As the world remains at a standstill for the second straight week, a lot of people are starting to feel cabin fever. I’m seeing lots of Memes about the difficulties of homeschooling, overexposure to your partners or spouses, people counting how many holes sky flakes have, etc.
We have possibly 2-3 more weeks to go and heaven forbids, could even get longer. They say people get the hang of things after two weeks. But if you are already starting to pull your hair or trying to sing Bohemian Rhapsody backward or in an imaginary language, here are some tips to keep you on the ground.
Set a schedule
I have read a lot of parenting books, and among the most common advice is having a routine that helps kids feel secure. For times like this, it would also be helpful for adults to do the same. Start your day by writing things you want to do and achieve. This will give you some normalcy and balance. But also remember to be chill about it.
Learn something new
Human beings always crave evolution. Otherwise, we will never improve the species. Learning something is like exercising the brain so it would not deteriorate. Although very satisfying, watching and re-watching the “kilig” scenes of Captain Ri and Se-ri in Crash Landing On You will not make you smarter. So come out of the Netflix bubble and try something new.
I have experienced the danger of being in a state of constant stress and anxiety, and it can really kill you. A lot of people might be feeling stressed and full of fear during these trying times and I cannot stress enough the importance of meditation to keep yourself sane. There are a lot of apps and youtube videos that can guide you to meditate that can help you be relaxed and optimum mindset
Have a goal
Was there something you always said you wanted to do but never had the time? Maybe painting, playing the piano, or doing a cross-stitch portrait of Hyun Bin? Set a minimum of things you want to achieve so that you feel like you have used your time wisely. Read a book or twelve, learn how to make paella, be a DJ, or maybe learn Korean by watching all the Korean series. The list is endless.
Write a gratitude journal
It’s very easy to wallow in a sorry state and rant on social media, but the world does not need that right now. Every morning, write down things that you are thankful for. Your house, no matter how small, as a safe sanctuary while this quarantine is in effect. The fresh air you breathe because there is no pollution. The people around you, physically and online. Now is the time to look at the glass half full.
It can be a 10-minute stretch or 1000 burpees, as long as it gets you moving. As Elle Woods said, “exercise gives you endorphins; endorphins make you happy; happy people don’t just shoot their …” I think you get the point, so get your butt out of the couch and do some leg lifts.
There’s Facebook Messenger, Viber, Zoom, and a lot of possible ways to have face time. If you know some of your friends are by themselves in their homes, take time to connect with them. And if you are alone, don’t hesitate to reach out to link to other people. Humans are social beings, we all need to feel we are in this together!
I saw one post saying that social media is becoming toxic. We are seeing a range of posts from positive, political, negative, and panic ones. If reading social media pages makes you sad, disconnect. And I appeal to everyone to please be responsible social media users, check first if what you are posting is not fake news or will bring negativity. Be part of the solution, not the problem.
Don’t pressure yourself
You might be seeing your friends doing all sorts of incredible things or for parents, seeing other parents teach the kids quantum physics, please don’t compare and pressure yourself. Their journey is different from yours. Ask yourself what will make you happy or give you a sense of fulfillment during this time and stick to that.
What’s happening is not personal to us. In fact, it’s not exclusive to the Philippines, the whole world is experiencing it. The only thing we can change is the way we perceive this challenge. Do we want to be in a constant state of stress or embrace the rest period? For parents, your children are also getting affected by your anxiety, instead of them remembering this difficult time, make them remember how fun it was to be with Mom and/or Dad.
As you might have noticed, I joined the bandwagon of Crash Landing into you. Like you, I couldn’t get over the fact that they only get to spend two weeks a year, even though their love was “wagas.” But I realized that their mindset was that they were just grateful that they found and love each other. Perhaps when this is all over, and things do change, let us just be thankful for all the blessings that have been given to us and move forward. As they say, life goes on.
Stay at home and be safe and healthy. Let’s all do our part of flatten the curve and move forward.
Jeanette Ipapo-Tuason’s “why” is to help people become better versions of themselves. Married to multi-awarded race car driver JP Tuason and mother of five children, she is a confessed learning junkie (know it all), avid reader, sometimes life coach (gives unsolicited
advice), triathlete (when not allergic to working out), and cook.