The current situation with coronavirus pandemic and the international lockdown has taken its toll on everyone. I never imagined two months ago that we will find ourselves on quarantine and that we will be unable to leave the house. In the beginning, I was so excited about the prospect of staying indoors, working from home and having a little break from everyday travel. In fact, I thought it would be healthy for everyone to slow down and just reflect on where we all are with our lives. And I still think that this situation teaches us how to be grateful for everything we have, and that money cannot buy you health and happiness.
It’s been almost four weeks since I am in a lockdown, and it hasn’t been easy if I am honest. The biggest struggle I guess is feeling helpless when it comes to this horrible disease. And I think we all feel the same way about it, don’t we? This virus, or any other disease as the matter of the fact, doesn’t care if we are millionaires or poor. It doesn’t matter if we are white or black, female or male, Iranian or American, young or old. We are all equal and we have no control over who will get sick or who won’t. It really is, a very good wake up call for all of us, and I hope this will teach us to be kind, helpful, grateful and humble.
I wanted to talk today about the mental health aspect of staying indoors, especially for those of you who are alone and have nobody else to talk to. It is a new situation and I can only imagine how frustrating and difficult it must be for you. However, I always try to find a silver lining in everything, and this is no different.
My solution is as simple as it can be – be busy. Every day. I think of this uncertain time as a perfect opportunity to re-valuate my life and to make the good out of the bad. I wake up and think of things that I can do today that will help my life in the future, for example, I go through each individual drawer/basket/storage in every room in the house and do a massive clearout to which I apply only one rule: if I haven’t used it for a year or longer, I will most likely never use it, so it’s out of the door. There are no sentiments, and no regrets, like oh, but I spent money on it. No. Throw it out or give it to charity if you can. But most importantly, declutter EVERYTHING. Every piece of your house – check and reorganize. Get some baskets and keep your makeup, sewing kits, jewelry and whatever other small bits you have in baskets so it looks neat and tidy. Do the same with all of your seasonings in the kitchen. Doing this will occupy you for a good few days, and so each evening will feel like you did actually work. And call your friends or family and talk to them while cleaning, so you don’t feel like you are alone with this.
The next thing I do is I look at each room and think if I can improve it somehow, like changing the light shades, or a duvet covers, or maybe I can re-paint something. During these horrible times, I don’t want to spend too much money on refurbishment, paints, baskets or new items for the house, so I always look for the cheapest options available, and so I usually scroll through eBay & various different websites and search for sales and good occasions. I always sign up for all the newsletters too, because many websites offer you a discount code when you do that. Once my research is done and I am happy with the results, I buy the stuff and prepare the room for all the work that is required. To give you a perfect example, yesterday was my birthday and I spent most of the day re-painting the garden fence. The paint cost me only £7, and the brush additional £4. So for £11, I managed to repaint the entire garden. It wasn’t an ideal birthday I was hoping for, however, the sense of achievement after the work was completed made me so incredibly happy and grateful, I found it was actually a great day. And you can do that with everything, your balcony if you have any, your garden, your kitchen units (you can repaint them), or you can fix things in your house you didn’t have time to do before (youtube is a great source for how to do stuff). But the most important thing is to keep busy every day.
Another thing you can do while home alone is learning and gaining knowledge. You can do free online courses, or you can watch youtube videos on how to apply perfect makeup, or how to build a bird box, or how to start sewing, re-planting your plants, play guitar, etc. You are at home now, staying safe – use this time to change your life. Think of things you always wanted to do but never had time because of work commitments. Focus on yourself during this time, do stuff only for you, what makes you happy. Be grateful for staying indoors, because as harsh as it sounds, you could be in an intensive care unit fighting for your life. There is no sequel to life, and so if we are given this opportunity and privilege to be at home safe and healthy – let’s make the most of it.
We will get through this all together. Looking at the bright side while we are in a dark spot is the only thing that is left to do, so let’s be grateful for what we have.