When thinking about living though history I always imagined it to be more invigorating than the day-to-day I’m currently experiencing. I think ‘temporary,’ is the key word to remember because every day spent indoors is another day closer to being outside and not sitting glued to the news. Constantly staying at home sucks, don’t get me wrong, but I have yet to start jogging again out of desperation for fresh air.
Before going into lock down, I was terrified. My spell with pneumonia last year put me into a state of slight concern over my physical health but I was mainly uneasy regarding how my mental health could be affected. I’m no stranger to staying in my bedroom for days on end as past episodes with depression and/or anxiety have left me hidden under the safety of my duvet for up to a week. It’s been five/six months since my last breakdown (proud of me) but who’s to say that I couldn’t easily slip into another one whilst confined within the walls of my flat?
This is my first chatty blog post since my reflection on 2019 and that didn’t cover how the new decade began for me. When midnight struck on the 1st of January and 2020 began, I was filled with hope because I had decided it was going to be my year (even though I do this every year). This was true for the first few months and my birthday celebrations really affirmed to me that I was past that low point in my life and it was only up from here. It was my second semester of third year and I had never put so much effort into me or my studies and it truly felt like I was at the best version of myself. Had I not began 2020 like that, my experience with social distancing would potentially be very different.
My refelction on 2019 – As Freely as I Love Others
Generally my mental health can be characterised by my eating and sleeping habits. With depression I eat and sleep more than usual and with anxiety, I experience less of both. Because I have nowhere to be in the morning and therefore don’t set an alarm, I am sleeping more than usual but for different reasons. I’m not using sleep as a way to avoid confronting my thoughts (shoutout to all my fellow overthinkers), I’m sleeping to recover from all my previous sleepless nights and to rest after years of being emotionally draining on myself.
Despite being given the gift of time, I’m not being as entirely productive with uni work as I had hoped. I’m not particularly stressed about my looming deadlines quite yet purely because I’m assuming the work will get done at some point or another. It’s not like I have anywhere else to go. It’s a strange learning experience having zoom meetings across three different continents to try and write a group report. I think I speak for most people when I say I find it harder to work from home as there are so many other things that I would rather be doing. It is a shame because all the hard work that I put in at the start of the year feels like it’s gone to waste as I don’t have any motivation to study like I used to.
However, not all hope is lost quite yet because the effort that I should be putting into my university projects is instead pouring into my blog. I’ve been rewriting old (and badly written) content as well as focusing on some new posts to put out each week. Granted, the range of subjects that I can currently write about is somewhat limited but it does mean that I can finally organise the 40+ drafts that I’ve accumulated over the past two years. I even dug out my tripod from underneath my bed with the intention of putting the self-timer on my camera to good use.
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I’m not really enjoying isolation but I am trying to make the most of it. I’m finding there’s a fine line to rediscovering old hobbies and forcing myself to constantly be productive or creative. My blog or cross-stitch will still be there tomorrow if I want to take the day off to binge something on Disney+ or Netflix. This is a temporary normality but I’m hoping that I can maintain some of my new habits once regular life resumes. I restored my love of reading which means that the books I’ve been meaning to read are finally getting read and it only took a global pandemic for it to happen…
Sometimes I miss real life so much to the point where I could cry. I miss my work and eating cinnamon buns. I miss reading in The Meadows or taking a detour pass the Ross Fountain when in town. I miss coffee that isn’t made in an instant and late night trips to Tesco but I mainly miss the people. I can’t wait to see my family and celebrate my brother’s 18th birthday with them. I’m counting down to brunch dates and coffee-catch ups with the people that I’ve been face-timing with over the past few weeks. I’m still connected on social media and it’s wonderful chatting to those who I would’t see on a regular basis but often without a physical connection, it’s not the same.
Wherever you are and whoever you are with, I wish you are happy, healthy and staying inside. If you are having a hard time with social distancing I hope you remember that it’s not your own limitations that’s holding you back. Maybe this should be the time where we all start to exercise again but I’ll be lounging around on my laptop for the foreseeable future. It’s a funky time for all of us and you’re not the only one taking it a day at a time.