When a pandemic ruins everything

by smithstandard

Bear with me while I am overly self-indulgent for a minute. Or a couple of minutes.

  • I haven’t written a blog post in over two months.
  • I’ve completely stalled on progressing my novel.
  • I’m overeating.
  • I find myself indulging in a glass of red or two (or more) during the week.
  • I’m crying a lot. Mostly in the evenings.
  • I feel guilty when I complain about anything, because I know how fortunate I am compared to so many others.
  • When I try to be positive, I feel like it’s potentially condescending and aggravating to those who are not in a good place.
  • I am drained.
  • I am just one of countless who are feeling this way.

Those are just a few of the things that I’ve been thinking about or mulling over in recent weeks. Patterns of behaviour I know are not the norm, conflicting feelings about my actions, not knowing if I’ve crossed the line. Should I take the piss out of the situation? Take it seriously? Spread messages or shut my mouth?

Should I even be writing and sharing this post? Isn’t there ENOUGH COVID-19 content online to drown us all?!

Undoubtedly, yes. But to be honest, it just felt liberating to sit down at my computer and have words flow, despite the fact that they may not be anything new or earth-shattering.

And so, while I’ve got the ability to write I thought – instead of making this entire thing a pity party – I’d share some things that help slap me out of my moods. Who knows, it may help you on your down days.

  • Puzzles – they’re therapeutic and help take your mind off of all the bad news.
  • Colouring-in – legit. I have multiple books, varying from mindfulness pictures to Disney characters. Again, it’s therapeutic and helps distract my busy mind.
  • Board games – or similar – nothing like a heated game of cards, Monopoly or Jenga to get the adrenaline flowing in a good way.
  • Have a house party – and by house party I mean catch up with your mates via any number of apps such as House Party, FaceTime, Skype, WhatsApp.
  • Spring clean – throw out all the shit you don’t need, do the jobs you’ve been putting off (like colour-coordinating your bookcase). Now’s the perfect time to do it. As I type, Josh is patching holes and painting walls and he’s so pleased with himself.
white narrow bookcase filled with books sorted by colour

My first and last attempt at colour-coordinating my new bookcase.

  • Write a letter – who wouldn’t love to receive a REAL, physical letter in the post? Maybe even contact a local residential aged care facility and see if they’re accepting letters from strangers to give to residents.
  • Bake – I say this, but I have not baked one thing. Not a single thing, but I hear some people like doing that.
  • Donate to a charity – doesn’t have to be much, but knowing you’ve contributed to those less fortunate definitely gives you a wake up call. It certainly did for me.
  • Read – Kindle have got some awesome deals on books you can get lost in. Or, pick up one of the ones that you’ve been meaning to read in your house.
  • Netflix/Stan etc. that shit up – I’m sure you are already, but even so, my personal recommendations are: Don’t F**K With Cats, Ball Hog by Tom Segura, Charmed (oh, the memories), the Dirty Money docos (ANY doco actually), Friends, Will and Grace, THE OFFICE COS IT’S THE BEST EVER, Vampire Diaries (all of the re-runs basically).
  • Meditate – try a five minute headspace meditation. It’s FIVE minutes and it might help.
  • Learn a another language – Duolingo has so many languages you can start learning. Give it a crack, you might really like it. Eu escrevo (that means, “I write” inĀ  Portuguese). Fancy.
  • Go for a walk – I say this was all sincerity. We’re allowed to walk, so do it if you can. You don’t need to be someone who’s all gung-ho about workouts and start doing intense HIIT workouts in your living room. But if you can get outdoors and breathe in fresh air, let your toes physically touch the sand/ground and feel the warmth of the sun on your skin, it’ll make you feel better. Especially if you’re feeling particularly flat.

If none of these work, or you’re just having a flat/shit day, that’s okay.

You’re allowed to get down. Life is very different for all of us right now and we’re all trying to find new ways to cope. When you go to bed at the end of the day, try and think of three things you’re grateful for, even if it’s as basic as a roof over your head, food on the table and toilet paper. And I know that many people in Australia and around the world are doing it tough, I don’t mean to belittle those issues in any way. I just mean that finding things you’re grateful for can helps highlight what you do have. And who knows, maybe it’ll help you or a friend out when they really need it.

Below are some links to some resources that may be helpful:

Verified sources for COVID-19 information in Australia

  • Visit the Queensland Government website which has detailed community information.
  • Visit the Australian Government Department of Health website with detailed community information.
  • Call the COVID-19 Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) for further advice if you are concerned you or your family members may have symptoms.

Mental health resources

If you would like to talk to someone now, you can contact:

Feel good resources

Hang in there guys. We’re all in this together.

Han x

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