Surviving Self Isolation

If there was ever a more relevant time for David Zowie’s ‘House Every Weekend’, it’s now. I won’t lie, I didn’t exactly envision spending March, April and, what will most likely be, much of May confined to the four walls of my humble abode. Life in lockdown has been a mixed bag of experiences. Some days I wake up feeling like the bad bitch Lizzo tells me I am and other days, I just want to bury my head under the covers and never leave my bed.

As you can probably tell from the rare influx of posts in such a short time span, I’m desperately clinging to any sense of routine at the moment which has led me to be slightly more productive in producing blog content than I have been in a long while. It also proves that even in these trying times, my narcissism never sleeps!

First of all, I want to give a shoutout to my lovely mother who works as a carer for the elderly. Those in her line of work aren’t in the spotlight as much as NHS workers which is such a shame as they are just as valuable even if the government deems them ‘low skilled’ – which, I can tell you, is far from the truth! For many years she’s been my unsung hero, but for the elderly in a care home who are unable to see their families due to lockdown safety measures, the work she does is more important than ever. She’s worked non-stop without so much as a day off since the virus and I’m in sheer awe of her dedication.

If you have a spare half an hour (which let’s face it, we all do right now!), I urge you all to watch the latest episode of Rhod Gilbert’s Work Experience filmed before the coronavirus where he tries his hand at being a carer. I believe it was only broadcast on television in Wales, but it’s available for everyone in the UK to watch on BBC iPlayer here. It’s funny, poignant, and shines a light on just how vital carers are to society!

For someone who suffers with severe anxiety, it’s not exactly ideal to be shut indoors alone with only my thoughts. As necessary as self-isolation is to battling COVID-19, it unfortunately is the perfect breeding ground for depression. I’ve felt increasingly lost without my regular university and work schedule and it’s made even worse since I can’t fully take advantage of the sudden spells of sunshine descending upon our skies after such a dreary winter. After all, this time last year I was on a beach in Bali! Even switching on the TV offers little reprieve with the news and uncertainty leaving me feeling rather burnt out.

When I first drafted this post, it was the definition of dismal and bleak. However, the internet is already filled with enough sombre content, so I tasked myself to rewrite this and instead share what has made me feel slightly better during this time.

Last week, I shared my favourite online workouts as I’m constantly being told by therapists that being active is the key to a happy mind because of the endorphins released and such. While I’m unsure how flailing along to Britney is meant to make me less anxious about imminent death and whether or not Tesco are going to have loo roll, I will say that working out has done wonders for my self-confidence!

In terms of keep myself entertained, anyone who is unfortunate to have me on social media will have seen how obsessed I have been with Animal Crossing: New Horizons recently. It’s gotten to the point where capitalist icon Tom Nook has infiltrated my dreams and has me drawing up plans about how I intend to terraform my island in my sleep. While I’m still debating whether or not this is a cause for concern, Nintendo haven proven themselves to be the real MVP during quarantine after they dropped a trailer of all the updates happening to the game in the coming weeks. For anyone who isn’t whiling away the hours playing New Horizons in lockdown, why not? You get to live on an exotic island, fish, catch bugs and go shopping. It’s basically everything you can’t do right now due to COVID-19!

Circling back to television, it feels like I’ve conquered the entirety of Netflix and Prime’s catalogue. Recommendations include; Murder Mystery (because it’s just so batshit ridiculous), Taylor Tomlinson: Quarter-Life Crisis, A Simple Favour (because I can’t tell if I want to be Blake Lively in this movie or marry her), Ali Wong’s specials Hard Knock Wife and Baby Cobra (technically a re-watch for me – but always phenomenally funny! As are John Mulaney’s Kid Gorgeous and The Comeback Kid), the new season of Killing Eve and Hustlers which is free on Prime. I’ve also discovered a new found love for Death in Paradise (However, this only extends to the episodes with Ben Miller and Kris Marshall aka the OGs) which has perhaps influenced this summery choice of attire. If anyone from the BBC happens upon this, I can confirm I am more than willing to drink cocktails and solve crimes in Guadeloupe once Corona disappears.

Music has also been an integral part of keeping my spirits up during lockdown. Of course, T-Swift remains my go-to for any mood. Whether it’s a smiley sing-along kind of day or a depressy, stay in bed and don’t move vibe, there’s a Taylor Swift song for that. I’ve also rather recently fallen in love with Doja Cat and Rina Sawayama. Their albums, Amala/Hot Pink and SAWAYAMA respectively, have soundtracked my self-isolation. My particular favourites by Doja are probably ‘Go to Town’, ‘Won’t Bite’, ‘Cyber Sex’ (hilariously prominent given the quarantine!) and for Rina, I have had ‘STFU!’, ‘XS’, ‘Bad Friend’, ‘Love Me 4 Me’, and ‘Comme De Garçons’ on repeat.

Although for some less in-your-face summer tunes, I wholeheartedly recommend the album Morning Kiss at the Acropolis by Halloweens, a joint venture from Justin Hayward-Young and Timothy Lanham of The Vaccines. Personal highlights from the album include; ‘My Baby Looks Good with Another'(I mean, just look at the video and tell me that’s not a whole mood!), ‘Map of Vietnam’, ‘Ur Kinda Man’ and ‘The Tower’. If you’re looking some more upbeat bops to pass the time whilst sitting out in the garden, I have a little playlist thrown together just before corona shut the whole country down here that may be of use. Dave Bayley from Glass Animals’ Quarantine Covers have also been a massive joy!

It also wouldn’t feel right to talk about the amazing talents who have made the days a little easier to bear without talking about Jolly on YouTube. Seriously, if you’re having a bad day or are just feeling a tad down in general, their videos are the most wholesome content you’ll ever see and will undoubtedly make you feel a little less alone for a short while!

Speaking of being less alone, the shift into Zoom seminars and work calls and Skype parties and dates has been an absolute trip. While it has been useful by actually forcing me to change out of my pyjamas and look at least somewhat presentable for once, I can’t particularly vouch that it’s been effective for my productivity as I am that gal who spends the entire time changing her background every ten minutes. One benefit is that if it’s a disastrous date, you can just feign internet connectivity issues which is much easier than plotting a believable escape in person. Sorry boys!

While it has been quite tough mentally to deal with the daily doom and gloom of the situation, I have an excellent support system of people checking up on me and staying at home has given me the ideal opportunity to finally get my shit together. Armed with a bunch of new photography equipment purchased just before lockdown, I’ve taken to experimenting a little bit more with style of content I produce. Not having a pro on hand has meant that I’ve had to play around a little bit more and make do with the resources available to me. The composition and editing of the visual content I put out has undergone a drastic change since this blog began and while it may not be obvious to some, I’m trying to spice up my editing style and break away from the filters and presets that have become a staple for me. Although, a shoutout must be given to the absolute godsend that is Sarah for helping me edit these photos featured here and turning me into a vintage daydream as I’m still learning the ropes of de-hazing and such. Turns out trying to colour correct shots wearing a big sunhat taken in the shade is a bloody nightmare!

As daunting and stressful as everything is at the minute, this time will pass. I hope you all take care of yourselves even if it’s in the most simplest of ways such as managing to get out of bed in the morning. Until then, blast some Taylor Swift, dance around your house and make sure to hug your loved ones extremely tight!

 

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1 Comment

  1. July 21, 2020 / 3:01 pm

    It was so interesting to read this post now that the world is opening up again. I had very similar thoughts/feelings/anxieties as you and took comforts in music, exercise and shows as well.

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