I’ve promised this to be an inspirational series but truth be told, I haven’t been feeling extremely inspired for some time now. The reality of experiencing strict lockdown in Spain is slowly starting to take its toll. I’m not going to sugarcoat this (sugar is bad for you). Being confined to a tiny room in a small shared city apartment, with no option to go outside even just for a walk, is tough.
And it’s not to be compared to lockdowns in countries where walking in the woods or exercising in fresh air is allowed. It’s just not the same!
And it’s not to be compared to living through the lockdown in a country house with a huge garden and a swimming pool either.
THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC EXPERIENCE IS DIFFERENT FOR EACH OF US
The Coronavirus pandemic experience is not the same for everyone! Everyone lives a different experience and tries to deal with different personal issues on top of it all.
I, for instance, spend a LOT of my time browsing social media.
And I see a new trend on LinkedIn of people asking “How are you doing after the week of lockdown”? Well, guess what. The lockdown in Spain started 16 bloody days ago, Italians are on their week 3 of being locked in their homes, some countries are only now taking the first precautions of dealing with Corona and there are still some countries debating whether all this Coronavirus fuss is even necessary. After all, it’s just a bit stronger than the flu. (Just to be transparent, that’s what I was also saying just 2 days before the lockdown has been announced.)
Other types of novelty posts on LinkedIn? People sharing their take on working-from-home. This NEW situation of working-from-home that’s so very challenging. The loneliness of it. The lack of motivation. The lack of routine. The lack of social chats in the communal kitchen. The need to learn new skills. The need to master all sorts of online tools to boost your productivity, or to just make the whole working-from-home doable. Suddenly, the memes of struggles connected to working-from-home, the memes I used to share 3 years ago, 2 years ago, 1 year ago, they make so much more sense to everyone.
Type of novelty posts on Facebook? All sorts of exercise-from-home workouts. New exercise-from-home coaches popping up. Or shall I say, new experts in the making? People are stepping up their game because their other sources of income might have dried up or perhaps because, in these times of uncertainty, they finally found the courage to do what they’ve always wanted to but were too afraid to do before.
STEPPING UP YOUR GAME vs. SURVIVING
I see so many people stepping up their game right now. It’s beautiful to see. Very inspiring too.
On the other hand, I also see many people who are shutting down because they don’t know how to cope with the new situation.
- How to stay happy if you no longer can do what you love so much? If you can’t go outdoors, recharge in nature. The well-meant advice to go for a walk with an explanation of how much that helps does not help much either.
- How to keep your body strong and your dreams of becoming a better rock climber still alive if you don’t have space or equipment to effectively exercise in your tiny city flat?
- How to keep paying your rent if you are self-employed and all your clients’ businesses were hit by the negative impact of the Coronavirus shutdowns and this has had a disastrous snowball effect on your monthly income?
- How to stay positive and inspiring in the midst of it all?
COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS, THEY SAY
I am, of course, trying to count the blessings too.
Every day, I am thankful for having unlimited access to the kitchen and most importantly, the pantry and the fridge! 😂 (At the same time, I am fighting the urge to go there too often, after all, there is nowhere I could use all that energy now.)
Thankful for still having access to the roof terrace on top of this apartment building. And even though I’ve been threatened by an angry neighbour that he’ll call the police if I don’t stop running above his head… there is one more thing to be grateful for in that incident. What, you may ask? Well, since the shouting was done in Spanish, and I understood all of it, I’ve decided to count that as a #smallwin too. 😊
And in case you were wondering… yes, I did stop running, immediately. Because to lose the privilege of being in a place where I can still feel the fresh air and the sun on my skin, would be too big of a loss. I’m keeping it real quiet now, hoping no one will mind… Every day being afraid that someone might.
Keep going, I repeat to myself. Hoping this will end soon and we’ll be allowed to go out again sooner rather than later. And I have good days followed by not so good ones. But I keep going. Or better say, I keep staying put. As there’s no other choice, really..
UPDATE from 29/04/2020
30 days later, on day 47 of the lockdown and after 46 days of not sitting on the grass, not walking outside (other than my weekly ‘run’ to the nearest grocery store), not spending time in nature, and feeling very isolated and lonely… I’ve made a desperate attempt to improve my situation. I decided to temporarily leave Spain.
I’m on my way to Slovakia, to be with my family and to wait out the end of the Covid-19 pan(dem)ic there. Hoping I’ll be able to return to Spain soon. Wish me luck!