It’s been five weeks since the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) began and a few days since the ECQ was extended in Metro Manila. I’m very lucky to be working remotely during ECQ, but I have to admit that it did take a while to acclimate myself to a different work environment. While I love the flexibility of being able to work from home, I perform best when I’m at the office surrounded by coworkers. (I strongly believe in the idea of a having a designated place to work and leaving work and related stress there. For me, home should always be a safe space.)
With working from home and social distancing slated to become the new normal for the foreseeable future, I’ve taken up some non-work interests to lessen my anxiety of bringing work into my home.
I used to think that there was no way I could motivate myself to work out without a trainer or instructor. I’ve proven myself wrong. Over the past weeks, I have been designing my own workouts, researching exercises a night or two in advance and tweaking past workouts to add variety or difficulty. (I had been training with a gym trainer for a few months prior to the ECQ. This helped raise my comfort level in trying out new exercises.)
I’m happy to say that I’ve become more comfortable with my body over these past weeks. I’ve been documenting my workouts, and I’m quite happy with my progress. I hope the momentum doesn’t go away!
Caring for my plants has become such a therapeutic activity for me that I’ve incorporated this into my daily routine. Every morning, I bring my plants out to the balcony for sunlight. I leave them out for an hour or so each day—usually while I exercise, cook, or work—since some of them aren’t in the best-lit spots. I realize this has become part of my daily non-negotiables. (A meme was going around Instagram for a bit but I didn’t have an answer to share at the time).
The best part of this is that my plants have shown improvement. The pothos that I recently moved from the bathroom to the living room has turned a richer shade of green and grown new leaves. The trees in the balcony have also been growing leaves. I used to inspect every new leaf that was growing, but the my fiddle leaf fig has grown too tall for me to reach its new leaves. I’d never thought that plants could bring me so much joy, but here I am happy to sit and look at my plants all day.
At the end of the day, everyone’s situation is different, and each person has their own way of coping with the pandemic. Some of my friends have been painting while others have been baking. It’s not so much fighting boredom as it is coping with anxiety or stress, whether or not we are conscious of it. In light of this, I hope everyone is coping with the situation as well as they can. For me, the goal is to come out of quarantime a stronger woman—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.