This is a stressful time to say the least. Everything is impacted by COVID-19 in some way, and it’s difficult to ignore what is going on because every social media platform you access, every radio & TV station, every email & newsletter you get, in some way, shape or form, reminds you of this terrible time we find ourselves in. Now now, before you bite my head off, I am not saying people should be oblivious to what is going on, I think it’s important to stay informed & updated on what’s happening in the world, but I also think it’s equally important to limit the intake of all this information. I don’t know about you, but it can get quite overwhelming for me.
Disclaimer: The views & opinions expressed in this post are my own. You don’t have to agree, but don’t come for me.
Now, I know there’s a lot of information out there about what precautions to take and what our responsibility is regarding flattening the curve & ensuring we win against coco-v, so I am not going to tell you all that, instead, I will tell you what I have been feeling through out this whole thing, and I will sum it up in 2 words: IT SUCKS! It’s not all bad, but man it sucks!
In all the years that I have been employed, I have never been so tired of working from home. This is something I used to enjoy and actually preferred since I was so productive when I worked from home with no distractions, but now that everyone else is also working from home, it is not fun at all.
Let’s also talk about the daily cooking: I am so tired of having to cook every single meal I consume. It was fun at first, I got to experiment and have fun in the kitchen since I have all the time in the world, but after a while, it gets annoying and honestly, I think my stove is shook with all the cooking it is not familiar with. I miss chicken licken hot-wings, mala-mohodu (tripe, if you’re fancy), pizza, & some kota, and I know I can make all that at home, but it’s just not the same.
All the online meetings, the emails, the calls, the training, it’s all so exhausting. Also, quick question, what is the protocol when it comes to going to the bathroom in an online training session? Normally I’d just walk out and quickly come back and sit down, but when it’s online, do I announce to everyone on the call that I need to relieve myself or do I just go? And what happens if I just go and they talk to me while I am not there? Honestly, it’s all so frustrating.
I am also one person who enjoys their own company, so much so that I actively & deliberately avoid people, so imagine my shock when I actually started missing human contact, I know, crazy right? I find myself yearning to socialise and it has got me wound up, but in the words of a famous poet, “we gon be right, we gon be o’right”.
It’s not all bad though. There are a few things that I have enjoyed during this lockdown period. I must say, it has been fun to catch up on some reading. I have a collection of Sesotho novels and I hardly had the time to read them before, but now I do, and I am enjoying them so much. I also revisited my love for baking. I have always loved baking, it was one of the things I used to do with my mom growing up. Since the lockdown, I have been experimenting with different recipes and ingredients – just yesterday, I made brownies with coconut flour for the first time, needless to say, they were a hit 🔥🔥🔥.
The whole ‘not being stuck in Sandton traffic’ thing has also been my favourite about this whole situation. A trip that should take me 30 minutes max, takes me an hour on a good day, and close to 2 hours on a horrible day, so not having to endure any of that has been refreshing. It also gives me the opportunity to exercise in the morning. I am not a morning person, so under normal circumstances, I’d go to the gym after work, because the thought of waking up earlier than I have to, is ridiculous to me. Since I don’t have to drive anywhere, I use that time to workout and eat breakfast for a change (which I hardly did because I’d rather sacrifice breakfast than wake up earlier – don’t judge me.)
I have also been enjoying the lockdown challenges on social media. I have personally not participated in any, but it is fun to watch the creativity we wouldn’t otherwise witness under normal circumstances. I know some people are saying to be productive & start a business, work on those body goals & to “use this time wisely”, and if that’s your vibe right now, go for it, go off ngwana mme, but if you want to simply survive this by binging Netflix and taking trips to the fridge & using social media challenges as an outlet or a distraction, that is also perfectly fine. The side hustle & body goals will have to wait, for now. The important thing is to come out of this with your mental health in check, everything else can wait.
The point is, it’s not all bad, but it is not great either, and it’s okay to feel anxious & frustrated. I have seen posts of people saying we should be grateful & not complain about how this situation is affecting & inconveniencing our lives, but the truth is, we cannot ignore that part. Yes, I am grateful to have my health, a job that I can do from anywhere, especially in these uncertain times, I am grateful for the safety of my family & friends, a roof over my head, and food to eat, but I am also riddled with anxiety & I am frustrated, and that is okay.
There is such a thing as toxic positivity – by avoiding negative emotions, we lose valuable information. E.g., when you’re scared, your emotions are telling you to be aware of your surroundings & take caution. Emotions are information, they give a glimpse of what is going on at any given moment, but they don’t tell you exactly what to do or how to react. Once you identify the emotion, you decide whether you want to avoid it or face it head on. Simply put, statements like “Positive vibes only” are dismissive and shaming, they minimize life’s real & genuine pain.
Anyway, I am rambling. What I am saying is, don’t feel bad about complaining & feeling frustrated. It is perfectly okay & human. You are allowed to be grateful & annoyed at the same damn time. One doesn’t negate the other, both feelings can coexist. After all, emotions are what makes us human.
What do you like & dislike about this lockdown? What is the one thing you miss the most? What is the first thing you are doing as soon as the lockdown is lifted? Let me know the in the comment section.
I hope you enjoyed reading this & I cannot wait to hear from you. Please feel free to let me know what topics you’d like me to cover next.
Stay safe, wash your hands and most importantly, STAY HOME.
xoxo, Refiloe 💕