Self-isolation can be draining. You don’t need to have small children to feel it. It only takes going to the supermarket, trying to keep the recommended distance, avoiding to touch anything, and at the end not getting what you need.
But also, there’s this fear surrounding us: everything and everyone is potentially ill.
People don’t talk much about how they feel. We talk a lot about the news, about what can happen if we don’t take care of each other. You can see people arguing against the measurements, some of them thinking it’s too much and others thinking they’re too light. But we don’t talk about our emotions and how this fear is molding us sometimes.
We took the decision to self-isolate us more than a week ago. Just a few days before the Prime Minister informed us about the new rules, we talked with my husband and decided that the girls will stay at home (we knew it was possible but it wasn’t mandatory by then). I felt like pausing. The fear was increasing and my brain wasn’t thinking properly.
What do you do when there’s nothing to do?
Documenting our self-isolation
To be productive allows me to stop worrying. No, it doesn’t take away the fear, but as I told you in a different post, to avoid scrolling news these days is almost impossible. And it’s draining and stressful.
There are 3 things I do to avoid this:
1) I look for help online. Instagram is a great resource because you don’t read much news as you do on Facebook. The same with Pinterest. I search recipes, DIY projects, things to do with my daughter and tips on how to deal with all this.
2) I’m blogging. I wasn’t doing it because my brain was on crisis-mode. But suddenly this is the third post I’m writing in this season and even if I don’t know how good or bad this will be for my web and my business, it definitely is for my brain. The routine of trying to produce content is helping me tremendously.
3) I’m taking photos. Some days I take a lot. Some days (like today, actually) just a few. It doesn’t matter how many or how good the result is, it passionates me and it keeps out of the fear space that shrinks my brain and doesn’t let me think further than today. This self-isolation will be so important in our story just a few years from now, I’m sure we’ll love to have these photos to remember it.
Self-isolation, day 1
You won’t read a lot of text because we’re stuck at home, so there’s no so much story behind the photos. But I want to show you that even when we feel stressed and overwhelmed, we also have fun and invent some things.
We woke up to realize we didn’t have hot water, so we had to move the fridge to fix the problem (the heating system is behind it). We took the chance to clean it and take the cat hair that was stuck in the fan.
The house was a huge mess, we didn’t clean much that day.
Later, while I was talking with on the phone with my mom I found out H. cut her bangs herself.
Waking up, having breakfast, playing with legos, doing homework, learning how to button your shirt.
Some days seem normal. Those feel easier.
We have more energy, even when from time to time we are a bit frustrated. But suddenly the night arrives and another day ends.
This was a challenging day. It was cloudy and I realized that even being trapped inside, I miss the sun. I need it.
While playing with legos on the floor next to the window, I saw a small new bud coming out of my succulent and it made me think about how life goes on … nature really doesn’t rely on us, it just continues its path.
I didn’t take many pictures that day. It was a weird day, we decided to have fries for dinner, comfort food is lately an important thing at home. Not very healthy, of course.
Flowers became very important in these trying times. I need flowers, especially on cloudy days.
Music also, we’re dancing a lot. And singing.
They say “Don’t stop me now” is the most uplifting song there is, so we hear it almost every day.
Sun was there again, you can see my windows are still dirty and by now, nothing indicates I will open them to clean them.
These sunny but cold days remind me of the winter in my home country. It’s almost a rule to eat tangerines in the sun. So we sat next to the window to do so.
We started playing board games… yes, we play Pandemic. It’s a cooperative game, so everybody works together to find the cure.
The sad thing is we lose every time!
But we don’t lose hope.
Another crafty day. You can see toothpicks are not a very good idea.
We played with Legos a lot that day, we started building robots… actually now we have robots everywhere (I should start taking pictures of that before we take them apart).
After one week I can say this self-isolation feels like we’ve been stuck for longer. Even when some days are shorter and more energetic than others, this feels long. We spend much time figuring what to do when we can’t do much.
But we also have fun, and we talk a lot. We are lucky for being healthy and having a house that we like. And we like to do things together like cooking, playing games, or just doing nothing.
Last night H. was happy to see stars on the sky. And I realized how long it was since the last time I looked up to the sky just to contemplate how beautiful it is.