I originally had something completely different ready for this week’s post however, in-light of recent events I thought it’d be worth addressing something else today. I think everyone is aware what’s going off around the world with the COVID-19 virus and all the confusion that’s bringing with it.
Last Monday the UK finally went on lockdown. Thankfully my Dad had picked me up from Uni on the Saturday and I’m living with him, so I’m no longer in beautiful Wales. I’m sad to be leaving Bangor so early but I’m grateful that I’m home and with family.
I’ve found the whole situation to be so surreal, I’ve been in this bubble at University and now it’s burst. The world is feeling very big and a lot more scary than normal. I was getting updates from the University, but I just didn’t realise how bad things were getting, I don’t look at the news and I’ve cut down on my time on social media, so I’ve very much been in the dark with things.
The original plan was to come to my Dad’s and then get a job over the summer but with lockdown and general social distancing there isn’t exactly any jobs going at the moment. Other than my assignment work for Uni I have very little to be doing for the foreseeable future.
I’m going to make my time indoors as meaningful as possible, so I sat down with my planner and decided what I wanted out of my summer. I need some sort of routine. Keeping a structure is an integral part of keeping my anxiety and depression at bay and with all the anxiety’s this virus has created, a structure is more important than ever.
This was what I came up with, my epic summer plan. It’s split into two sections, tasks and aims. The tasks are the non-negotiable things I want to have completed by the time I go back to University in September. The aims are things I will aim to do every week, it’s not the end of the world if I don’t manage them but in an ideal world I will.
The world has gone nuts folks, but you probably don’t need me to tell you that. I’m trying to find the good in the situation. I’m with family I’ve only been able to see every few months for the past few years for one reason or another. I’m going to be staying inside a lot more than normal, I have my laptop… so how about I finish writing my book?
Right now I’m trying to make the most of what’s happening, trying to stay off social media and enjoy spending time with the people closest to me. I want to use this as an opportunity to better myself and work on my future. As an introverted writer, being told to stay in doors isn’t exactly the worst thing I could be told.
But here’s the thing, there’s this massive push at the moment to make the most of this time, to be as productive as possible. I’m personally a bit of a workaholic, so I’m going to be spending as much time as possible writing and doing my Uni work… but not everyone is like me.
I’ve seen so much content on social media talking about how to make the most of lockdown, how to be productive and that’s all well and good, but it’s not possible for everyone. Some people are still having to go to work, some people are working from home, others are looking after children and some are working from home AND looking after children. Not everyone is in the position to make the most of this time. It’s also worth mentioning that some people are really going to be struggling with their mental health at the moment. Anxiety and depression are a nightmare to be dealing with at the best of times, let alone in the unknown that we’re all facing at the moment.
So yes, I’m going to try to be as productive as possible whilst the UK is on lockdown. I’m wanting to read more, write more and get that book of mine finished but just because I’m doing that doesn’t mean you have to!
It is ok to rest during this time.
If you want to curl up with your blanket and just rest, then go ahead and do that. Sleep in, have that duvet day you’ve been craving for the past few months. We live in a society where we are expected to be available 24/7. Work and home life can often blend into one, it’s hard for us to switch off. So, if you need, take this as an opportunity to rest, it’s perfectly ok to. If you want to be unavailable for a few weeks, then go ahead and do that.
I’ll be honest with you guys; I’m going to rest. I’m only going to be letting myself work for three hours a day maximum. After those three hours are up I’m turning off my laptop and turning on my Xbox. I’m going to put down my uni work and pick up a book. I recognise that I’m privileged enough to be able to rest during this time, so I’m going to try to.
A lot of you guys are writers or bloggers yourselves and if you’re anything like me then you would have felt the pressure to be productive as possible during this time. But I just want to assure you that it’s ok to rest, you don’t have to put pressure on yourself to finish your book in the next few weeks (ultimately, we have no idea how long this is going to last for). You don’t have to spend every waking hour glued to your laptop writing blog post after blog post. If you want to rest, let yourself rest. However, if you want to be productive, you want to get your book finished, if you want to read that pile of books you’ve been neglecting then do that.
Ultimately what I’m saying is, you own this time. Don’t let other people guilt you into pushing yourself beyond what you’re capable of. Don’t go comparing yourself to other people either. Just because I’ve written a summer plan doesn’t mean you need to. Remember I’m a student who is fortunate enough to be living back at home.
Take care and rest if you need to.