We’ve just entered the fourth week of quarantine and like many of you we’re taking it day by day. Grateful that we’re safe at the comfort of our home and also thankful that the kids are on summer break already. This means no tutoring nor studying for us–one less thing to worry about since my husband is busy working from home and I busy with homemaking.
Apart from what we see in the news, life at home has been pretty much the same. Homemaker life sans going out to run errands is what quarantine life is for me. Since we have no helper nor Yaya, I mostly do house chores. So most of the time I’m in the kitchen preparing meals or my family or washing the dishes.
It’s been 23 days of staying in and being confined in our home. We’ve never complained about it simply because it’s what we need to do plus we have what we need–food, water, bed, electricity and luxury of having Internet, gadgets, Netflix, HBOGo and other forms of entertainment to keep ourselves occupied during this summer at home setting. Some of my Instagram friends have asked me to share activities I do with my kids. Honestly, there nothing new nor exciting. The things we’ve been doing is nothing fancy, nothing out of the usual but I’ll share them here anyway–not to persuade you to do the same but to show you that we’re adjusting to this new normal and we’re embracing the mundane as we patiently wait for what’s to come when this is all over.
Cleaning & disinfecting like a true Virgo
Being the Virgo that I am, the first week of quarantine was dedicated to cleaning & organizing. I was basically washing my hands every chance I get while cleaning the entire house. I was able to wash the sofa cover, throw pillow covers, our curtains, change the bed sheets, wiped all cabinets and even our walls.
I was also able to organize our kitchen, pantry and even our floor mats washed and stored properly. Cleaning the house was my way of coping to this season of our lives. The uncertainty of tomorrow or in the coming days lead me to be productive so I wouldn’t overthink and worry about the things I have no control of.
Every nook and cranny of our home’s common areas I was able to clean during the first week of quarantine. Being an introvert, I enjoy quiet peaceful alone time at home but having my kids & my husband at home 24/7 made me a bit more anxious because I know it’s my responsibility to take care of them. And since the house feels cluttered & disorganized, cleaning was the first thing I thought about doing. Hashtag no chill during quarantine for me.
How I start my day
Meditating for 5 minutes to start my day. While I don’t wake up 5 in the morning everyday like I used to when there’s school, I do try to wake up not later than 8 in the morning. I meditate prior to checking my phone or making our bed. It aligns my energy & helps me clear my thoughts so I can properly function for the rest of the day.
My daily habit for the past six years
I also workout everyday. While I do this pre-quarantine, it has become extra challenging to workout at home especially when the kids are awake na. I needed some time to adjust but eventually managed to make do with the setup I have at home. When people comment how sipag or consistent I am working out during this time, I shrug it off because a. I don’t take compliments well teehee and b. I’ve been working out everyday for years so it wasn’t a chore, it has simply become a habit. My husband knows I get irritated whenever I don’t get to workout so he knows how important that I keep my routine of being active even while in quarantine.
My treadmill was kept in storage for 3 years and now it has seen the light of day and I use it thrice a week. Grateful that it fits in our balcony, even more grateful that I have an amazing husband who assembled it with me.
Work from home
Work from home sitch. My boys every morning. Our son Juro wakes up at 6 in the morning and goes to our room to sleep in some more or wake us up. Meanwhile, I’ve paused on work the past few weeks as I try to figure out how I should feel or at the very least deal with my emotions first. But since I started writing again, I think I’m ready to get back to work.
Cooking and food prep. This is what I usually do most of the time. After I meditate and workout, I usually vacuum & clean the floor, take a shower and prepare our meals. I’ll share more about the food I’ve prepared on a separate post. Usually I just come up with a dish based on available ingredients in our pantry.
After lunch activity: reading
Since my kids can do whatever activity they want given it’s their summer break, I’ve imposed a mandatory reading time for them after lunch. It’s an hour and a half dedicated to reading, sometimes it extends to two hours (a way to reprimand them if they’ve argued one too many times) if I needed an extra 30 minutes of quiet time in the afternoon. Usually I read as well but more often than not, I end up doing another chore or prepare dinner early.
My kids have been finding ways to keep themselves entertained. Here they are busy being creative with their Magformers.
We’ve also busted out our boardgames and have played Monopoly Game of Thrones one too many times in a week.
We’ve also helped Juro organize and put together his Marvel Mashers toys. It was such a satisfying activity that we didn’t realize we spent hours assembling all of them.
Another activity I find calming was finishing our Picxel portrait with my kids.
