by Jasmine Ledesma
Doesn’t the air feel strange?
Spring is here, the bushes are bursting of flowers, birds sing operatically every morning and yet, we are at a standstill. Cars are scarce past my window. The sink trickles bit by bit. In a way it feels like the fat, slow speed bump middle of summer.
For some of us who have been privileged enough to maintain work during this time, we are figuring it out as we go along: how to manage our work and business alongside the stress and containment of the ongoing pandemic at hand. For those of us with additional health issues, be that physical or mental, the added strain may make maneuvering our work even more of a daunting task. It is undoubtedly difficult, but here are some tips on how to take care and stay positive in a negative COVID-19 world all while working from home.
Deadlines can be hard to follow even without a government imposed quarantine to consider. The days bleed together right now. Monday doesn’t exist until it is too late. To help this, perhaps it is time now more than ever to put together a system solely to help you manage your time. You have options. You need one place, or object, where you can input deadlines. If you want something quick and easy, check out doodle.com which offers a low cost plan and easy to use site that acts as an online planner. You can make notes on the calendar and they offer video instructions if you are confused or have questions. If you want something physical you can see and hold, Walmart is selling planners for less than twenty dollars with free delivery.
Stemming from that train of thought, we are creatures of structure. We thrive best when we are on a schedule and falling behind on our set schedule can lead to stress, tension and anxiety. With the extra time you have now, it can be easy to throw yourself out of a set routine. You lose sleep or get too much sleep. Even if you don’t have to catch the train at seven in the morning, it will still benefit you to get up before noon, work, exercise, eat and indulge in whatever healthy behaviors you need to.
Maybe even add something new! If you have been putting off learning about a new skill, language or topic because you didn’t have time, now is the time to do it. Squarespace is currently offering a free trial for those that need it. And of course, YouTube is filled to the seams with free tutorials on whatever it is you want to learn.
Parks are to be closed in most places, if they haven’t been already. This doesn’t mean you can’t exercise, though! There was recently an uproar over the newly developed term tossed around social media websites, “quarantine fifteen” which is the idea that all of us are going to gain weight during this time of societal pause. Of course, it goes without saying that weight gain is not first on most people’s priority list right now, as some people have children that need tending to or work to continue, but it also must be said that exercising does relieve stress. It adds to our overall sense of well being. It doesn’t even have to be strenuous or long exercise. For example, this video is among the many you can follow at home over the next few weeks.
The news scared me as a kid. It was seemingly always full of house fires, serial killers and robberies. Now, the news scares me again. Being constantly and fiercely bombarded with streaming stories about the pandemic is only going to make you more anxious and upset. While it is worthwhile to know what is going on, it is not at all necessary to listen to or read what everybody has to say on the matter at all given moments of the day.
My friend sent me this note she wrote to herself recently:
"Waking up before noon, eating and eating good, cleaning up, putting on clothes, taking them off. I daydream the same as I ever daydreamed and focus now on things of physicality and sensation, like dense clover batches and pancakes and the heat coming off my weary laptop. And I talk to people, still, and we make each other normal, calm. My friends and coworkers and students have voices, faces, a personality that I focus on, like a clear underlying humming note above the tense noise. Who would I help by screaming? Not then and not myself. I daydream the same, about a home and wife and kids, and cook for myself what I would cook for them, what I would cook for my friends, if I could, and move forward in place."