Every morning for the last 3 weeks I’ve been waking up in Ground Hog Day.
Some rendition of the movie, only in this world the grocery stores have security guards, I haven’t seen my friends in nearly a month and everyday I’m reminded that I’m lucky enough to be only 30 years old and therefore somewhat exempt from the fear gripping the world.
I never thought I’d miss my office, my work routine and my forced gym sessions.
But I do.
This quarantine has left me with me.
Left me to govern myself without the constructs I apparently rely on. The forms of commuting, work, habitual health habits and socialising have disappeared from my tomorrow and I feel like a child stuck on a sick day loop, only it’s not exciting.
I don’t feel relieved to be at home. I don’t feel grateful to be surrounded by the same four walls everyday. This isolation is polluting my safe space and that’s the truth.
Despite the above, I am aware that I am one of the lucky ones;
- My work continues without missing a beat, and therefore so does my income.
- I’m young enough to know I just have to ride it out and I’ll be fine.
- I have a loving and supportive partner who understands me.
- I have a safe space, period.
I have however seemed to form some surprising and unique ways of handling this situation.
Invest in yourself
This can be by doing anything that moves you forward.
- Take up a body weight exercise program, if you’ve always wanted to do that.
- Join an online course; something you’ve never quite had enough time for.
- Take intentional time alone (especially if you live with other people). Even if it’s just sitting on the couch watching the rain or the people pass you by for half an hour.
- Organise that part of your house you’ve been meaning to attend to.
- Read that book.
- Listen to that whole album, track 1 until the end and go on the journey the artist intended.
- Paint. Draw. Colour.
- Create anything.
- Remember who you are, outside of who you’ve become.
If you’re WFH…
- Dear lord separate the spaces you relax in and the spaces you work in – if possible.
- Keep as much of your routine as you can;
- Shower in the morning
- Have breakfast
- Get dressed
- Have lunch away from your desk
- Turn the computer off when you reach your finish time
- Try set up work buddies, so you have someone to connect with twice a week (at least) to decompress with.
- Walk away from your desk for lunch, dinner and any other non work related activities.
- Don’t overwork because it’s easy to.
- You can still take leave in isolation – sometimes not having to worry about work is the break you need.
- Be open and honest about your needs and emotions while working from home as they’re SUPPOSED to be different.
- Know it’s OK to grieve the loss of social interaction. Make an active effort to video conference with your team, friends and family as much as possible.
- Keep your fitness routine as well as your work routine, even it’s a home based workout.
Essentially, remember to look after yourself, try and be vulnerable with those around you when you need to. Reach out more than you normally would because it’s likely they need the interaction too.
In the words of Jerry Springer, “until next time, take care of yourself and each other”.
Written listening to (in this order):
Evie Irie – The Optimist
Meredith Brooks – Bitch
REYNA – The Way I Loved You
Alma – Summer
Freya Ridings – Love Is Fire
Taylor Swift – Lover
Kallico – Fancy