Learning some of the tips of staying sane and healthy mentally and physically during this God-knows-when-it-will-end period of self locking. Tips from Scott Keely written on New York Times site has been a mini bible to those who are frustrated as to how they will go on with lives.
FOLLOW A SCHEDULE
Hah! This is it. Stick to my routine. I knew it!
I always spend my morning working out (well, now I have to work out indoors, which is why it feel a bit different) and during the self quarantine period, not moving my body is just feeling awful. I feel like I were wrecked inside out.
Work schedule is maintained in the same time slot from 8 am to 5 pm. On this schedule, I have to say I work longer hours at home. I’m so lucky that my team members are mostly morning people. Few designers are night owls but that is just an exception.
Why do I have to work longer hours? Because one, people think working at home is just sitting down with your laptop opened. Hell no! I’m single, making me have more freedom in terms of household liabilities, but still I have to take charge of myself. I have to order foods for myself, clean up the room, and sometimes wash the extra laundry. And this all needs more time. The time I spend stuck in the traffic jam is now transferred to this self-care and self liability business I cannot hide myself away from.
Also, working at home means people also think you can be online at any time and get the job done without you having to move a single major muscle of your body (legs). Just grab your gadget and reply that email at night.
We all know too well how much this costs our mental health. This borderless work time frame is really an invisible trap! This is why I have to remind myself of unplugging and freeing myself from the work stuff whenever I think possible (as long as the deadline is met). And when you feel like you feel don’t like doing it, you instantly feel guilty because hey so many people out there are laid off and jobless and how dare you complain about this job while you’re still having it and get paid for it and live comfortably of it? So insensitive, a voice in my head keeps shrieking. Okay, make it stop. I’ll work longer. Period.
Everyone has their own pace. Some are just so fast and agile and crazy with their life hacks. Some are just lazy and incapable of managing their own time and things. Sad.
I’m just between these extreme ends of spectrum. Sometimes when I feel motivated I work at a faster pace and get things done way faster. But when my mood drops, I turn a sluggish worker.
Sometimes I make myself start the day earlier, making me achieve more things on that particular day. And there are days when I just get absorbed by a useless activity (Instagram feed exploration) to finally regret it at the end of the day.
Oh my goodness, now I know how people want bigger houses. They have lawns and backyards and some more outdoor green space to stay sane and healthy. And I don’t have it currently! I feel so f*cked up.
Living in downtown Jakarta just makes it even worse as I know this is the most densely populated area where most people can spread the virus more easily. So even if I can go outside and get some sunshine, I have to put myself at risk of getting infected as the outdoor space is public one. Everyone has access and in these challenging times, these spaces are closed temporarily. No one can enter them for whatever reason. It does suck to be me right now.
What I can be grateful for is the fact that I have a window facing the sky, allowing the sunshine and fresh air to go inside my room.
KEEP A HOBBY
Yoga and writing on my blog are my saviors. I thank God that I’m not that type of person who cannot sit still. Well, I love workout but not that I want to do it all day long outside.
KEEP A JOURNAL
Yes, this is something that I have been doing for more than a decade. So I’m embarking on an ambitious endeavor of writing a personal journal chronicling my own experience being trapped in a small rented room in Jakarta during the COVID-19 pandemic. Maybe worth publishing some day in the future. Who knows?
In my journal I always try to mention at least three things to be grateful for on that very day. And it helps me in some way to stay positive during physical distancing era.
TAKE TIME TO CONNECT
Technology helps me sane, too. This is why I think the current 2020 pandemic is not as boring as one in 1919. We have limitation here and there still but we can keep updated with a lot of tools. You just name it: radio, social media services, and television. Information is all there to consume. This is unlike what we experienced in 1919 when people had less access to information and entertainment while being isolated.
LISTEN TO (REAL) EXPERTS
Every time I consume content, I make sure it is worth consuming by checking the sources. I don’t want to tire myself out consuming trash or hoax. Enough! My mind deserves better food for thought.
Physical distancing doesn’t mean socially and emotionally separated. I sometimes feel so involved and engaged in a chat with people that I know well like my friends without me having to see them in person. And we’ve all been doing this for a long time since the last decade so I don’t think we have troubles to stay connected with technology during the self quarantine period.
There are actually more ways that we can think of to spend this much time at home. As for me, I’m trying to get my writing project done. (*/)