The pandemic is still here and we haven’t seen the light at the end of the tunnel yet. Some countries are still in quarantine. Some have finished the government-imposed lockdown (like here in France). But most of all, everyone of us are adapting to the new normal.
France was in lockdown from March to May. It was unexpected. The neighboring countries have done the same thing, too. Most of us are now going through challenges. This was not easy. As I look back, I actually don’t know how I survived the lockdown for those months of just staring at the walls of my apartment, navigating from the living room to the kitchen, and balcony then back to my bed. I went out of the apartment after 25 days of confinement just because I ran out of food! I have to endure wearing a homemade mask (I was saving the surgical mask that was given to me last January for more important, longer times of staying outside when I could), listed down the only things I needed to buy, wrote down a certificate of my reason for going out (gosh, I forgot what it was called during the lockdown), and went to the nearby grocery around the corner.
With these in mind, I have thought of listing down those things that might also inspire you if you are still under quarantine.
- Food. This is very important to me. This also included cooking and baking. A day before the lockdown, the office already told us to work from home. That was Monday. There were already talks about the government announcing the lockdown measures so I headed to the nearby Carrefour armed with a grocery list. I did not do a panic buying since I already made my grocery on the previous weekend and I had enough. But I thought about just adding a few things that would last while I’m stuck at home. I put food first in this list because as long as you have provisions, this would be enough to keep you sane. Less thing to think about, too.
- Books. If you are a person who reads, books surely help to keep the mind off the fact that we’re stuck within the confines of our homes for an indefinite period of time. It enriches the mind, too.
- Puzzles. I have a 1000-piece puzzle that I never got the chance to do until the lockdown happened. Really! I was doing it during lunchtime or after work. However, I think it only took me six days to finish it, hahaha! And when the Prime Minister announce the extension in April, I re-shuffled everything!
- Art materials. I was trying to get my footing back to my art, befriending the watercolors and other coloring materials that I brought with me from Bangkok. I also had a few sketches, practicing still life drawing again.
- Exercise. The routine would only take an hour or whatever, depends on your plan. I would have Zumba and aerobics enough to keep me in shape despite the fact that I was also doing some quarantine baking, hahaha.
- Netflix. Don’t we all? Hahaha. Although I remembered that the French government advised us if we could limit the use of internet during the lockdown, to the point that Disney+ also delayed their launch in France for a month. But what else to do if you’re not watching online streaming, especially when alone in the apartment?
- Reconnect with Family and Friends. Yes. If Netflix or Amazon Prime won’t do, then go online to chat with the family and friends. Do some video call parties. This is the time where we also realize how important human relationships are. We’re may be far away from each other, but that should not stop us from caring and looking out for each other, especially at this time of uncertainty. We’re missing the human/physical interactions and it’s affecting our mental health. Reaching out to the people we care the most is one step in healing a part of us during this period.
- Blogging. I have this blog set up a few years back but never had the time. Even now, I’m still trying to figure out what to do about this, hahaha. But I like writing and I like putting my words out here to share to anyone. It’s part of my own sanity check, to be able to connect with people online.
- Writing. I take it that this is different from blogging as I always write things down, poems, stories, essays, random thoughts, anything. Some are in this blog, but most are in my notebooks.
- Learning a new skill. I learned how to bake a bread when the loaf I bought from the grocery was finished after two weeks. It was life-changing, hahaha!
- Online Shopping. Oh, dear. This is something that I don’t really advise you to do if you get easily addicted to those pretty things that you thought you need but actually didn’t. And honestly, the only shopping I did during the lockdown was e-book shopping, hahaha.
- Be a Plantita. In the Philippines, the word Plantita (or Plantito, if you’re a guy) became popular when people started to try their luck if they have the green thumb or not. Plantita is a portmanteau, blending the two words Plant + Tita (means Auntie, or Uncle for Tito). I did the same thing here, but mostly, I started raising vegetables from the scraps I had after cooking. I now have a small vegetable garden in my balcony and currently enjoying my weekly salad dish. Soon, I will be enjoying some zucchini too.
- KonMari. If you ever heard of Marie Kondo, then you will get inspired in tidying up your place. During lockdown, one of the things I reflected on was how to reduce my things with only those that I need. I began sorting out my clothes, my bags and shoes, even my books. Those that I felt that I don’t need anymore has been set aside. It was the opportunity for me to restructure my place into something that has more space and more pleasant.
- Dating. Well, in my case, I was dating someone before the lockdown so to have someone to talk to at the end of the workday, or in between the things I do, was always something that I appreciate. There’s someone who listens and understands, and I would do the same for him. But if you don’t have anyone else yet, perhaps, trying the online dating would help explore what your heart desires. 🙂
Oh, wow. What a list! I did not realize that I have done a lot to make something out of my time during the lockdown. I’m still doing these things, and it’s not a problem for me to just stay home once in a while. I missed a lot during the confinement and I tried, as safely as I could, to appreciate life more by going out to meet my friends or take a hike into the woods or any nearby parks. Hopefully, this list would just remain something to be remembered and we do not have to be confined inside our homes anymore.