If you’re anything like me, you’re waking up every morning these days and going ‘is this really my new reality?’
It feels like we’ve all been dumped into the storyline of some weird dystopian YA novel. Except unlike in those novels, our happy ending isn’t quite in sight yet. And for someone who is used to waking up every day with a solid plan and a set of expectations I’m pretty certain I can meet at work and in my personal life- this has all thrown me for a loop.
On Tuesday night I cracked open a bottle of port I haven’t looked at since Christmas because- why not? The days of the week mean nothing when you’re quarantined at home almost 24/7. And it was great- I drank port while I video chatted with my wine-drinking friend in Edinburgh and we made a night of it.
However, as easy as it would be to turn these uncertain weeks into endless nights of boozy video calls, Netflix bingeing sessions and coronavirus whine-a-thons with our flatmates; the novelty of these things will wear off very fast, I think. I am already sick to death of the ‘c’ word and long for the days when we all whined about Brexit and the weather (which, coincidentally, has been gorgeously sunny since we’ve all be trapped inside, so cheers for that, English weather).
So long story short, I woke up yesterday morning and ordered a daily planner for next-day delivery. I’ve always been a list-maker (is there a better feeling than aggressively ticking off a whole to-do list?) and I think that this quarantine period may just be the dream-situation in which to indulge my list-making fantasies to the max. Because when your week is an endless stretch of ‘get up, go for daily allowed outdoor excursion, eat, Netflix, eat, eat, eat, sleep…’ something as simple as checking ‘water plants on balcony’ off a list can be deeply satisfying.
So that’s the core of my advice on how to take control of an uncontrollable situation: set yourself simple goals every day that will give you a sense of fulfilment to complete no matter how small they may seem. On my list for today I have the following:
1. Post card for mum and then go for a walk in the park
2. Enjoy a Deliveroo with my flatmates tonight and try not to speak about the virus
3. Do a module of my mindfulness practitioner course
4. Do some easy, relaxing stretches and a bit of meditation
5. Bake something using only what’s already in my cupboards
And yeah, I may only tick off two or three of the things on that list, but I’ll still feel like I’ve achieved something during what would otherwise be just another day in an otherwise mind-numbingly repetitive week.
So set small goals, tick them off, find satisfaction in the small things and have boozy video chats, too, because they’re undeniably great.