There have been so many times when I have written posts in my head while driving to work, sitting outside, and doing errands. I’m not too sure why I never just sat down and put them down on “paper” here, but if there’s one good thing to come out of Covid-19, it’s that I’m rediscovering myself.

With not having to rush home after a super long day in the office, or rush out of the office so that I can still try fit in a gym workout early enough so that I can come home and cook a quick meal before French homework, it’s honestly been such a weird feeling closing my laptop at the end of the work day and slowly planning my next move.

Today is the 5th day that I’ve worked from home, and as much as I love being able to sleep an hour later every morning because I don’t have to leave at the crack of dawn in order to miss traffic in the mornings, it’s been a bit weird having a completely new routine that kind of just happened overnight.

I’m an introvert so I adore being at home and working from here, and I feel a lot more productive here in my quiet space with a cup of green tea and the radio on in the background every day, while Jack naps on the brown blanket in the sun. But a small part of me misses seeing my work colleagues, and the chatter and laugher in the office. I think I am one of the lucky ones who lives alone and has a quiet space to continue my daily jobs so this change in routine hasn’t been to jarring for me.

In this week at home, I’ve been a lot more enthusiastic to finish off things that I started and just left which is quite a nice feeling of accomplishment when they are ticked off my list. I’ve finished painting a tray that I mosaicked in December (which had been sitting in a cupboard with all the mosaic tiles for more than 6 months), and now I just need to grout it. I finally filed the loose homework notes for my French classes that have been lying on my desk for months. I repacked two cupboards that I’ve been wanting to do for 2 months. So all in all , completing these small tasks which might seem quite meaningless, have had quite an impact on my mind and overall mood.

I really want to get back into drawing and spent time paging through an art file of mine from when I was younger. I was really amazed at how talented I was when I was younger, and loved reliving all the drawings. “Why did I ever stop drawing?” was something I have asked myself a number of times since then. That’s something I definitely want to spend time on again. Especially after a long day in the office where I’ve just spent time thinking with the left side of my brain.

One of the frustrating things about lockdown is not being able to go to the gym. I miss the energy and the music and how I felt when I left there in the evenings. So, I have decided to do some home workouts. The first one didn’t go well. I fumbled a lot, wasn’t as motivated as I wanted to be, and realised how unfit I have become in this short time. Then serendipity happened and YogiPaige’s post was sent to me by my brother yesterday where Paige was offering a free at home yoga class via Insta-live. I got ready for the class by lighting some incense, putting on some soft yoga background music and just did the flows. I felt so much calmer after that class and realised how much I missed yoga. I’ll definitely do Paige’s class next week! There are a few people that I follow who are doing free online classes so keep an eye out or send me a DM and I will share the info with you.

“I felt so much calmer”. My anxiety has been a 9/10 this last week. It just kept escalating daily to a point where I was having heart pains. Some changes I am making now is that I am spending less time reading the news headlines, not checking worldometer every hour, not watching those terrifyingly sad videos from Italy anymore, and am instead focussing on what I have control over. Going to the store quickly today to pick up some wine and savannas had my heart racing. I got in the queue behind people, while wearing my surgical mask and gloves, and instantly felt the energy of people looking at me and getting uneasy because I had come dressed that way. Gloves and a surgical mask won’t do much to protect me from Covid-19, but they helped with my anxiety and fear. I wrote the word “fear” in a message to someone tonight and I realised exactly why my anxiety is so high – fear of the unknown, fear of the unseen, fear of what is going to happen, fear of change, fear of not having freedom (to an extent)…

Lockdown is scary for a lot of people, but it’s necessary. We need this extreme to help flatten the curve. We have to take this seriously, and know that in doing so things will be okay. I am also grateful for the provisions I was able to gather at the shops. So many people live hand to mouth and have no means to do so. That thought breaks my heart and upsets me so much. So if you have a bed tonight, and food for a few days, and are healthy – you have a lot more going for you than you think.

Digital technology is a wonderful thing and we’ll be able to call family and friends, and see them on FaceTime, Skype, Whatsapp call, Zoom, etc. I have chatted on the phone to 4 friends this week which is huge for me. I’m not really a calling type of person. I prefer Whatsapp, but calling people and hearing their voices has been amazing for my mood and helped normalise things a bit.

I’m not going to end off with a listicle of things to do during the lockdown. There is enough of that content out there already. But what I will say, is that if you have depression and anxiety like me, these small changes have helped a lot:

  • Eat your lunch outside or on your patio or balcony.
  • Make sure you get 20 minutes of sunshine every day to up your vitamin D levels.
  • Do an at-home workout (no matter your fitness level). There are plenty on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook. Just get moving.
  • Call your loved ones and friends. Chat to them, share news about your day.
  • If you are feeling stressed, close your eyes and clear your mind and just breath slowly.
  • If wearing a surgical mask and gloves makes you feel better and safer when going out for supplies, do it.

21 days is a great way to create a new habit. Something Paige told me last night and I love looking at it that way. So here’s to some new habits and a new normal.