2020 has definitely been off to a weird start. Never thought I'd live to see a global pandemic, but here we are. A lot of us are confused and concerned like myself, but more than ever, it is so important that we stay together and still check-in with our loved ones while we can't physically see them. I absolutely miss my friends and as challenging as this is, I'm very grateful that I have a home to even stay home at, not to mention with family which I know not everyone has. My heart is with every single person who is being affected by COVID19, whether you've lost your job or loved one, feeling sick or lonely, I am with you and I'm encouraging everyone who's reading this to lean on each other and do not be afraid to ask for some support. As I navigate through these changes, I thought I'd share some dos and don'ts that have been helping me out while I self-isolate and stay at home. Below are 10 helpful and 10 not-so-helpful things you can do while you Quarantine & Chill:
1. Check-in on your friends and family. Video call them and make sure you're still enhancing your relationships even as you social distance. Do not shut out the people you love. As hard as this is, we need each other. Send a text and see how others are doing. Quality time even during a pandemic is key. I have been spending so much of my time on Zoom with my friends laughing and just being ourselves, Zoom is the new Instagram. Hop on.
2. Share or donate to support those in need. There are many emergency funds and resources out right now for people who are in financial need. If you are someone who can donate, please do! If you can't donate financially, that is okay. Instead, share the resources you find to people who can donate or people who would benefit from the fund/resource.
3. Wash your hands & stay home. Protect yourself and others by practicing social distancing. Our health is so important and we all have to do our part so we are not putting other lives at risk. Limit your time outside and practice consistent cleanliness.
4. Only take what you need and leave some for others. Please stop panic-buying and share food with each other. I promise the food and toilet paper, isn't going anywhere. Be kind, be considerate and only take what you need as you do your bi-weekly grocery shopping.
5. Spread some love & gratitude. This is a really a dark time for some people so if you have it in you share some of your light and love to lift up others. Send a funny meme and make someone laugh/smile today. Remind yourself and the people around you why you're grateful to be alive. Despite everything going on, reflect on all the blessings you still have and celebrate the gift of having each other. Be kind to yourself and extend your kindness to those around you. Make a gratitude list and read it whenever you're feeling discouraged.
6. Be creative. Find ways to still be active and incorporate routine at home. Try doing something you love whether it's art, working out or watering your plants, remember to still exercise your creativity while you're at home and find ways to keep yourself moving. I have been trying to write more often while also trying not to rush the process. It's completely okay to do nothing sometimes, but don't leave your creative work on the back burner.
7. Take some time for yourself. This is a great time for some me, myself and I. Solitude is a great way to connect with yourself and grow individually. Take advantage of being at home so you can pause, rest and rest. Find ways to breathe easier and practice mindfulness.
8. Catch up on unfinished work. This is also an opportunity to start or finish that thing you left hanging months ago. Get inspired and revisit some of your old-work. You might surprise yourself with what you can create during this time.
9. Share your favourite music, book or movie with friends. Who else is binge-watching, reading and creating new playlists everyday? Yeah, same. Don't you dare keep all those gems to yourself, share music and good reads and your recent watches with your networks. It might even be fun to talk about that album, book, or movie together. If you want a good conversation started, I highly recommend Room or Lion on netflix, I loved those films.
10. Practice Self-care. Last but not least, take care of yourself during this time. It can be so difficult adjusting to all these changes, so make sure you're prioritizing your well-being and paying attention to your needs. Cook your favourite healthy meal, talk to someone when you're feeling down, dance to your favourite song, go to bed earlier, do whatever you need to do to feel GOOD. You matter and so does your health. Yoga and binge-watching my favourite shows is my self-care, find healthy practices that work best for you.
1. Panic-buying. I know everyone is a worried and unsure of when this will be all over but it is not OKAY to panic-buy and be selfish with food and other resources. SHARE with your neighbourhoods and be more considerate while you shop.
2. Go outside to see your friends. I know you miss your friends because I do too but now is not the time to have a sleepover or play 2k at your friends house. Stay home in order to protect yourself and your friends from potentially coming into contact with the virus.
3. Invite groups over to your home. Even if you've been staying home and staying clean, inviting friends over can put others at risk. Do not invite people over during this time and practice social distancing for the safety of others.
4. Spread fake news and disinformation. Ensure that all news your digesting is credible and accurate before sharing with others. Spreading fake news can cause harm and create more panic, so be aware and cautious of what you are reading.
5. Ignore or hide symptoms of being sick. Pay attention to your health and do not hide potential symptoms of being sick. If you experiencing any kind of sickness that maybe linked to COVID contact a professional health-care provided immediately. Many phone-lines are currently open 24 hours to assist anyone who is feeling sick.
6. Be racist or discriminatory to Asian communities. Pretty self-explanatory, don't be a dick Timothy. Mind your business and keep your mouth closed if you don't have anything kind to say. Being concerned about catching COVID like everyone else is not an excuse to be rude, racist or discriminatory to Asian communities or families.
7. Cough or sneeze on others. Please practice cleanliness while you're outside and indoors. Stay 6-feet away from others and do not cough or sneeze on anyone. Pretty easy, right?
8. Hoard toilet paper. There is no reason for anyone to be buying 10 packs of toilet paper in one grocery run. It is selfish, inconsiderate and stupid, okay? Please stop, there is enough toilet paper to go around. And I'm sure a shower is way more effective than wiping your ass anyways.
9. Neglect your mental health & self-care practices. Be gentle with yourself during this time. Many emotions may arise, do not shut them out, but do not let them take over either. Feel all the necessary feelings in order to move forward. Lean on others for support, practice self-care daily and do not take your mental health for granted. You are not alone in this, in fact you are loved and needed.
10. Underestimate the seriousness of the situation. I think we're all on the same page when I say, CORONA VIRUS, shit is getting real *in my Cardi B voice*. Y'all, do not take this pandemic lightly. People are dying. People are suffering. Please follow the directions given by WHO and practice social distancing. I know it sucks and I know this is something none of us could have imagined, but we will absolutely get through this, but we need everyone to do their part and help out. Stay home, stay healthy.
I hope this list is helpful for some people, being stuck at home isn't the greatest feeling and it sure isn't cute either. I haven't waxed in almost 3 weeks and I'm about to lose it. But, what keeps me going is knowing how much I'm not alone. This is something the entire world is going through together and I know we will all receive something from this when it's all over. Make the most out of this time. Some of us have never taken a break from our daily jobs or responsibilities, maybe this is the time to pause and reflect. Maybe this is the time to get to know someone better. However you choose to use this time, please be safe, stay informed and look out for others. Sending everyone love always, this too shall pass. xo
Learning How to Fly is a visual and written diary series dedicated to all things women and wellness. Through digital storytelling, Keosha shares her personal life experiences and how she navigates her own world and the people around her through the lens of a Black woman. Learning How to Fly reflects on identity, hardships, emotions, love and the lessons they unfold.