I feel like under the current circumstances where almost the whole world has been or is under quarantine, the question ‘how are you?’ has become more critical than ever. Our mental and emotional well being is critical during this time and it’s important that we are open and honest about what we are going through with whomever we feel comfortable with and also understand that we are not alone. We are all processing being in lock down differently depending on the challenges and opportunities that it presents to us. I personally have been struggling with a few things that I have listed below:
- Being at home with the kids 24/7
I have really enjoyed being able to spend more time with my kids during lock down, the challenge has been that my kids are young and therefore require constant supervision which makes it very difficult to do other things like getting my work done, being on calls, household duties etc. I think that people with older kids are fairing much better because their kids can keep themselves busy and also do their school work without supervision. I have an 11 month old and a 5 year old so I am changing diapers, sterilising and making bottles, putting baby to sleep, making snacks and meals, it’s a LOT! My husband is very hands on so we tag team all of the above mentioned duties and looking after the kids but it can get stressful when we have very important calls or deliverables at the same time and both need to be focused.
- Working from home
Before COVID-19 and lock down, I enjoyed occasionally working from home because of how more productive I would be in a shorter amount of time than I usually am at the office. Without the distraction of meetings, emails and chatting with colleagues, it was the best way to get through a long to-do list. Under the lock down circumstances, it has been the opposite, in fact, I am behind on most of my work L There are no quiet moments in our home, it is constant chaos, I thought with time it would get better but it hasn’t. If I get a moment to hide away from the chaos and get work done, it’s not for long so I can only get so much work done. During the day I am attending to the kids, cooking or making snacks, being in Skype/Zoom calls and responding to emails. In the evenings when the kids are sleeping and its quiet, I am too exhausted to focus and get into work mode. Most nights I try because work needs to get done but I am not at my best.
- Making time for my passion projects
I really enjoy blogging, it’s fun and therapeutic for me. I also realised that working with brands was not making it fun for me so I pulled back from that and just focused on enjoying it again. Unfortunately with having a baby and demanding job, I struggle to find the time for it now. When lock down started I thought I could focus on it more and I had a few ideas of things that I wanted to do but the home situation chaos kicked in as well as imposter syndrome, some of the things I was thinking for example were that no one reads blogs anymore, why would anyone listen to what you have to say etc. But I am pushing through, the ideas I have are nagging at me to give them a try so I am hoping that I will get over myself and get to it.
- Not being able to compartmentalise
One of the consequences of the lock down is that we have turned our homes into our work spaces and it has become more difficult to relax at home. The meetings are starting earlier and ending later, so being able to come home to your place of refuge and rest has slowly dissipated. I feel guilty taking the time to have lunch during the day because I feel like I should be working and it’s so much harder to unplug in the evenings. I miss my morning routine of exercise and getting myself and the kids ready for the day, then travelling to work and being in work mode all day, then again travelling home to relax and spend time with my family. This compartmentalisation of my life kept me sane and now that it is all muddled up, the journey to adjust is taking much longer than expected and is also very hard.
- Fear of getting COVID-19
At some point lock down has to end and we have to face the world under the new normal circumstances. With COVID-19 causing respiratory infections, I am scared because I have asthma and so do both my children. My maternal grandmother passed after suffering an asthma attack so in my family there are a few of us that have it and it’s serious. Once things go back to normal, my children and I could get infected and I can only hope that we survive it.
So to answer the question, I am anxious, scared yet hopeful that a vaccine will be found soon and we can all be safe from this virus. How are you?