It’s a trying time for us all, isn’t it?
Here in Malaysia, our Government has issued a Restricted Movement Order to be in effect for about 2 weeks or maybe more depending on what happens. It effectively forces us all to stay home and reduce movement and social contact. Schools and non-essential businesses are forced to close, and most people are working from home wherever possible.
Globally, I’m seeing this being implemented in varying stages. For the most part, people are advised to stay home, so we reduce physical contact, thereby reducing the chance of the virus spreading.
It is a very trying time, and I understand how people can and will struggle, even if it does seem rather novel and exciting at first. Unless you live in a war-torn state, few of us would have experienced this sort of restriction of movement.
Here’s a few things I can suggest you can do, to maintain your mental health, because we might be in this for the long term.
Find time for yourself and set some rules
If you are living with someone or with your family, company will eventually grate on your nerves, and very soon. It might be a good time to put some ground rules in place, chief being, finding time for yourself.
You love your family, and you love your partner. All that is evident. But spend too much time in each other’s faces, and you will eventually find that something will irritate you.
You may start noticing things that you don’t otherwise notice in the whirlwind of daily life. It could be in the way they drop their clothes all over the floor, or the way they don’t put back the kitchen utensils where they should go. It might be how they wet the bathroom floor each time they shower, or how they don’t make the bed in the morning.
Keep your sanity, by finding that time for yourself, just to pause and take a breath.
It could be a few minutes a day to yourself in your room, or to take a relaxing shower or bath. Try to find this time, because we must remember that we cannot be present for everyone, without first being present for ourselves.
Then, talk to the people you live with. Set some ground rules. Make everyone chip in and pull their weight with the house chores. Chores will increase and so will the frequency of doing those chores. Remember, it’s a shared household, and keeping house should not and must not just be “a woman’s job”. It is the job of everyone living in it.
RELATED READING: If you’re working from home, I have 6 Tips to help you make your time more productive READ HERE
Reach out to others
If you live alone, this period of social distancing can be draining too. There is so much time we can spend alone, before it begins to feel oppressive.
Similarly, if you are surrounded by people at home at this time, it can feel like too much as well, having to be present for everyone.
If it helps, reach out to someone. Text a friend, talk to someone other than the people in your house. Have a bit of a laugh. Life is a little easier when you laugh a little each day.
If you are feeling this way, so will others.
I have said on Instagram, that my DMs are open for anyone who’d like to just pop in and talk a bit of nonsense. Or drop me a note here, or via email. I am happy to chat to you – we are all in this together :)
Step outside as much as you can
When you are cooped up indoors for long hours, whether alone or with other people, cabin fever will set in after a while.
If possible, step outside for a few minutes each day. If you have a garden, go outside. It might be a good time to learn to grow some plants or cultivate a little edible garden :D
RELATED READING: I had a little edible garden once. Here’s a tip on how I grew mine READ HERE
If you live in a high-rise building and have a balcony, find a little time each day to spend outside. Take in a little air, look around you, soak up a little sun.
If you don’t have the option to go outside, open the windows and let some fresh air into the house.
While it is tempting to jump into your car and head out the mall, remember that most businesses will be closed. We can still shop for groceries and essentials, but this is not the time to treat it as an outing. Just pop out, get what you need and return. Your health and that of the people around you, should be your primary concern. Stay away from malls and potentially crowded places.
This period is NOT a holiday.
I have a little space nearby where I can take my dog for walks, so that will be my time outside. This is not the time to head to the public park, or to bring your dog to the dog park. This is the time to think less about yourself and more about the community around you.
Also, do stay healthy. Move. Just because you’re at home does not mean you have to spend all day on the couch eating chips :P
Don’t slack on your skincare routine
Ah, there is a beauty tip in here somewhere! :D
Spending so much time at home, it will be tempting to think “Oh, I can skip my sunscreen” or “I’m not wearing makeup, I don’t need to double-cleanse this evening”. Well, it’s a slippery slope, and it won’t end well.
