COVID Thoughts: 2021 Edition

When I first wrote how I felt about the coronavirus and the new “pandemic world situation” back in March 2020, I was really hoping the year 2020 was going to be its own bad year, the ONLY bad year… yet here we are in the middle of 2021, and back in lockdown (in Victoria, Australia). Overseas travel is STILL restricted in and out of Australia. Hotel quarantines are still mandatory. People are still sad, angry, struggling financially, emotionally and mentally. Yes, vaccines are now here – but we are still far from returning back to “normal” – if that is even possible at this point. The normal as we knew it may no longer exist, and we just have to adapt to a new normal – whatever that looks like.

We had reasonable freedom for a while. Earlier this year, we were able to go anywhere without masks, dine in at restaurants, and go for a holiday anywhere within Australia. We were thankful for that. We went camping, lots of trips to the beach, I had a wonderful girls weekend away, and we enjoyed dining out at restaurants and bars again. Our social calendar started filling up with parties and trips, and celebrations. Kids were back at school and loving it, and my husband was back at work in the city, and I enjoyed having the house to myself again during the day.

We had ONE snap lockdown back in Feb 2021, and that only lasted the five days thankfully.

Now, we are back in a state of uncertainty. Just over a week ago, we were forced to go into a 7-day snap lockdown. The situation however did not improve, so the lockdown was extended another 7 days. We are well and truly into the second week of lockdown now, and whilst I am hopeful, the situation still does not look good enough to lift these restrictions completely anytime soon.

So basically, kids are back to homeschooling and hubby is working from home. He is really happy about that though, the travel in and out of the city has really been dragging him down – and I can’t blame him. I am glad he is able to work from home and not do the ridiculous commute e.g. leave the house at 7am (in the cold and while it’s still dark) to catch a train into the city and get home close to 7pm everyday (also cold and dark). Winter commute is the worst. As for the kids, they have come so far when it comes to homeschooling. My kids are far more independent this year and are mostly able to log in to their Zoom meetings on their own, and complete their tasks on their own without much help. Of course, some days are more “peaceful” than others. They still sometimes get days when they may be less motivated, or get frustrated easily, or just procrastinating.

This time around, I have made some conscious decisions to just be kinder to myself. Here are some of the things I have done so far to stay sane:

  • CALORIES DO NOT COUNT DURING LOCKDOWN: Prior to this lockdown, I was doing really well with calorie counting and eating around 1,200 calories each day. I also walked A LOT. As a result, I managed to lose a bit of weight and was really happy with how I was progressing. When lockdown happened, I decided to cut myself some slack and allowed myself to “eat my feelings” just to get through this time. I ordered a lot of Malaysian food delivery in the past week, and eating food from home truly brought me comfort. This week, I plan to cook again – but will avoid boring meals and just allow myself to enjoy truly good food. I try not to over-do it. I mean, you won’t catch me stuffing my face to the point of food coma every single day – or eating an excessive amount of sugar. Technically, I am eating well enough to maintain my current weight and avoid re-gaining whatever I have lost. However, obviously I won’t be losing any weight either lol. Consider my mission to get back to pre-baby weight put ON HOLD during lockdown, for the sake of feeling happy and sane during lockdown. I think it’s fair enough!
  • WEEKENDS ARE FOR DOING NOTHING: Prior to lockdown, weekends have always been busy and filled with social events, play dates, birthday parties, you name it. Thanks to the fact that everything has now been cancelled – we can now stay home without worrying about entertaining any house guests, or do any babysitting, or having to leave the house for anything. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy or don’t mind doing all those things anyway – but it is actually nice to be forced to take a break, again lol. So now, weekends are literally for relaxing at home with the family and watching a lot of movies and catching up on some chores. Sometimes when you’re too busy doing stuff on weekends, you hardly have any time to catch up on chores. So, it’s been really nice to work on chores at a good pace (not too rushed, one task at a time) and then enjoy the reward of a clean and organised house, etc.
  • MY FAVOURITE THINGS: Scented candles (I have my candles going every time I work and sometimes when we wind down at night), long soaks in hot baths (sometimes by myself, but I have enjoyed baths with my baby girl), long walks (although work & homeschool kinda makes it impossible to find time to truly enjoy this during the week, so only on weekends), music (dance parties at home with the kids, and singing on Smule), movies (we watched three movies in one day last weekend – Monster Hunter, Raya and the Last Dragon, Greenland – so good lol), TV Shows (currently watching Fresh Off The Boat with the kids, Kim’s Convenience, and hubby and I started watching “Sweet Tooth” last night and we are hooked!), fun stress relief activities at home (e.g. moved all our outdoor furniture out of the way to create a space on our deck where we can hit tennis balls against the wall).
  • ACCEPTANCE & MENTAL ADJUSTMENTS: It is easy to be disappointed over cancelled holidays (we have a couple of trips booked for next month, and whilst it hasn’t been confirmed because there’s still a chance this will be over by then.. it’s looking likely that those trips will end up being cancelled) and easy to continue to feel frustrated that I can’t just hop on a plane and visit my dad in Malaysia, or my sister in Spain. So easy to let these things bring me down. However, I find that once I let all the disappointments go and just ACCEPT our current way of life, and just focus on things I can be thankful for instead – it really helps me cope with my day to day living. Instead of being sad that our holiday may get cancelled, I have changed that mentality to “our holiday has been brought forward, and we now have the chance to spend all this time together at home as a family”.

At the end of the day, all this doesn’t change the fact that a lot of people are struggling at this time. The world is so full of uncertainty, and a lot of people have retaliated and there are so many crazies out there, but I have also seen so much growth in humanity. A lot of people have stepped up, and they have been kinder and look to support others in ways that they can. A lot of priorities have shifted, and people are valuing time with their families and personal relationships more than ever before. Honestly though, I am so tired of this whole pandemic. Tired of hearing and reading about it, tired of the constantly changing restrictions, tired of the fear, just so tired of it all. So maybe, living in this “bubble” during lockdown is not so bad after all.

[I felt this post did not need images to support my thoughts, however all related images are on my Instagram Page.]

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