The Little Things Count
Hello there! It’s been a while since I last wrote a blog post, which was not my intention.
Then again, I think we can all agree that 2020 has not gone to plan for any of us.
I felt like before I could publish any other ‘normal’ posts, I wanted to write about my feelings.
So, here’s an ‘open letter’ to anyone who feels like they are finding the circumstances overwhelming and want some support.
Here’s to scrapping SEO and typical blog post structure in favour of simply getting pen on paper (or typing on a screen for the digital age).
It’s crazy how in the space of 3 months, we can go from blog posts about how 2020 is going to be the best year yet, to how to pass time when you are self-isolating.
I’m struggling to wrap my head around the current situation. When I wake up in the morning, it feels like the Coronavirus pandemic isn’t real. You see this kind of pandemic in movies, or read about them in history, but you never think this is going to happen in the modern world.
It takes time everyday to adjust to the fact that this is real and happening right now.
That in itself is tough. And then everything else is added on top of that. Having to stay at home, worrying about catching it, job security, financial woes, the impact on studying.
I realise now that I was in a good position in terms of adjusting to life in quarantine.
Due to my Crohn’s, I was doing my degree through distance learning. The lifestyle switch that many people have experienced has not had the same impact on me.
However, being on immunosuppressants and being told you are at higher risk is so scary.
It’s reasons like this that such extreme measures are being taken.
You may be sitting at home thinking why is this necessary. It’s to protect everybody and reduce the spread of the virus. We need to work together as a country and as a whole planet.
Naturally, the financial and employment impact is distressing.
Now, more than ever, the ‘you are not alone’ sayings are important because everyone is in the same position.
Times are tough, but things will get better. Time and patience are key.
My thoughts until now – blogging seemed so small and irrelevant
One of the main reasons I’ve stopped posting as much is because everything else going on made blogging seem less important or trivial.
I’ve sat down countless times and mindmapped post ideas and then haven’t written anything because it seemed silly considering the gravity of what is happening in the world.
The truth is, all those blog posts you read about how the little things count and the importance of self-care have never been so relevant.
While staying at home is to protect our physical health, it can make looking after our mental health incredibly hard. Focusing on the small things each day matters and figuring out how you can create a healthy and meaningful lifestyle from your home over the next few weeks and months is going to help.
That’s why I want to start posting again. Whether nobody reads it, or whether more people read it because we are spending more time at home, it doesn’t matter.
For me, blogging and writing are forms of self-care.
I think it’s important to have ideas on how to structure your day, as before you know it, you have wasted a month not really doing anything.
If we take all those little things – the ones that we typically don’t pay much attention to, but in fact, can keep our mental health intact – and use them as a centre for every day, then we may find that current life doesn’t have to feel so negative.
Here are some suggestions of what you can do, which will hopefully make you realise that the little things count:
Video chat with friends and family
An extremely hard part of a lockdown is not seeing family and friends. Social distancing doesn’t mean we can’t be sociable. It just needs to be through a phone or video call. Check in with your loved ones and support each other through this time. If you are worried about jobs and money, reach out to others in a similar situation, to find out how they are doing and if there is any way you can help get each other through this rough patch.
Sketching, colouring, painting. Now is the chance to find your inner Picasso. What’s more, art is a good form of relaxation and mental health therapy.
Not being able to go to the shops is hard, but you don’t need a fancy notebook to journal. Some spare sheets of paper or notes section on your phone will do the trick. Practicing positivity or gratitude journaling can boost your mindset.
Exercise from home
There are so many workout tutorials online. Find yourself a good YouTube tutorial and keep fit. Yoga fans, Yoga with Adriene is where it’s at! Remember, we can still leave the house too for exercise, so take that chance to go for a walk and get some fresh air.
I know not everyone will have a garden, but for those who do, then make the most of your garden and the benefits of having your own outdoor space.
Netflix and chill (within reason)
I’m not encouraging spending every hour Netflix bingeing (I won’t lie, I am prone to it, but I try not to). For an hour or two in the evening though, it’s nice to settle down in front of a film or good TV show and have some escapism. The UK finally have Disney+ now too, so plenty of viewing choices!
Read a book
Another great form of escapism! Maybe join Goodreads or start a book blog and give others reading recommendations.
Learn a new skill
Now is the time to learn something new. Download a language app like Duolingo and teach yourself a new language. Food shops are still open, so try cooking something different. Learn a new creative skill. Knitting anyone?
Work from home
Yeah, ok, not a fun one. For most of us though, the office or lecture theatre has just moved to home. Finding the motivation to work from home is hard, but you can break it up into smaller chunks with everything listed above to make things more manageable.
I hope this gives you some inspiration on how to spend your time during the lockdown. The little things have never been so crucial.
For anyone who is struggling, feel free to drop me an email or reach out on social media.