It’s been almost a year since the very first Covid 19 lockdown was imposed in various parts of the world. Who would have thought that in 2021, the virus would still be raging across our nation and the world.
As Malaysia imposes its second strict lockdown, and as cases spike all around the world, I’m sure all of us can’t help but feel “Not again…”. Just as the economy has enjoyed its few months of interstate travel, dine-in and resumption of social activities, it’s tiresome to think we are now back to extended periods of isolation.
We may be feeling Virus-fatigue but one thing’s for sure; the virus ain’t done with us yet. As difficult it may be, we have to stay home to break the chain of infections and flatten the curve.
So here at Gudeiary, we present to you a Survival Kit for Lockdown 2.0!
You’d be surprised how the little things can make a big difference. So here are a few ideas to help you take steps to make improvements to:
Make spaces more livable.
- Set up your space
“The best way to choose what to keep and what to throw away is to take each item in one’s hand and ask: “Does this spark joy?” If it does, keep it. If not, dispose of it. This is not only the simplest but also the most accurate yardstick by which to judge.” – Marie Kondo
There’s a reason why Marie Kondo’s “spark joy” term is so well-loved by many. Decluttering your space not only helps to create a better home environment but also aids in soothing the mind & soul (not forgetting vision too) with a cleaner, uncluttered space. Of course, decluttering one whole room in a day can be overwhelming. Simply start by putting 15 minutes a day to clear one designated space & continue on with this 15-minute-decluttering routine for the next few days. Baby steps & voila – you won’t even notice you’ve successfully cleaned a room in less than 5 days!
- Designate your space
With working from home being the new normal for most of us, the convenience it has brought has also been a bane for many. The separation between work, play and rest has further been blurred when the bedroom is now a meeting room, the toilet is where you escape to take calls & the dining table has turned into your 24/7 desk.
If you find yourself constantly stressed even in your own home, try designating specific spaces for specific functions. Fix an area just for work, and areas for relaxing and rest. The strict divide will make it easier for your mind to focus on being productive when it needs to and to switch off to destress when it has to.
- Enhance your space
There is a reason why we feel most alive when surrounded by fresh air and lush greenery. We are biologically designed to be one with nature, not to be cooped up within four walls. So, a good way to make a space more livable is by bringing in some greenery and introducing a scent. Miss being outdoors? Bring the outdoors inside!
There are plenty of low effort indoor plants that are beginner friendly, eg. A snake plant (I have this plant and honestly I just water it once a week and place it anywhere, it will still thrive), fiddle leaf fig, Japanese bamboo plant etc. Scents, on the other hand can immediately transport you to a memory, associating positive feelings to the room.
The more you enjoy your space, the more you wouldn’t mind staying home.
Your Mental Health
Keeping sane. Your emotional well-being matters.
The flurry of emotions this second lockdown has brought upon us cannot be downplayed. Provide an outlet for those bottled up feelings by writing them down. It doesn’t take much to start, just a notebook and a pen (or even a digital notepad and stylet!), and of course your thoughts. The simple act of putting down feelings is a form of therapy in itself. & it’s totally ok if you don’t enjoy writing or think you can’t write well, you can always start with an emotion tracker chart or a list of things you are grateful for.
- Colouring books/Jigsaw Puzzles
Just like your mental health, your eyes need a break from the screen too every now and then. Besides journaling, you can easily pick up two other fun offline hobbies – colouring & assembling jigsaw puzzles! There’s always a particular spark of joy when you turn your plain ol’ colouring books to life with your own creativity & colours or completing a whole set of jigsaw puzzles. The more difficult, the better, am I right? (not too difficult or you might end up more stress than you already are haha). There are many affordable & great quality adult colouring books you can order online. For good quality jigsaw puzzles, I highly recommend checking Puzzle Planet out. 300 pieces is a great start!
- Spend time with pets
I think no one enjoys the lockdown more than our pets! For a change, we are now home with them all day and can relish in their cute daily antics. Maybe give them a belly rub when you need some time off from the computer or when you are on a work call. Nothing quite like having your pet cuddling up with you on a stressful day 🙂
Investing in yourself
- Learning apps (Coursera, Skillshare)
We can be such a couch potato during the lockdown. Why not seize this stay-at-home free time & brush up some skills, or even learn a new skill that you’ll fall in love with? Skillshare is such a great online platform to learn almost anything you want! From cooking to journaling, creative writing, graphic design, music or even self development, Skillshare is there for you. Click here to sign up & get 14 days free trial!
Maybe this second MCO is finally a sign to finally head into the kitchen and put your chef hat on! Learn to put together simple & nutritious meals. Improve on your cooking skills & techniques . Master that recipe you saw on Food Network. Or attempt your favourite homecooked dish that reminds you of home. With the array of online recipes, cooking blogs and videos, there is no reason not to ! Not only do you improve on a vital skill (learning to feed yourself is a skill!), it’ll also save you some bucks and is a great way to take control of your health too.
Instead of spending hours on social media, pick up a book instead or tune into a podcast while decluttering. It’s no surprise they offer us with a wealth of new information; but what is most enjoyable about a podcast is that it feels like you’re hanging out with a bunch of friends, listening to their POV about a subject. It’s being social without actually being social.
Your Little Joys
Tiny surprises that bring large smiles & immense gratitude
- Really good jar of peanut butter
Did any of you wake up in the middle of the night, hungry, only to realise… no mamak? Peanut butter was a real life saver for me. Hits all the right spots of a late night craving: sweet, salty, crunchy, sticky, a little bit sinful but kinda good for you. I had this with bread and bananas throughout the day (cause the concept of time has little meaning during a lockdown). So yummy!
- An E-Book Reader App
Who would have thought a simple app would encourage me to read so much more – 4 books so far in 2021 woohoo! I’m currently using the Read Era app which allows me to easily view all my highlighted quotes from the book and best of all adjust the colour mode (Day, Night, Sepia). Now, instead of scrolling on social media before I sleep, I just read.
- Surprise friendly neighborhood cat visit
Staying home more means I can spend more time by the door with this cute friendly stray kitty that lives around my house. We feed him snacks & provide him with lots of love & cuddles. Sadly, we’re not able to adopt him into the house due to health & hygiene reasons but having him around & his random visits really does perk up my day, making WFH a tad bit less stressful 🙂
Team Gudeiary ❤