This was originally an Instagram post. I’ve expanded it here.
“Reading is dreaming with your eyes open.” Except when you read non-fiction.
Over the past few weeks, as if the self-quarantine semi-lockdown situation isn’t bad enough, the daily news reported has sent me into a slight depression. I’ve since realized it’s so easy to become negative and in a bad mood because of what I’ve “consumed” daily. So then, I’ve decided to put in extra effort to change my mind by focusing my thoughts & reading on more positive things, and it truly makes a difference. 💕
This reminds me of the bible verse. “Finally, brothers (or sisters), whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.” Philippians 4:8
This is my self-quarantine/lockdown story…
This is mine – share your quarantine stories in the comments below!
Although I’m an introvert and mostly enjoy being at home, it is still isolating I can’t go out to a cafe and have a coffee, or see my friends or go to my usual ballet class. The routine at home gets very very mundane, and it is through this period of lockdown that I realize how humans REALLY need entertainment. I used to think entertainment wasn’t a necessity. Now I understand why people and children from war-torn countries are still able to laugh and have a giggle. Humans are actually quite resilient.
That doesn’t mean we don’t feel the effects of isolation. It affects us emotionally, mentally and even physically.
At the start, I decided to have a strict routine, and frankly that helps a lot. It would have been worse if there wasn’t a routine. At least I can focus on the next task, or what needs to be done. When the lockdown extended, I knew I had to add in an exercise routine. Initially, it was fun, because my friends and I would exchange work out photos/videos or do ballet classes together. After a while it feels a little constrained and contrived (not anyone’s fault). Soon I started dreading the ballet routine, it’s just not the same.
In my boredom, I started to be glued to the phone and depended on it for entertainment. I indulged in too much social media and negative stories, and I started to get weary. Also, the usual family business has been sorely affected. More worries added. I also needed mental stimulation. I needed some goals, to learn something new, to achieve… I need some new dreams, because the dream of travel is definitely not possible in the near future.
In my rather weary mood, I was not in the mood to declutter. Actually, I was pretty grateful for the extra stuff that I’ve “hoarded” along the way, because they now became useful. I started sewing again, thanks to a friend who got me into it. We spent many gleeful nights exchanging photos of the things we made over whatsapp. All those old clothes, bedsheets and sewing scraps became many new clothes and masks! That also made the lockdown easier to stomach.
While there were some positives, the longer the lockdown extended, the. more heavy my heart felt, and especially the world was becoming mad with violence, disorder and protests. (I shall not comment further on political/racial matters & opinions.) People were losing their jobs homes, economy was shrinking… more worries clouded my mind. I’m also a feeler. I feel everything strongly. I worried about the elderly that lived alone. The days felt longer and it felt harder to smile… then I realized that I should get off social media & the horrible news for a while.
I’ve realized it is hard to be positive, and be a loving and kind person, to have hope… if I do nothing for my mind!
So I decided to mediate of a bible verse a day. If I’m too busy, I would read out the verse and write it in a notebook. I also went to my library to pick out my favourite books and read whenever I can.
I am creating a list of my favourite classical music to play (because my classical channel plays unpredictable pieces most of the time and I would rather sweep the floor to my fav old grand tune). I’m glad that I was sewing because I learned a lot of new things. And lastly, I went back to brushing up my beginner French & Japanese! It is a lot fun. I am still dancing ballet for exercise at home. But I keep it to a short 30 minutes so at least I’m getting some exercise no matter how boring it gets.
Now I’m not saying I’ll simply ignore the news and pretend to live in a problem-free bubble. I’m just saying that we should do our part to be helpful, useful – whatever you find in your hands and sphere to do. You may not be able to save the world, but you can help that elderly neighbour do his/her shopping. It is heavy to carry eggs & milk! And pray for others. Forgive. . Appreciate the sacrifices others have made. Accept differences. Act in kindness & love. But these things are hard to do when we don’t feed our mind with good things. It becomes worse when we “feed” on the negativity, even when done unknowingly through the news & social media.
I haven’t totally figured it out of course… the future seems bleak & dismal. There are always things to get done, problems that seem too big to solve, and I’ll admit I don’t always feel happy and feel like smiling all the time. But, all I can do is to try to think about “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable” and take each step at the time, each day at the time. It’s a time to band together with family and loved ones, hold on tight and we will get through this period together.
Sending positive thoughts & blessings your way!