As quarantine enters it’s 2nd month, many people are feeling down right shitty. At first we felt that staying at home was the right thing to do and we coped. We coped very well. Zoom happy hours, at home workouts, even sitting in our own driveways while socializing with the neighbors in theirs were commonplace. But as time progresses, the stress of the lockdowns are certainly weighing on everyone.
What’s important here is to recognize those feelings and to feel them. It’s ok to be pissed off, sad, scared, anxious and anything else you may be feeling right now. This pandemic is perhaps the most bizarre situations we’ll ever experience and sometimes you may not even know how to feel. No one prepared us for a situation like this. Some of you may have not only lost your jobs, but lost your sanity as well. Some of you are having more fights than usual with those stuck inside with you.
We are all on the verge of lock down burnout so it’s more important than ever to take care of yourself.
Self-care looks different to a lot of people. Some people take a nap, some people have a bubble bath, some go for a walk. There’s endless ways to self-care during lock down and here’s some of my favorite ways to take care of myself during this particularly difficult time.
Facetime with friends
In this case, it’s my husband mainly as we are currently quarantined in different countries. Although we may not have heaps to talk about (our day to day activities are pretty boring), we manage to tell jokes and discuss the future when things WILL be better. We’ve also incorporated playing virtual Scrabble with each other too. It’s a great way to feel connected to each other.
Learn a new skill
I’m taking up Spanish with a goal to practice an hour a day, at least 3 times a week. I may not come out of this quarantine as a near native speaker, but at least I’ll know a little more than I did prior to!
Have you ever truly sat down to write about your feelings? Just open a notebook and start writing? It’s perhaps one of the most therapeutic exercises in the world. I find writing these blog posts help me escape from the anxiety of the unknown with an outlet to express myself.
For some reason, with me, laziness tends to bread more laziness. And that was a huge block I had when it came to reading whilst in isolation. I would find myself bored as fuck but the idea of reading seemed like a lot of effort. However, at some point, around a month or so ago, I noticed that little bits of anxiety started to crop up and I had a ping to pick up some fiction. If you know me, you’ll know I NEVER read fiction. But I headed straight to Target and got every book they had that was marked in Reese Witherspoon’s book club.
I think I read the first book in about 2 days flat. I found the escape to help reduce the anxiety almost completely. So much so, that after I finished those books, I headed straight back to Target for more!
As much as I feel it’s oh so important to support your local restaurants right now, cooking is also a form of self-care and meditation. Try finding your favorite restaurant meal and recreating it at home. It’s a fun way to bring the household together for dinner after a boring day stuck in the house!
I think I was introduced to alcohol in the usual fashion. In high school you just wanted to try it, try it to be cool, try it to see what it was like. Smirnoff and beer to start then to graduate to vodka was the ultimate in coolness. It was a pissing match to see who could drink the most. I even remember it feeling cool to drink so much you had your head in the toilet all night. We often bragged about how drunk we got or were going to be getting at the weekend.
Moving along to college, the drinking only progressed. No parents to come home to and plenty of frat boys to impress was probably what helped escalate the drinking for most people. We had plenty of fun, embarrassed ourselves, woke up in beds we wish we hadn’t. One habit I also picked up was drinking when life seemed to suck. Be it after a breakup, a bout of depression or after a fight with a friend. Alcohol seemed like a good way to cope.
As the years went on, this pattern of behavior continued. Especially when I moved to other countries where drinking was a big part of the culture. There was no excuse not to drink. It was how I was able to bond with new coworkers, meet new people and make friends. And in my early twenties, the hangovers weren’t so bad.
Fast forward to age 30. The drinking may or may not be turning into a problem at this point. My then boyfriend hated it when I drank, and I often made a fool of myself when I did. The hangovers were starting to get worse.
I soon found myself single and again, and without a reason to stop drinking. But around this time is when I realized that the drinking was no longer serving me. There were many dates I messed up, fun occasions I missed, people I pissed off all because I was shit faced. Not to mention the anxiety that now decided to show up when I was hung over. Many times I would lay in bed after a night of drinking on the brink of a panic attack. It was becoming too much to bear.
Fitness was becoming more and more prevalent in my life. I loved working out and starting my day with a big session at the gym. It was this (coupled with my new boyfriend – now husband who didn’t really drink) that made me slow things down. I found myself wanting to wake up fresh the next day and go to the gym or be productive. I also realized how much more fun it was to socialize when sober. I could remember conversations, not act like an asshole and truly enjoy interactions with people.
Before I realized, I was sober and didn’t even realize it. Well, for the most part, I still enjoy a glass or two of wine every now and again. But I don’t remember the last time I was drunk and I am thankful for that.
Looking back, I wish I had known the real dangers of alcohol. Not necessarily the health dangers but more so the social dangers. The fights it could cause, the moments it could ruin or the relationships it could end. All in all, I’m thankful for the lessons I’ve learned in stopping drinking and am excited for the rest of my life without it!