. I really want to join them too! But for now, I’m happy with being able to work out almost daily.
I’ve been using a 14 lb kettlebell, a 2.5 kg dumbbell, a resistance band, and a yoga mat. I’ve been doing body weight exercises. I exercise with the dumbbell between tasks and meetings. I work out on the mat, use the resistance band, and use the kettlebell while Lucas is in the bath.
Oh and I bought this Body Power thing from Decathlon! Oneal and I call it the ThighMaster, haha.
If I’m not macho by the end of this quarantine, I quit! (Kidding.)
3. Talk it out.
To be honest, 2020 has been a tough year, and the first quarter isn’t even over yet.
On top of this global crisis, there was the Taal eruption in January. There have also been a lot of crises in my personal life.
So many things have been happening, all at the same time, one after the other, and I’ve been feeling overwhelmed and tired. There were days when I would cry uncontrollably. There were days that I couldn’t work. There were days when I just wanted to lie in bed and not wake up.
In the past, when I felt this way, my instinct was to isolate myself, because I assumed nobody wanted to hear about my problems, and people didn’t care enough about me to want to listen. But last week, I said, “Fuck it,” and I went ahead and reached out to people. I poured my heart out. One friend I chatted with from 6:00 PM to about 1:00 AM, just talking about my feelings. I was so grateful.
Another friend told me that it wasn’t my job to fix everything, and save everyone, and that I couldn’t help anyone without helping myself first.
So I’m trying that. I’m also trying to reach out to people, to check how they are, and to remind them that they’re not alone.
4. Have a drink.
I’m really not recommending you turn alcoholic, but wow soju is yummy. (Huhu I’ve finished my stash.)
If you’re not fond of liquor, then maybe some chocolate? Or junk food? I mean, really. Why deprive yourself?
5. Go outdoors.
This may not be an option for people living in the urban centers, but for people living in the suburbs, I hope this is still doable!
Sometimes it’s sunny. Sometimes it’s cloudy. Whatever the weather, it’s a change of scene, and a bit of time away from a screen. If you can, allow yourself time offline, time to take a breath, maybe look at some nature things.
I don’t really know anything about nature, and God help me if I even remember the name of a flower. But it can be pretty fascinating to look at flowers and leaves and to wonder at their symmetry and patterns and beauty.
Unfortunately, our village may soon be very strict about making people stay at home, so I don’t know if we’ll be able to do this anymore.
6. Catch up with chores.
I’ve been meaning to clean my desk, and the sofa in my office. With my mom working in my office in the afternoons, I’ve been forced to clean up!
Maybe tomorrow we’ll all kill each other because this routine is not working. Maybe next week we won’t be able to do lessons with Lucas in the morning, or I won’t be able to work. Oneal and I have always tried to make plans for emergencies and crisis situations, but we’ve always been of the mind that situations change, and we have to be ready to adapt.
So that’s what we’ll do.
8. Go ahead and cry. Feel your feelings.
Lucas has been watching Frozen almost daily for a few weeks now, and one of the lines that always sticks with me is from the trolls. “People make bad choices when they’re mad or scared or stressed.”
I think that’s how everyone is feeling now, and that’s okay. Feel your feelings. Cry. Yell. But maybe try not to say or do anything you’ll regret later. And definitely don’t make any decisions. Feel your feelings, and when you’re calmer, do what you have to so that you feel better, and move on.
How are you coping?