It’s official: the world has officially pressed the ‘Pause’ button. Shops are closed, gyms are closed, and the cue for milk at the local seems to be an endless line of cautious humans hyphenated by an ominous 2 metre gap. Everyday on the News at 6, Miss Rayworth breaks yet another shocking headline about the devasting impacts of COVID-19.
Think it would be fair to say ‘Doom & Gloom’ would be an understatement…
Dark times like these call for a wee bit of optimism, and in spite of the dark cloud hanging over the whole of our society, I have noticed a few things in the past fortnight that prove there are some positives arising from this global disaster.
I should make it clear, IN NO WAY am I saying that the C-word is a good thing; I merely want to highlight the few positives that have come about as a result of the spreading virus…
#1 PEOPLE ARE ENJOYING RUNNING
Gyms are closed. Pools are closed. Those funky trampolining centres are closed. People need to get their exercise in somehow, right?
The fact that we are so limited in where we can go, and what we can do, so many people have got into a great habit of going running on a regular basis. As we are restricted to 1 session outside our homes, guys and gals have been making the most of their one opportunity to get out of the house by hitting the roads, parks, and commons for a cheeky jog.
On my daily run, I am passing people I would never usually see out on the roads putting in some quality miles (don’t worry, always a 2m gap!), which automatically puts a smile on my face. I am very hopeful that this crazy people gets as many people hooked as possible, and that the emerging crop of new runners stick around for the long haul!
For those yet to lace up and get moving, it is a great way to combat coron-anxiety (copyright GPT…); even 15 mins at a leisurely pace can help clear the fog and reset the system when you’ve been entertaining the kids all day. Running has got me through tough patches more times than I care to imagine.
#2 THE GREAT OUTDOORS
Being stuck at home all day, every day, means that people have come to appreciate Mother Nature that little bit more.
As we only have that one solitary opportunity to enjoy the outdoors for the moment, it comes to reason that most guys and gals have been making the most of it by venturing into the countryside or local woods for a ramble. Furthermore, as all of the kids are now being schooled from home, it is awesome to see whole families cracking on with some outdoor activities in the woods where I walk my beloved Gus; something which I never used to see before the crisis.
Having been brought up by two parents who spent many a weekend outside entertaining myself and my sister, I know how valuable these sort of activities are for developing skills and knowledge that will actually benefit children further down the line. In a modern world where technology plays such a massive role in childhood, I for one am so happy to see more kids getting into the outdoors and having non-screen related fun (yes, I’m well aware I sound like a nagging old bag…!)
The icing on the cake is the fact that, due to most of the globe self-isolating, worldwide pollution levels are beginning to decline pretty rapidly, and our environment has started to rebuild following all the damage us humans have done in the past couple of centuries!
#3 FAMILY FUN
Self-isolation means being stuck in the same house as your nearest and dearest, 24 hours a day. No work to travel off to, no trains to catch, no coffee shops to go to: simply staying put, knuckling down, and doing your time with those that you live with…
Personally, the new restrictions has been so beneficial on the relationship I have with my parents; we have always been a tight-knit unit, but due to my hectic working week (coupled with my mum’s tendency to f**k off to her sewing group every other hour…) has meant that we rarely get an opportunity to spend some quality time together!
The fact we are all now forced to isolate with our families will inevitably result in raging arguments (probably deriving from a disagreement while playing Monopoly…), but it will also hopefully result in stronger relationships within the household. If you as a couple, family, or individual are able to get through this crisis, you’ll be able to get through anything.
Cease the opportunity with both hands; relive classic family holidays, crack out the board games, or simply use the time to have legit conversations with one another that aren’t about whose turn it is to do the washing up tonight…
#4 REVIVING OLD PASSIONS & PASTIMES
Boredom has struck. You’ve cleaned the house, done the laundry, painted the shed; there’s ‘nowt else to do to keep you busy. Why not crack into the archives and retry an old hobby that you used to love?
For me, I’ve got back in touch with the jazzy side of my soul and whipped out my instrument to have a play… One of my biggest passions in life is playing the saxophone, which has slightly gone adrift since my career as a PT begun. With more time on my hands now, I have a great excuse to get my groove on again and play some tunes that takes me back to my gigging days!
In a time where the future is so uncertain, returning to a familiar hobby might be the remedy to help keep things on the island mentally!
#5…OR TAKE THE OPPS TO TRY SOMETHING NEW!
Equally, that thing you’ve been meaning to learn that’s been on hold for years is finally ready to come out of the closet.
It could be learning a new language, instrument, or delving into the wonderful world of books; anything that you fancy, give it a crack!
Although Netflix is very much our friend these days, it’s so easy to waste days on end binging on the sofa. Try and restore a wee bit of normality by allotting a certain time of day, a few days a week, to learning this new skill so as to make the time we have in isolation as productive as can be.
#6 SAVOUR THE SMALL STUFF
Life in quarantine is grim. Exercise outside once a day, all amenities are out of action ‘till further notice, and public spaces are becoming more and more sparse as the pandemic begins to take hold of the country (at least for the next couple of weeks…).
The thing is, it will end; there is a light, and once we get there, the little things will seem that much sweeter than before.
Things I used to take for granted (going to a coffee shop to work on the blog, meeting up with my mates for a bite to eat, simply going to the gym) have all been temporarily stripped from my routine. However, I know that when this is all over (and I repeat, it will end), I will appreciate the small segments that make up my normal routine so much more.
I know it seems sh*t now, and the foreseeable future seems even grimmer; but when it’s over (and, for the final time, it will end), all the little things we previously took as normality will become luxury, thus transforming our previously mundane routine into an exciting escapade.
Just think how good that first set back on the platform will feel, peeps; let that see you through ‘till the end of this!
THE FINAL WORD
I lied. This is the final time: this sh*t will end. The experts have spoken, and they are positive that normality is on the horizon, albeit a changeable horizon. Nonetheless, the end is there, and we will get there!
For the moment, though, I am a great believer in living en ce moment; turn off the news once in a while, escape the depressing headlines that are sprawled across our screens, and focus on how this situation has had a positive impact on you, your life, and society on the whole.
Stay safe, my dudes and dudettes; and thank you for reading this far. Hopefully you have found a wee bit of solace reading this, and try to find the positives in your routine that this crisis has had. If you do so, it will become all the more easier to get through this with a smile on your face 😊
IF YOU ARE STRUGGLING TO COPE WITH IT ALL, GIVE US A MESSAGE ON FACEBOOK, EMAIL, OR INSTAGRAM. I’D LOVE TO DO EVERYTHING I CAN TO HELP MY WONDERFUL READERS GET THROUGH THIS TOUGH TIME; WE MAY BE IN ISOLATION, BUT YOU AREN’T ALONE. LET’S GET THROUGH IT TOGETHER