Both my work and school sites shut down, and everything I do transitioned to remote working. I spent this weekend doing spring cleaning and preparing for the Coronavirus pandemic.
Cleaning…and more cleaning…
We used strong sanitizers to clean all surfaces of the bathrooms, kitchen, and bedroom. Bleached the sheets, cleaned the car, and did a lot of general organization around the house.
Trying to work out more and stay fit without going to the gym, I stretched and used a resistant belt and dumbbells to workout my arms, chest, and back. I also indulged in some mindless drama from my favorite reality TV show – 90 day fiancé, as I find the stories of immigrants incredibly relatable, regardless of where they are from, or who they are.
To obtain food without going to the grocery store, I’ve been using Walmart groceries with great success. It sure does make shopping so much easier and faster. We cooked and ate some home-made chicken meatballs with pasta, and oven baked brussel sprouts and carrots. I also ate a lot of berries, yogurt, La Crox as usual, and frozen mango. We also satisfied our guilty pleasures by going to our favorite Chinese food place for one last time before retreating back to our little home.
Mental Preparation – When Staying at Home is Not a Choice
It almost seems like nothing has changed. Everything is so quiet as usual, and I’m still the introvert I used to be. But it also feels strangely suffocating, because staying at home is no longer a choice.
To mentally stay strong and not feel isolation depression or claustrophobic, I decided to provide my life with some type of structure. For example, I enjoy dolling myself up in the morning, and doing my makeup and picking my outfit is a creative way to start my day. Since staying at home though, I felt as if I’m losing the desire to look nice, which creates this feeling of constant sleepiness for me. So I decided to stick with my regular routine.
Locked in my house, I am forced to spend an excessive amount of time with just myself. Which makes it important that I enjoy spending time with myself. Since I suffer from an extreme case of perfectionism, (imagine the type of perfectionism that Patrick Batman would have but without the desire to kill everybody) I am constantly ashamed of my lack of accomplishments, regardless of how much I accomplish.
When I am out and about, I am fortunate to receive a lot of positive affirmation from other people, like my kind friends, saying stuff like you have been working hard! Don’t feel guilty!
But when I am just by myself, it feels like being married to someone who thinks you can be more womanly, can clean better, can cook better, can be a little more chill, can be a little smarter, a little funnier, a little skinnier, and a little taller.
That perfectionist voice inside my head is like someone who challenges me to be better in a way that drains all my desire to be better.
It’s like … a BAD Chinese parent. The type of Chinese parent that you do not want to be.
In fact, you are TERRIFIED of becoming one of these people, it’s like all of the perfect toxic perfectionsim has just been hidden so well all these years, and they will just pour out like toxic waste onto your children, and your children’s hunched back posture and their obvious sadness will reveal to everyone at the dinner party how scared and empty you have been this whole time.
The type of parent who regardless of how accomplished they are, they think someone is after them, and they push you to run as far as you can, as fast as you can, regardless of how you feel, regardless of your health, just so you can be safe. Something they were never able to feel. Something most people don’t feel on a daily basis.
Practical Steps I am Taking
The solution is never elaborate. It’s not like I have a 7-step plan or anything grand. I am just trying to do two things.
- Focus on what I have done right, and encourage myself on the little things such as finishing the cleaning I have been putting off for months, or getting toner arms I’ve always wanted.
- Being okay with failures. For example, this weekend, I probably spent 8 hours reading news on Reddit. Reading the news is my weakness, along with reading too much Memes. Reddit is Memes and News, which means I’m just fucked, and sucked into this deep, dark, web of mind-numbing new information. So I’m just going to tell myself hey it’s okay, this Coronavirus thing is huge! If you really want to know what’s going on, I don’t blame you. But start focusing on what you can do from this point on! Okay?
- Accept the more fundamental flaws. Unfortunately due to CPTSD and parentification, I am almost chemically unable to feel empathetic toward myself, so I try to be more concrete when it comes to feeling gratitute and being okay with my failures. I force myself to do appreciation exercises, like thanking myself for what I have done. I also force myself to understand when I am tired, or when I just need some entertainment, and tell myself it’s okay to want to do something outside of work.
Enjoy Your Vacation with Yourself, and Hopefully Your Pets!
Hope you enjoy the days of working from home, especially if this is not something that you get to do on an annual basis. A virus is nothing to be happy about, but let’s all try to make the most out of this situation! The happier we are at home, the less likely we will go around and spread this virus to everyone who’s immune-compromised and exhaust the hospitals’ resources all at the same time.
Leave a comment and let me know how you have been preparing for the Coronavirus!