Svilena Iotkovska | Editor in Chief
It goes without saying that we are currently living in uncertain and terrifying times. Almost overnight, most of our lives have been turned upside down as we have been advised to stay home, work remotely and take care of ourselves and our loved ones.
What sounds like a long vacation, reveals itself as something that lowers our spirits, makes us anxious and even afraid of the uncertainty in which we find ourselves. How long do I have to stay home? What will happen to my studies? Will I lose my job? Will I find a job when everything blows over? When will it even blow over? All of these questions will eventually begin to crowd your mind, making it difficult and nearly impossible to maintain our mental and physical health. Especially now, when our minds and bodies should be at our strongest, we must make sure to take care of them.
How can we go about surviving and possibly even enjoying this period of quarantine?
Importance of Routine
One of the hardest things about being pulled away from our normal day-to-day lives is maintaining a routine, waking up on time (when now, more than ever, time proves itself to be a social construct), eating meals at the right time (…again), and doing the work we normally would.
What you will come to realise is that the routine which has worked so well for so long, just needs to be adjusted in order to match your new (and temporary!) way of life. By all means, wake up at a later hour, enjoy a slow morning and a long shower but then gradually get on with the tasks you set out for the day. Just because you are staying indoors does not mean that there is nothing to do.
What do we tend to do when we have to stay at home?
We eat while binge watching Netflix.
We eat while video calling our friends and family back home.
We eat every chance we get.
What follows is lethargy and a longing for a nap – a nap that we end up taking because we think ‘eh, what’s the point anyway?’ At this point we need to stop and realise that it is not the confinement which is bringing us down but our own self-destructive thoughts and actions.
Maybe you love the gym, maybe you’ve never had the time, maybe you’ve had the time but have always come up with excuses – either way, now is the time to exercise at home. It is not just an easy option now that you are confined to the house but if anything, one can argue that it is even better than going to the gym: you are in the comfort of your own home, you avoid gym anxiety (it’s a real thing – google it!) and you can even do it in your pyjamas.
Plus, if you’re anything like me and you find sets and reps of exercises tedious, you can always go on to YouTube and find something that suits you: Yoga, Zumba, Pilates… the possibilities are endless. Exercising your body does not have to be boring and tedious, I promise.
Exercise your Mind
Obviously, it is a difficult time for finding motivation when all kind of work seems trivial. If you are struggling with assignments and exams, try to do something else to get your creative juices flowing first: journal, draw, colour, paint, read, build a jigsaw, play an instrument – again, the possibilities are endless and there is so much we can do!
They say history repeats itself so I think we should take a look back to The Black Death of the 14th century and the changes it brought about. Following the plague, the world witnessed the Renaissance, a complete rebirth and ‘one of the greatest epochs for art, architecture, and literature in human history’. In other words, there is hope at the end of this dark, uncertain tunnel in which we find ourselves today.
Remember, we have the power to control how we act and how we think – and that makes all the difference.