Hey Trashcan Rebels,
Welcome back to the blog. Firstly, I hope you’re all keeping safe.
What a crazy time we’re living in. This was not how I envisioned the start of the new decade. Yet here we find ourselves in a world that is far from anything we have ever seen.
Seeing as we’re all locked inside, I’m going to be creating a whole lot of new content (both corona/non-corona related) to not only spread positivity, love and light but also to help us connect with one another around the world and provide ideas and motivation to keep you going through this crazy time.
By the time you read this, I will be well into my 14-day quarantine (anyone who arrives in Israel from anywhere in the world needs to be quarantined as a precautionary measure). I got back from a (cut-short) trip to South Africa and now find myself here.
Seeing as I knew about this before my departure and subsequent arrival, I had the opportunity to mentally and physically prepare myself for an interesting challenge – 14 days of being pretty much locked in my room.
I will be sharing all of this on my insta (@meirafriedland) including my daily routine, creative outlets, and more. So stay tuned to my #QuarantineChronicles highlights, for all the good stuff.
Having been well into my lockdown, I thought I’d share some thoughts that have been super helpful for me thus far:
Lockdown Is All About The Mindset
At the end of the day, this is not a jail sentence. This is something we have to do not only to help ourselves and our communities but for humanity at large. Unfortunately, this is the only way we can contain the spread and the sooner we start, the sooner we come out.
Going in with a positive mindset can completely change your experience from a negative one to a positive one. I have personally taken this opportunity as a time for growth, personal development & self-reflection. I have been keeping to a daily routine, exploring positive affirmations, making time to workout, enjoying creative outlets and developing new skills.At the end of the day, we cannot control what is happening around us, yet we can control our attitude towards it. Physically, we are “imprisoned” without choice, but mentally we can choose to be free. Understanding that we do not have control over majority of the situation (which in reality, we wouldn’t have had much anyway) but that we do have control over a small but highly significant part is absolutely key.
Looking After Your Mental Health Is Crucial
“In the event of an emergency, please put on your oxygen mask before assisting others”. We’ve all heard the classic in-flight safety spiel (relevant I know ;)).
How many of us usually ignore it after having heard it countless times? Cue the hand-raises, mine included. I recently heard an interesting (yet blindly obvious) explanation – in a time of crisis, you need to help yourself before you can start to effectively help others.There is going to be plenty of time for productivity during this crazy time. But as it stands, the world is an unpredictable place, something our generation has never quite experienced before. (I like to think of it as WW3 with biological warfare).
This kind of uncertainty can be scary enough for anyone, whether you have pre-existing mental health conditions or not.Please take the time to properly check-in with yourself and make sure you are putting your needs first whether that be through self-growth, meditation, baking or doing absolutely nothing at all. Please do not be hard on yourself for not doing home workouts, taking your cooking skills to the next level or trying all the free online business courses. If those help you, then great but if not, forget about them! No one would expect you to come out of war being the next Steve Jobs or Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. So please do not put this pressure on yourself either.
We all handle stress differently and right now we are loaded with adrenaline in fight-or-flight mode. Whatever works best for you is what you need to be doing.
At some point in time, this will all end. When that happens, there will be a wide range of subsequent externalities that will be consequences of this crisis. Please take this time to ensure that your mental health is not one of them.
It’s A Marathon Not A Race
We don’t know when this will all end but chances are it’s still going to be a while. There is no prize for making it through this time quicker or trying to “rush to the end”. It’s important to take each day as it comes. Each day I wake up and handle that day in the present moment. Some days are naturally better than others. One of my recent positive affirmations is “I give myself permission to slow down”. It allows me to focus on the day that I can control and not feel guilty about the days that are less productive than others.
Stay Away From The Stats
(If that scares you)
As long as you are keeping yourself & your loved ones safe (and by this stage, you should be isolating to some degree) there is no need for you to check the hourly updates, especially if there is nothing you can physically do about them. You can check them regularly (definitely not first thing in the morning) or every few days. If you like to keep informed/have an interest, then go ahead. But do not allow this to trigger unnecessary panic.
Create A Daily Routine
This keeps as much normality as possible in a time of such uncertainty. (More on my personal routine soon).It gives your day structure and makes you feel like you are somewhat in control (I know the lack of control for what’s going on makes a lot of people anxious). It’s important that the day to night cycle doesn’t continuously bleed into one another and make it feel like years are going by.
Kindness Is The Most Contagious Of All
It has been unbelievable to see how humanity bands together in such dark times. One of my favourite quotes from Maya Angelou; “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
One thing is for certain when this all ends we will forever remember how others made us feel. There is such an opportunity for kindness here be that by calling your grandparents to make sure they feel loved and not alone, contributing to food schemes (and realizing that some people have it way worse than what we can ever imagine) and chatting to your local community to enquire about helping others in need.I personally have been so touched by the amount of people reaching out to check in and offering to bring groceries (as I physically cannot get them myself). As someone who relies so much on their independence, it’s always a struggle for me to ask for help.
Never underestimate the power of small acts of kindness, especially in times like this.
Take The Time To Catch Up With Friends
In today’s day and age, we are truly privileged to have the level of technology that we do. I have had some fantastic conversations catching up with friends far and wide. Usually the conversation starts at dissecting the current situation but after a short while, turns into reliving old memories, sharing new podcasts, and creative ways to keep busy.Yes, we are physically distancing ourselves (a term I prefer to social isolation), but now we have more opportunities to be socially closer than ever before. When was the last time you had 30 extra minutes in the middle of the day to call a friend and catch up? When was the last time you were able to speak to your entire family for an hour on FaceTime? When was the last time you were able to join a (virtual) workout class with friends?
My amazing friend Gad, started an fantastic initiative called #Three4Five. The daily aim is to try to call 3 people and or message 5 to check up on them. If you can’t do it every day, try every few days. It’s a great way to keep us all connected!
This Too Shall Pass
This continues to be one of my favourite quotes of all time. At the end of the day, this will pass. It’s not a question of how but more so when. It doesn’t rain forever and the only thing constant in life is change. We will get through this and I urge you to hold onto this thought for as long as you can.
You Are Not Alone
This is something the entire world is facing. There is not one person on the planet that is not being affected by this somehow. Try to remember that we are in this together and you are not alone for one second.If you ever need someone to talk to, I am always here. Please feel free to message me anytime. I would love more than anything to connect with you all of you all around the world!
Some Resources I have Found Helpful
1. Netflix Series ‘Explained’ – Season 2: Episode ‘The Next Pandemic’.
I watched this a while back and loved the way the show explained pandemics in such an accessible & interesting way. Very informative.
Dr Fauci is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the US. He dispels all the misconceptions about the disease. I have been following him for a while he worked behind the scenes but you may recognize his recent appearances in the news.
The usual podcast is done by Dr Lauri Santos, a professor at Yale. The podcast combines scientific research with inspiring stories about the way we perceive happiness. She has a new Coronavirus edition that is amazing. (This was something I actually gained from a catch up call with my brilliant friend, Shiri).
I hope this helps! Would love to hear your feedback, comments and suggestions. There’s more to come, so stay tuned!