More activities my kids can think of. Though we don’t have a big space where my kids can build a fort or run around and play tag, they make do with what they have. Here’s Juro being creative with his Hot Wheels.
My kids’ artwork. Art is one of the things they enjoy doing. From digital to the classic paper & pen. Markers, to colored pencils, now they’ve added watercolor as their medium. It’s something they do every day and I love how creative they get.
Go outside sometimes
We’ve been using our balcony more. My kids also started running on the treadmill. Another way to keep them active during quarantine.
And since we need Vitamin D now more than ever, I’m taking advantage as our balcony faces the sunrise, we have enough sunshine to get me tanned. I appreciate our tiny outdoor space now more than ever.
My early riser joins me from time to time.
Thank you frontliners
Here’s their artwork to honor and thank all the frontliners who are working tirelessly to save lives. Thank you for your service. We promise to stay home for as long as needed so you can eventually come home to see & give hugs and kisses to your loved ones.
While my kids are busy doing the things they want to do, they also have some downtime–they like watching TikTok videos, YouTube videos and Netflix series. I also encourage them to do nothing and just hang.
Honestly, I plan to catch up on my reading & harness a very chill vibe during quarantine but it’s not going well for me. I’m busy cleaning, cooking, doing the laundry and so much more. So on days when I feel tired, I literally just stay in bed and enjoy a slow pace. I usually catch up on my series, finish a page or two of my current reading, or just play COD on my mobile phone (unfortunately, my screen time has doubled because I use my phone for a lot things–check the news, social media, order grocery, check on family & friends, play video games and even watch TV shows) I remind myself that I have nowhere else to be and the chores can wait.
Heightened emotions and feelings during this time usually adds to anxiety & stress even more. There’s pressure to be productive since people are working from home. While I’m in a better place now than when I was two weeks ago (mentally speaking) I know people still feel overwhelmed with the uncertainty the pandemic brings. I read an article shared by Jaymie Pizarro aka The Bull Runner on Instagram and it’s such a good read that I’m sharing it here as well. The article accurately pointed out the stages I’ve felt since the quarantine was imposed.
Here’s an excerpt from the article:
There is simply no way that our lives will resume as if this had never happened. And so, while it may feel good in the moment, it is foolish to dive into a frenzy of activity or obsess about your scholarly productivity right now. That is denial and delusion. The emotionally and spiritually sane response is to prepare to be forever changed.
No sane person feels good during a global disaster, so be grateful for the discomfort of your sanity. At this stage, I would focus on food, family, friends, and maybe fitness.
Ignore the people who are posting that they are writing papers and the people who are complaining that they cannot write papers. They are on their own journey. Cut out the noise.
Now more than ever, we must abandon the performative and embrace the authentic. Our essential mental shifts require humility and patience. Focus on real internal change. These human transformations will be honest, raw, ugly, hopeful, frustrated, beautiful, and divine.
Things will start to feel more natural. The work will also make more sense, and you will be more comfortable about changing or undoing what is already in motion. New ideas will emerge that would not have come to mind had you stayed in denial. Continue to embrace your mental shift. Have faith in the process. Support your team.
On the other side of this journey of acceptance are hope and resilience. We will know that we can do this, even if our struggles continue for years. We will be creative and responsive, and will find light in all the nooks and crannies. We will learn new recipes and make unusual friends. We will have projects we cannot imagine today, and will inspire students we have not yet met. And we will help each other. No matter what happens next, together, we will be blessed and ready to serve.From the article Why You Should Ignore All That Coronavirus-Inspired Productivity Pressure
By Aisha S. Ahmad
Published online at https://www.chronicle.com/article/Why-You-Should-Ignore-All-That/248366
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or pressured to be productive, I highly suggest you read the article because it can validate how you’re feeling during quarantine. READ FULL ARTICLE HERE
Now more than ever do I appreciate my husband’s plants. They give a sense of hope to me. Seeing them stem a new bud or leaf is a reminder that something new & good is bound to happen tomorrow.
Some days I’m not okay and that’s okay. This quarantine is slowly changing the way we think, the way we act and clearly the way we perceive life. I’m not wishing for things to go back to ‘normal’ or what life was like before because it’s never going to be the way it used to. I guess this makes most of us uneasy. But maybe, just maybe if we stop clinging to that ‘normal life’ we used to have and embrace the uncertainty with an attitude of gratitude then we’ll come out of this pandemic as a better person rather than just a productive one.