Self Care (And Lack Thereof) under COVID Isolation

COVID-19, Personal

Hello, all. I’m still not used to the idea of blogging, so I’m going to write off the cuff and see where it goes. Maybe it’ll be good. Something personal, maybe even juicy and entertaining. Maybe it’ll just be disorganized ramblings. Who knows? In any case, we all know why we’re here and what’s going on. There happens to be a microscopic elephant in the room. In which room, I’m not sure. Maybe mine. Maybe yours. Maybe every room, hallway, elevator, and entrance. There’s an elephant somewhere, and everybody’s stuck hiding from it.

COVID-19 hasn’t been an easy thing to deal with. As of today (4/7), it’s sounding like the pandemic will hit its peak here in Jersey in a week or two. I’m currently on week three of social distancing and it’s been a real mixed bag. I was lucky enough to secure emergency housing on campus, as my situation at home is currently in flux, and that’s been a mixed bag too, since my roommate has moved out and for the first time in my life, I’m living entirely alone on a ghost campus. In this time, it’s been more important than ever to have something in place for self care.

Admittedly, self care isn’t something I’m great at. I’ve always prided myself on the ability to push myself to (and sometimes past) my breaking point and still come out okay. Definitely not a healthy way to live, especially when you’re like me and deal with mental health issues to begin with. I’ve always been meaning to improve my self care, and yet it gets pushed into the background most of the time. I suppose in some respects I can thank this pandemic for giving me an opportunity to put some much needed energy into this.

Of course, that’s implying that I have put energy into self care. I suppose I have, but certainly not the amount I need and probably not always in healthy ways. It’s difficult to add something entirely new to your routine when you’re struggling to preserve what was already there. There were some things that I was already doing that I’ve struggled to maintain. Most notably, I began meditating daily back in January. I was on a solid streak for a while, but during the past few weeks, I’ve had some difficulty maintaining that streak.

Part of that is because my normal nighttime routine has been almost entirely demolished, though not without purpose. Since I’m isolated here, I’ve been having almost nightly Zoom calls with my friends from home to preserve some sense of social contact. I suppose that’s a form of self care in and of itself. Still, as much as I love them, I probably need to get more comfortable regulating how much time I spend on the call, maybe leaving a bit earlier so I can pick up my standard routine after a delay.

In addition to meditation and Zoom calls, the only self care I’m succeeding in implementing is taking walks once or twice a day to get some sun, leave the apartment. Even then, I’m not terribly consistent with it, but I try as hard as I can. It definitely helps, even if only a little. Beyond that, my self care is, in my opinion, lacking. I’ve got plenty of ideas, but irritatingly few of them make it from theory to practice. I had been reading nightly before the world stopped, and I haven’t been able to get back to that. I wanted to improve my guitar skills. I want to learn bass, since I’ve had a cheap bass lying around that never gets used. I had a plan for a novel that I wanted to start researching and writing. I have no shortage of video games I want to finally get around to playing.

I’ve got plenty of things I want to do, and I’m not sure exactly how to improve any of them. I suppose it starts with time management. Never one of my strong suits, so I suppose that’s where I need to improve most. Any recommendations on that front are more than welcome. I’ve tried everything from the Pomodoro technique to binaural beats for focus to putting on a podcast, and nothing seems to stick. If I can learn to manage my time effectively, to maintain productivity at such a level that I don’t feel bad indulging in any of the self care ideas I have, then I think I will not only deal with this damned pandemic better, but be happier in general. That would be a very welcome change.

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