It isn’t great is it? All this?
Some days are okay; you wake up, you smash a 5K – who meditates? YOU meditate; you reward your body with the goodness it craves; protein, vitamins, hydration. You read, you stretch; you maintain your role in the WhatsApp groups – the funny one, the positive one. We’re SO lucky, you say.
You stretch some more, you do some squats; “well I have all this extra time!” You remind yourself, all the while complying to appease the small voice in your head which quietly cheers: “personal development growth, personal development growth!”
Other days are different.
You’re tired. You’re irritable. You might even cry. Hit snooze on the alarm; you can’t face the reality of this new routine you’ve created. The purpose of its creation was to give you a sense of normality and daily achievement – it was supposed to fulfil a margin of what you ache to complete every day. But…it’s not working?
Did I do something wrong? You wonder; staring into the comforting honey-coloured cup of coffee; begging it to answer, or at the very least, to manifest itself into human form and give you a hug – after all, you haven’t been held in over 16 days.
Now, I can’t speak on behalf of your coffee – but my guess is that, no – you haven’t done anything wrong at all. You are merely a human, living out a scenario none of us expected to be in. We’re attempting to harness sensory overload of constant communication, whether it be from the news, messages between friends or passive aggressive memes which tell us we’re doing it wrong. And (my English teacher would throw a white board duster at me for starting a sentence with the word “and”), to think that “Wellness” can put a plaster over that is fucking dangerous territory.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge advocate for using exercise, and general recommended health and well-being actions (sounds sexy right?) To try and keep the wolf from the door and to attempt to muffle the inner-destructive and disordered suggestions my brain offers as a shortcut to appearing like I have my shit together. But the reality, is that you cannot fix this situation by lighting a candle and mastering a headstand (believe me, I’m fucking trying). But what you can do, is cut yourself some slack – and remember that every day is going to be a new challenge – one that you might master like a pro, and others that might make you their bitch; a key reminder here, is that in both eventualities, you will be ABSOLUTELY FINE.
Now this is not to disregard your feelings, your personal situation or say, that we are not well in the weeds at the moment; everyone’s personal circumstances and health concerns are different – what I’m trying to address here is the underlying pressure we’re facing online to bake banana bread and smash a Joe Wicks workout every day. If you can do that – that’s truly amazing; own those small wins, but if you just don’t feel like doing that today, or are feeling flat in spite of ticking every box of that self-care checklist; then that is absolutely fine ‘oh nine too, give yourself a break.
While we’re at it – if you don’t come out of this quarantine with a six pack, abs like slabs, some sweet guns or thighs of steel- DUDE that’s totally fine. The NHS are busting their hump day in and day out trying to bucket water out of a ship that’s fast-quickly filling with water – and that’s not to say your worries aren’t relative – but honestly, we’re all gonna be so gosh darn grateful to make it out of this alive that no one will bloody notice anyway.
So don’t feel bad if you’d rather spend this time completing The Wire season 2* or learning the entire rap sequence from TLC’s Waterfalls – honey if anything, you have my upmost respect.
*must think up new reference point to overuse
We have our lives under a microscope at the moment; with more time that ever to ponder every minor or major decision from the past. I caught myself sending a manic 12 minute voice note to my friend this week, expressing my fear in great detail over the possibility of the semi-colon going out of fashion (you might have noticed my overuse of the punctuation in this blog as an overreaction to this). We’re having to be present in our realisations without the fire exit of coffee with friends or an evening chloroformed by distractions to refrain us from having to make peace with the past or our present reality.
So with the above in mind, I want to just remind you that it’s normal to feel however you feel. Let yourself feel; you don’t have to understand it, or be ashamed of it; just try and make friends with it or at the very least, acknowledge it and maybe communicate that you’re not feeling too aces today. These recommendations are personal and what I find works for me, I hope they work for you, but this is not a one size fits all situation, so please approach this within parameters that you’re comfortable in. But never, ever refrain from reaching out, whatever your situation. We’re all new here and…dare I say? A quaran-team.
**Disclaimer: I have included photos throughout this post of things which are making me happy at home – it’s basically food that I’ve eaten in bed.