Hi everyone. I’m back at writing again. Welcome to the first post of 2020 (Yes I am aware it’s April) – hence the length… But I promise it’s a good one. :))
The last thing I want to do is to share negative or stressful information on here, because we already have enough sources reporting the awful things related to Covid-19 and we don’t need more of that. This is not me being careless about the whole situation – quite the opposite. I just feel over-saturated with information that is (most of the time) just being repeated about the virus and my brain is realising that this is not a good thing for my mental health at all. First and foremost, I hope that everyone who is and also those who aren’t reading this – are healthy and safe, wherever you are in the world. Whether you’re a Uni student (like me) whose classes and exams have been cancelled for this year, someone who’s working from home or someone who is struggling a lot from various things caused by this pandemic. I hope the situation resolves well for everyone soon and HANG IN THERE! We are all in this together. I hope this post distracts you a little from everything that’s going on and helps you realise that you’re not alone, if you feel anxious, agitated and unmotivated in these times.
When I woke up today, I saw a notification on my phone saying that my screen time was up by 12%, calculating something around 6 hours per day. That is 42 hours per week!!! Was I surprised, though? As my Uni has cancelled exams and we are basically done for the year (it’s a shame…but I am not complaining), I realised that I’ve got quite a bit of free time on my hands right now. So, most of my days consisted of scrolling through social media or watching language tutorials on YouTube, so it kind of made sense that my phone usage jumped up like mad. I realised that, for me personally, this wasn’t a good thing.
I repeatedly come across memes or posts from people about the Covid-19 quarantine, how it is okay if we don’t develop a new skill during the lockdown and also how nice it is if we do. Honestly, everyone should go by with what makes them happy and satisfied in this kind of situation. We are living in a chaotic time now, where the lifestyle that a lot of us are used to is in complete disarray. It is normal to feel unmotivated, sad or even mentally drained – EVEN THOUGH you might be doing nothing else except walking from one room to another and spending the whole day sitting on your sofa in your PJ’s. In my opinion, whatever we find that makes us even a tiny bit happy or puts a smile on our face during this time is a BIG PLUS. It’s not healthy to compare your situation with someone else’s, because each of us are experiencing self-isolation in our own way. If it makes you feel sad and strange, then don’t feel bad or ashamed from it. You can’t control your feelings. What you can control though (in some ways), is the extent to which the lockdown impacts your mental health.
My daily routine is experiencing complete confusion. I go to bed at 2am, I wake up at around 11am and I can feel that my body is not having it. My head is in pain and even though I have free time, my body is so lazy that I feel totally unmotivated to do anything. I quickly realised that there’s not much I needed to do to get myself out of this state. Something as simple as talking more frequently to my friends helped a lot. Texting didn’t really do it for me. It seemed way too superficial at this time. Calling them is WAY better. I’m sure that your friends will be free at some point during the day or week to talk. Sometimes just being in an active call, silent and drinking tea (or wine) together is enough.
I’ve always complained how I never have enough time to learn new pieces to play on the piano or funnily enough, to write. Now is the golden opportunity to go back to those hobbies which we previously dismissed, because we were too busy, and give them a chance. Remember – they are our hobbies for a reason. They must make us feel satisfied or happy in some way, otherwise we wouldn’t call them our hobbies in the first place.
In Spain, we are not allowed to go outside unless it is essential. Doing exercise has been limited, however, putting a mat or a towel on the floor and organising ‘at-home’ workouts is as exhausting and as effective! A workout helps clear your mind, and this is something that I think is true regardless of there being a pandemic or not.
Cooking and baking is another fun activity. If this is not your cup of tea, supporting local businesses and ordering takeout is a great and an even better alternative. If you are feeling energised enough to prepare something by yourself, I do recommend this, too. Yesterday, I made a banana cake with chocolate chips. It was a lot of fun to bake, with some music in the background and the cake itself turned out super tasty. I made it in the evening to eat it for breakfast the next day with my family and it was delish!!! I will put a recipe I followed at the end of this post so you can try it out yourselves!
Lastly – I started reading a book called Self-care for the real world by Nadia Narain and Katia Narain Phillips. I bought it a while ago in Edinburgh and I’ve been meaning to read it ever since I got it. I started about a week ago, and I can already recommend it to everyone. It is a book suitable for every situation, however I think it is even more useful right now when we’re social-distancing. It is all about keeping both your body and mind healthy, dealing with anxiety, stress, loss and it also offers guidance on how to feel motivated and have mental clarity in your day-to-day life. I will also put up a link to this book below, in case you wish to read more about it.
This was one LONG post. Thanks a million for taking time to read it. I am definitely not an expert on ‘how to be mindful’, but I hope that on at least one of the days of social-distancing, you take time to do something different and give it a go. If there’ something that you haven’t done and wanted to try for a long time, do it! If it doesn’t work out, you can always go back to blasting music and dancing in your living room. I do this all year round & I highly recommend it.
Stay safe, healthy and positive & look after your mental health.
Until next time,
p.s. Because of the current circumstances, I didn’t get to take a lot of inspiring photos this year, so I’m just going to post a picture of my dog to brighten up your day. x
🌟 Link to the Banana Cake recipe: http://www.letsdishrecipes.com/banana-bread-snack-cake🌟
🌟 Link to finding out more about the self-care book: https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/34350998-self-care-for-the-real-world 🌟