Surviving Coronapocalypse 101

3 Apr

I have been meaning to write something for a bit but my life is fluid at the moment, up to change at all times, and that is overwhelmingly exhausting. But I think it’s important that I use the voice this page has given me (thanks for that) and present some thoughts about surviving this pandemic lockdown.

Let me start by saying that as an essential working, I am only self quarantined on the days I do not work. I still have to go to the prison for my work days and meet with my clients, work with my COs and freestaff, and risk my health in exposure in order to keep my guys sane. I love my job. I asked my boss to continue my current hours in order to provide as much normality as I can… things have changed- we are running groups with less guys in them in order to follow social distancing restrictions, everyone is being seeing weekly for shorter sessions, movement is modified in order to decrease the number of guys in one place as one time, etc. And things change almost daily.

So you can imagine the stress I am under daily.

Which is why I am trying to come up with things I can do in order to a) keep busy, b) keep sane (for me), and c) keep connected. Here is what I have come up with so far, but I would love to hear from y’all what you’ve been up to.

  • Journaling. I actually started this before this whole thing started because I was inspired about writing a “book of letters” to an old friend. It was sort of like a journal but it written just to her. And since Facebook was the closest thing to journaling I’ve been doing lately, I bought myself a new book and got writing. It has provided me a space to express my thoughts and feelings about many things that I can’t or won’t share publicly but shouldn’t keep buried inside. Things I need to process. Like… how insane CoronaVirus has made the world.
  • Gardening. It’s no secret that I have been trying to get my vegetable garden sorted since my first spring. Earlier this year I finally got the veggie bed built. And it’s doing well. I have pots of berries and tomatoes. As well as dwarf fruit trees. Soon I will have a smaller bed to build and add to the yard. And then I can finally landscape that half of the yard. I also put together my “greenhouse” in the catio and started seeds- cucumber, romaine lettuce, spinach, brussel sprouts, and peas. They are doing well. I am thinking about starting some corn, too, so I can put those in my new bed.
  • Cleaning. I hate cleaning. But yesterday I cleaned out the catio and moved the furniture around. I need to build the rocker bench (still… it’s only been 2 years). But it’s all clean and shiny, and I moved the outdoor cooking area. I am pleased. And later tonight I am going to clean the dining table. But the point is, cleaning can be cathartic in times like this because besides the cleaning of germs it also allows for a fresh beginning in the space. I also enjoying moving things around, but my house is limited in its ability for me to do that. But I recommend it.
  • Creative ventures. I have an idea in my head for a painting I am going to do. I just need to find the right example picture to work off of. After I clean off the dining room table I will pull out my easel and start on that. But a lot of us have creative energy inside us that needs to come out and we just need that chance to focus on it, or try something new, and create. I’ve seen friends doing prompt writings, a few doing new styles of cooking, writing music (and performing amazing concerts online!), and other such. So… whether you have a particular style of creative venture or not, this is your chance to try your hand at something.
  • Exercise. I suck at this one. I hate conventional exercise. Gyms are closed, too, which means that y’all need to come up with something that you enjoy. I’ve been walking when I’m on the phone and taking the long way around my house and so on. Moved some bricks today, so I’m thinking that counts as weights. The important thing is to get up and do something a couple times a day- even just circuits walking around the house- because it releases chemicals into the body that improve your mood. So as much as we want to, you can’t spend all day on the couch watching Netflix.
  • Binge a show. Yeah, I know I just said you can’t spend all day watching something on Netflix. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use this time to catch up on a series or movies that you’ve missed. I suck at this, too. I tend to throw something on that I’ve already seen and just use it as background noise while doing other things. But I plan to watch a few things. Any recommendations? Oh, and read a book series… when was the last time you sat down and read something? I can’t even remember that last novel I had time to read.
  • Phone a friend. I finally got something that allows me to video call from my samsung to an iphone. So I’ve been able to talk to a few people, and see them, that I can’t see in person. I have also made sure to touch base on days I don’t see some of my peers. The app I have also works from laptop/tablet to phone, so I am trying to get my brother to set it up on my mom’s laptop so that I can call her, since I can’t visit with her, or she can call some relatives/friends that she can’t get to see. The importance of human connection is so strong that the lack of it can impact our mood and functioning as well. Even introverts need to connect a little. Also, there is absolutely no way to spread the virus on the phone.

Yeah, most of this is common sense but in times like this we sometimes can’t see those things.

I am really interested to hear from everyone about the things you are doing to survive. Especially, any recommendations.

What do you think?

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