My suggestion is to treat your routine as what it is – a routine.
Do your skincare as you would any other day. You might just have a little more time to indulge than you would normally. Make sure you apply sunscreen, even if you’re just staying in. The UV rays are everywhere and for some of us, we don’t have the luxury of staying indoors in air-conditioning all day!
RELATED READING: My recommended sunscreen is now available here in Malaysia and you can buy it online too! READ HERE
In the evening, make sure you double-cleanse, to remove the oils and grime from your skin. What I can safely tell you is this – when you stay at home, you may find your skin gets more grimy through the day, because we don’t have the luxury of having the air-conditioning on all day.
You will sweat (where it’s hot) and your skin will get grimy. You must still double-cleanse in the evening. So, don’t slack on your routine!
You could even treat this as your little personal time. Think of all the times you have said “Oh, I can’t do a routine like that because I don’t have the time”. Well, now you likely do! :)
Keep an eye out for your community
You may find yourself seeing more of your neighbours for once, so it might be a good time to get to know them. Say Hi, if you see them.
If you have members of your community who are vulnerable and living alone, ask if they need help getting necessities. Due to the restriction of movement, people may not be able to visit their family from out-of-town, so there’s no harm asking if an elderly neighbour might need help with groceries. The old and ill are after all, those most affected by this virus.
Personal hygiene is so important at this time. It isn’t just for yourself, but also for those around you, and your family.
Staying clean isn’t about wearing a surgical mask and washing your hands with sanitizer 20 times a day. It is simply about some simple things to have in mind.
- Wash your hands and feet after coming home – You don’t know what you’ve picked up outside. Wash your hands, arms and feet when you get back.
- Change out of your clothes when you get home – Don’t re-wear them if possible, and put them straight in the laundry. You don’t have to wash them immediately, but don’t re-wear. If you wear coats, keep them in one place, not throw them all over the house.
- Dispose of your used tissues and masks properly – I’ve seen disposable masks lying around, and people who don’t even wear them properly. Even if they don’t harbour the virus, it can harbour bacteria. Throw it away properly after you are done using it.
- Don’t touch your face – If possible, don’t touch your face, especially your eyes, nose and mouth. These are the entry-ways for bacteria and viruses to enter your system.
This is a tough time for everyone. Some of us will have it easier than others. Some of us will be more privileged. Those with ample savings and liquidity will get by more easily than those who don’t.
If you are having food or groceries delivered, consider tipping your delivery man. They would like very much to be in your position, staying at home too. But they’re out earning a livelihood to survive.
If you’re buying groceries, there’s no need to hoard or stockpile goods. Someone else will need that pack of toilet paper too, and seriously, are you expecting to have diarrhea? :P
But don’t panic
Much of the hysteria I’ve observed is primarily due to panic. People don’t know what to do or expect, hence the panic buying and the stress of not knowing what to do at home.
While we are mostly bemoaning the fact that we don’t know what’s happening out there, it doesn’t serve us any benefit to panic.
The best thing we can do now is this:
- Stay home as much as possible
- Reduce close contact with other people
- Don’t go to crowded places and don’t hold gatherings, even if family
- Educate those who might not be aware of what’s happening
Our health frontliners are doing all they can at this time. They deserve our thanks and for us not to complicate things more for them than it is already.
Blogging will continue
I realize that reading about beauty products might be the last thing on your mind at the moment, but you know what? Life must go on.
If it means losing yourself for a few minutes in a day on something deemed frivolous, so be it. It isn’t doomsday (even if it feels like it).
So, I will try to get back to my routine of writing about beauty products and routines and about life. So, if you need a little break, you know just where to find me :)
Right here, as always :)
Take care and stay safe, friends!
How are you holding up this period?
Are you a frontliner? Are you working from home? How are you feeling? Talk to me :)