What a weird, unique and tough time we are all living in.
One day we were all going out, enjoying ourself, nature or friends while the next one we are quarantine for who knows how long.
Personally, I haven’t felt at my best while quarantining in Australia.
Here, the rules and regulations aren’t strict as in other countries but, they are still challenging to deal with. Add them to my anxiety and my mind that has a lot of power over me, the combination isn’t the most ideal one.
Although I spent some very good days enjoying the sun in the backyard, playing MarioKart with my best friend, going for walks around the block and cooking a lot, I still feel I’m not being productive. Why so?
Besides that being a common feeling of mine, even before this pandemic, I am surrounded by many people online who kept saying stuff like:
“This is the best time for you to start your project”
“Publish your blog now”
“We will never have so much freedom like now”
“You have now got the time to learn a new language, start an online course, write a book” and so on.
Those can be good and inspiring things to say and can also be true for many people out there. However, for me they were doing more harm than good.
A unique opportunity?
At the beginning of this new routine, I was actually feeling very pumped, inspired and motivated. Between editing pictures, the launch of this website and starting new courses on Coursera or Openclassrooms, I was feeling productive.
However, the struggle of reading those sentences and not letting them affect me was present inside me. It’s true that I also wasn’t totally avoiding them.
Self sabotaging ah?
After the first few weeks of “feeling productive”, I hit something. It felt harder and harder to continue doing so many things and my motivation to do them vanished. My computer stayed off for almost two weeks and a sense of total boredom got into my soul.
Those statements, though, were still around me and my mind. The more I heard them, the worse I felt with myself and the use of my time.
My friends tried to cheer me up by saying that you don’t have to do too much while neglecting your mental health.
That was definitely happening to me.
I was sleeping bad at night, I wasn’t feeling happy, anxiety and comparisons were keeping my mind busy and I didn’t even want to turn my computer on.
I managed to read a couple of books and go on more walks but, deep down, I knew I was doing so in order not to feel totally bad about me.
What my anxiety was focusing on
What I was most concerned about, was this website.
It had been a month since it was online, but I was now feeling confused on what to do with it. Its structure was done, but what type of posts did I want to publish on it? Guides? Comparisons? Or just use it as a diary?
Also, SEO, content writing, plugins and Google ranking were totally new things to me and I didn’t know if people would have enjoyed it.
One of the books I read, was “The courage to be disliked” by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga. It felt very eye opening, real and it spoke to my soul. One of the keywords in this book was courage. A constant message in this book was that you can change your life but you need to have courage to do so.
I have heard this countless times, but this one got me more. Maybe because I was so focused on reading it. Or because this unprecedented time. Or just because I really wanted to improve myself and my mental health and my anxiety.
Courage to change
Change didn’t happen overnight.
I kept reading and playing MarioKart because I felt like I didn’t have enough courage and it was easier to be a victim than to take actions.
One day, though, I bought a notebook to write daily to do list. After not using it for a couple of days, I managed to write something to publish on this website. It’s this exact post you are reading now.
I didn’t have much in mind about what to write or what structure I wanted it to have. The only thing I had about it was “Anxiety and quarantine” on my to do list.
It feels very weird to finally write something and have the goal to publish it. Knowing myself, though, I will most likely have to face a few more moments where I’ll try to stop myself or I’ll feel confused or wanting to give up.
No matter what people say, we are all different when it comes to living this unexpected, one of a kind and beautifully challenging gift called life.
A few people are going to spend their entire time planning their future. Others will enjoy some family time. Some just need Netflix or a book or catching up on sleep.
Everyone, though, deals with this situation differently.
So, no matter what everyone says you should or shouldn’t be doing, please, think about your mental health and wellbeing and do what feels best for you.
- You don’t have to workout everyday and livestream it.
- You don’t have to learn 4 new languages.
- You don’t have to start the project you’ve always been putting aside.
- You don’t have to do stuff, if you don’t want to or feel like it.
Remember that you can do a lot, but you can also relax. Have a group call with your friends and family. Spend the time cuddling with your pet or just watch movies.
Hopefully, this reminder will help you loosen up some of the anxiety or tension you might have during this weird time.
To conclude, I’m really happy to see how everyone is genuinely helping each other and, also, how Mother Earth is healing from everything we’ve done to her.
My hope is that, once this pandemic is over (because it will end), we will continue to treat ourselves and our wonderful planet with respect, love and kindness.