Here we are, more than a month in quarantine already – more than a month ago, we ended our year around the world to return home safely. This is what we’ve been up to – this is how we are ‘surviving’ the measurements of staying home.
First 9 days
As To Rove About is all about honest (travel) stories… If we are honest, the first 9 days back home, we did absolutely nothing. You can take that quite literally. As you read in my previous post, our homecoming was very intense and we simply crashed. We slept, we Netflixed, we did not go outside at all. The only active thing we did was collecting our groceries (from a collecting point, since shopping wasn’t allowed the first two weeks). We had to catch up with everything. And we took our sweet time. If we had anything, it was that: time. Lots of it.
There we go
And that was that. After couch-hanging that long, I started craving something different. My body was screaming for movement. I started being unable to sleep because I was waaaaay too active. Not surprising, after walking around 20km a day in New Zealand. My body had gotten used to quite the active lifestyle and it was craving that activity now that it had processed most of the emotions and the jetlag.
PRESSURE IN QUARANTINE
My mind was asking for routine. So that’s what I based my quarantine days on: routine & movement. HOWEVER (disclaimer), I decided not to create too much pressure (I mean, have you also all read what is expected of you, even in a worldwide crisis? BE PRODUCTIVE! It’s f*cked up) – because, wasn’t there stress enough in our world already?
I could write a whole article about this, but I will keep it short. Fuck that! You do not have to do anything! Make sure you take care of yourself and that you get through these crazy times in good (mental) health! I mean, that’s the only thing that’s really relevant. Release yourself from the pressure. It’s almost funny (if it wouldn’t be so sad) to see how we are conditioned so much to perform – even when the world is going through a crisis, we put pressure on ourselves to do things. I hope these times will make us realise how valuable it is to stand still from time to time.
Where was I… YES! I only wanted to be strict about a few things (out of self preservation) – but, only on things I really wanted.
In New Zealand, I realised how grateful my body was with such an active lifestyle, so, I wanted to keep up the movement! Therefore, I wanted to move 6 out of 7 days of the week. I could choose between running, walking or a home workout. And I’d try to do yoga most of those days. I have to admit, I’m keeping up well – I’ve skipped a few days, but not that many! Really proud of myself! Also: movement keeps me sane – in both body AND mind.
My only other requirement was to restrict screentime a little bit – ofcourse it would be waaaaaay more than in normal daily life – but there should be room for other things.
What to do in quarantine?
There’s probably heaps of these lists already, but here is mine! We all have plenty of time and maybe you discover something new.
- MOVE THAT BODY – This is my biggest outlet and I desperately need it, you would think it would benefit me mostly physically, but it’s honestly the best thing I can do for my mental health: yoga (I practice with Yoga with Adriene), running, long walks (or short walks), home workouts (here’s, a short active one that I like).
- Colouring. Nothing better to empty the mind! There’s so many colouring books and drawings for adults and I love it! It’s my meditation and I find it sooo relaxing. If you want to try it – I love this drawing by Marloes devries, you can easily download and print it!
- A quarintine diary: every day, I write one or two lines about the day. It’s a nice way to look back on the day and to have an overview of this weird time.
- Writing down what I’m grateful for: together with the above… Every day, I take the time to write down three things I’m grateful for. It can be big or small, but it helps to keep a positive mindset, even on bad days. Examples of things I wrote down: I’m grateful for…. my coffee this morning – eating breakfast in the sun – the beautiful sunset this evening – yoga – that I went for a run today – a videocall with a friend – the sound of rain on the window – …
- Netflix. Ofcourse. Do you want to continue watching? DUHHH.
- Watching documentaries. What interests you? What inspires you? What are you curious about? I looked for documentaries on subjects that interested me or simply because someone recommended it. It’s lovely to broaden your mind and to learn new things. Also, I think it can be very inspiring! I watched a docu about minimalism, veganism and tiny houses. Lots of docus on Netflix!
- Podcasts! I like to listen to them when I go for a run, or when I’m cooking or cleaning. They make those dull moments more interesting and I find them relaxing as well. For my fellow Dutch speaking humans: I’m currently listening to ‘Elke dag vakantie’ and ‘Lopen uit de ratrace’.
- Reading. Lots of reading. Looking for something to binge-read? I’m loving the very popular Seven Sisters series by Lucinda Riley.
- If you have the energy: try something new! I am freshening up my Spanish and am trying to learn the guitar. To be honest, its the first thing that I skip and by that I mean I mostly do not do it – but hey, we do not have to do anything, so all good!
- Make that photo album (very important side not: IF YOU WANT TO).
- PUZZLES. Puzzling during puzzling times. Pun very much intended indeed.
- Try new recipes and/or bake something! I could bake every day, but I choose not to because I do not want to be too unhealthy, but I baked scones, apple crumble and cake already! More things are planned! I also took some time to look up a few new recipes for dinner! I don’t know about you, but in normal daily life, we mostly rotated within the same range of recipes (we had quite a few and there was enough variety, no worries), it’s always nice to add more new dishes!
COFFEESmall things that make you happy – I mean, I AM a barista, so this should definitely be on the list? It’s very personal though. Coffee is one of those things that make my days a bit better. I grind the coffee beans by hand and it’s a slow process but it brings me in the moment every day and I love to wake up with it. (So, I guess this point shouldn’t be coffee but: find small things that make you happy.)
- DISCOVER YOUR BACKYARD – If you are following me a bit longer already, you know I’m in love with microadventures. Sooo, yes: discover your neighbourhood.
- Write cards/letters: I don’t know about you, but getting mail makes me happy. Conclusion: sending mail makes others happy.
- VIDEOCALLS: as humans, we need to socialize (I’m every so grateful for technology) – so make the time to call your favourite humans!
- The Sims – warning: very addictive and time consuming – although maybe that last bit might be what you are looking for. Hey, we can’t go outside, but your sim can!
Soooo… that was most of it I guess! The most important thing is that you take care of yourself, that you get through this and that you feel good. Don’t worry about whatever else everyone is doing: do you.
What are your favourite quarantine activities? Let me know! The more the merrier! Take care everyone!
Lots of love (from a distance),
Back in Belgium. What now? – To Rove about
07/05/2020 @ 17:56
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