On a quiet Saturday, my phone popped up photos from my gallery, indicating an exact date from the previous year. I looked at it with vivid realization, it was the period of lockdown! The world was going through something most of us had never faced before. Governments were shutting down the states, people became the enemy, and the safest place to be in was home. It was a time like no other.
Looking back on it, I wonder how we were able to move on as a country. A country so populated that keeping 6ft from the next person in a public transport vehicle was impossible. A country where people were more likely to die of hunger than from the corona virus. Haha! It’s a miracle!
For me, I was particularly glad to be in the company of my family. Those initial days where working from home became the only option, where the news carried how many increased cases we had on a daily basis, where the question that hung heavily in the air was ‘Are we gonna get out of this?’ It was a time where sanitizers and face masks were so scarce and so expensive! Well, here’s how I got through it:
1. TikTok – I had joined TikTok long before the pandemic, but this was a time of content boom on the platform. More users joined, more contents were being created and shared. Thankfully, it helped take my mind off the pandemic for a little while. I made more lip-sync videos than I had done in the previous year. I had so much fun making them, you know, just goofing around. This helped me a lot.
2. Tinder – I know some of you may gasp in shock, but yes I joined Tinder. Haha!!! I still intend to write about this particular experience. It was a platform to meet and talk with new people without having to leave your house. I had created a profile that filtered most of the bad eggs, though a few still slipped in here and there. Conversation was king on this platform. For those I couldn’t connect with and have stimulating conversations with, I deleted. But for some others, they ended up becoming good friends or war buddies made in a time when the world was falling apart. You know, kinda like beauty from ashes. And I’m grateful for that opportunity to have met them virtually.
3. Walks – I took lots of walks with my family during this period. I’m usually one who loves every weekend spent indoors, but during this time I found myself craving the outdoors. Once outside, it felt so strange. Thankfully my muscles never atrophied from staying indoors most of the time. Lol. I still dreaded being close to anyone outside because the fear of corona virus was at its peak. Heck, I couldn’t say ‘bless you!’ when someone sneezed. I’d rather say ‘please wash your hands.’ It was wild! (Still is.) Haha!
4. Therapy – this was another thing I did which was out of my comfort zone. I reached out to platforms providing free counseling for mental health related issues. I had been dealing with bouts of anxiety and depression during that period. Although my counselor was nice, I didn’t quite connect with her. She felt kind of ‘text book’ and that’s what inspired my post on When I become a therapist. I was proud of myself for reaching out, and hopefully that’s not the last time I reach out for help. I just felt like more could be done. Perhaps we could have more therapists in the country, and also let people know it’s okay to talk about these things with a licensed professional. I also enjoyed free therapy from friends who would listen as I tried to explain the different ways I was feeling. They would always check in to see how I was doing, and to be honest, I felt really blessed.
5. Take-outs – in one of my Instagram posts on the positive things COVID-19 brought, I spoke about efficient delivery systems. My other form of stress relief is eating sweet foods. So, I found myself ordering so much that the delivery man knew my address by heart. Haha! I recently ran into him and he asked why I hadn’t been ordering in a while (if only he knew I’m still trying to shed all that lockdown weight). But hey, I enjoyed being able to have the food I would normally have with friends at restaurants. Although, I still missed the physical company.
6. Journaling – this is how I talk to God mostly. I write my heart out and watch Him deal with it piece by piece. Some days, I write angry. Other days, I write with tears. And on good days, I write with laughter – we even crack one or two jokes together. Being able to write about my feelings was a great channel to let things go. I received the comfort that God was with me and He was going to see us through. (Which He is still doing!) it was tough going through emotional rollercoasters and heartbreaks while still in a pandemic year. Everything came at once, and I wasn’t sure I would make it. But you see, God really is faithful to keep us to the very end.
7. Plants – I dedicated a whole post to my plant obsession. Although, I got my first plant before the pandemic, the whole of last year was a time to adjust into my nurturing abilities. I enjoyed nurturing plants from nursery to what they are now. I enjoyed watching them grow. However, I lost my first plant just as I had gotten newer ones, and I remember the Holy Spirit comforting me that things come and they go. Good things come and sometimes leave our lives to make room for better ones. It sounded cliché, but with over ten plants now, I’m glad I let go. I’m glad I didn’t let the loss I felt hinder me from keeping more plants. And this is a lesson I’m still trying to apply in my life- to let go of old things that didn’t work out and be open to new and amazing things. I still believe in the magic of new beginnings (but I always pray for God to help my unbelief). Haha!
I think I have to stop here for now. So tell me, what did you do to get through the first hit of the pandemic?
I know it’s not over for us yet, but I’m grateful to see how we have adjusted, adapted and have learnt to handle the pandemic a lot better. Continue to stay safe!