This past week I’ve definitely begun to accept the situation surrounding Covid-19 more. At first, I went through a stage of denial and then self-pity and frustration, but now I think I’ve finally reached a point of acceptance. I have my health, home and family and anything else outside of that is out of my control. These are all facts I knew before, yet they didn’t seem to comfort me in the beginning, they just made me feel guilty and selfish. Now, however, that I’ve had time to process the situation and find a rhythm to this new quarantine life, I’ve finally found a happy middle-ground.
Although ultimately, I know all we can do is ride it out and take every day as it comes, I wanted to share with you how I’m using this time to my advantage. Whilst we’ll all be coping differently, I know one thing that’s helping me is to see this (seemingly) endless amount of time as an opportunity, rather than a constraint. When else in our lives will we have the time to read that book we saw? Or spend the day baking? Work on our fitness? Learn a new skill? Or just simply chill out because we can? Modern society, especially when it comes to generation Y and Z, are so busy. We always like to be doing stuff, or look like we are. I think for us, this pause on our normal everyday lives is a good chance for us to slow down; reflect, think, do, or just be.
Here are the ways I’m using this time to my advantage:
Work on my blog
When I was away travelling I was only managing to upload a blog post once every 2 weeks. I was always wishing I had a little extra downtime to upload more regularly, so now, there’s no excuse. Using this time to upload more content means I can familiarise myself with the site more, find my writing style, what I like to write about, what people enjoy reading etc. Not only this, but I find my blogging to be very therapeutic. It gives me a chance to reflect what’s been going on in my head, write it down and share it.
Following on from my first point, whilst my blog is a fun and creative outlet that I enjoy doing just for the sake of it, I’m also interested in the more analytical side. Which is why I’ve set myself the goal of learning more about how to measure the performance of my blog, from better SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) to traffic and social media shares. Before I set up an online tool for this however, I want to make sure I understand the metrics, why I should use them and what they might tell me. Study first, install later.
Studying English at uni meant I had to read regularly and widely every day. From books, poem, plays, articles and journals, in both Romantic and contemporary English to Norse and Anglo-Saxon. I think I’ve seen my fair share of texts. This continuous and often strenuous type of reading, however, where we didn’t really have a choice on what we could and couldn’t read has meant I am now so grateful for the chance to read whatever and whenever I like. To ensure I’m still reading widely however, I’ve set myself the goal of reading at least one fiction and one non-fiction book a month. With a preference for fiction, this goal just means I am still reaching for new perspectives and widening my horizons.
Enjoy Life’s Small Pleasures
As I pointed out at the start of this blog, we often lead such busy lives that we overlook the small pleasures around us. Chatting with friends and family, playing or relaxing in the sunshine, eating your favourite meal, curling up on the sofa with a hot brew, exercise, nature, films, music, the list goes on. So many of these things are always there to enjoy, but how often do we really appreciate them?
This blog post was inspired by Edith Eger (Holocaust survivor and author of The Choices) who wrote an article for Penguin Perspectives – a series of essays from leading authors on the Covid-19 outbreak – she said: “May this period of upheaval and uncertainty, when you may have time or risk or both in abundance, be a wake-up call – an invitation to embrace what is, to choose the life you want, and to become more congruent and connected.”
I hope this blog post and Edith’s words inspire you to think about how you might want to take advantage of this time.