As I write this, the concept of a country-wide lockdown, self-isolation, or movement control, is no longer an alien concept to most. We’re starting to see it roll out in many countries worldwide.
It all started out as a bit of adventure didn’t it?
For those who have been wanting to work from home (or work remotely) but their bosses or companies did not understand, it is quite fun at first. And a challenge, but mostly fun (here’s some tips I shared on how to tackle this work from home malarkey)
But after a week (that’s how long it’s been here in Malaysia), the fun is beginning to pall, parents are going crazy with all their kids at home, and perhaps even couples or partners are starting to drive each other nuts LOL! It’s going to get even longer, so there is still a ways to go yet!
So, come on, share what your Stay-at-Home Challenges are. I’ll share mine 😉
I realize how privileged it is to say this, but yes, I’m bored.
There’s only so much of pottering, clearing or cleaning I can do about the house, and there’s only so much TV I can watch. After a while, everything begins to pall, and the days begin to blur into one another.
I’ve had people tell me to direct my energies to writing or ‘creating content’ for Instagram or my blog, but the truth is, I’m not really feeling it right now. I don’t quite feel that drive or push to take photos of beauty products or make videos or be creative. Might it be because I’ve never been that sort of blogger/content producer? Perhaps.
I’m sorry if you were expecting more from me to distract you at this time, but I’m probably not the channel you’re looking for 😛 I don’t like being distracted, I prefer to deal with issues head-on, and that’s what you’re getting 😛 Of course, I will still have some beauty content, but it will be reflective of the situation, not in spite of it.
I also realize that it isn’t very PC to say this, because it does show our privilege, and that is frowned upon. There are so many people out there who are working their butts off to keep everyone safe, or struggling to think of where their next meal is coming from, and here I am moaning about being bored. How privileged can you get?
But here’s to keeping it real. I’m bored, and I cannot deny it.
How I’m combating it is by directing my energies to other pursuits. I’m cooking most of the meals at home, and playing a little game with myself that I call “How far can I go with as few ingredients as possible?”. It’s a little fun cooking challenge I pose to myself in an attempt to make things in the fridge and freezer last as long as possible so I don’t have to do a grocery run so often. I share my simple #MCOMeals on Instagram Stories, more for my own amusement than anything else, and naturally, I salivate over what everyone else is eating! 🙂
The only problem with this is when you are cooped up at home with others, they may not always be on the same page LOL! 😀 But that’s part of the challenge – learning to cope with living with other people in close quarters.
The other thing I’m doing is attempting to train my pup HAHA! It’s turning out to be a mammoth challenge all on its own, which might be a good thing 😛 We can’t go out for walks and play, so he is going a little nutty (as I am) but we make do by playing fetch in the house, and running around the space I have.
I try to keep him mentally stimulated by teaching him tricks and attempting to get him to behave a little better. All well and good until he nips me in his excitement. Again.
Aside from the worry about what’s happening out there and whether anyone I know will be medically affected, I’m worried about a few other things as well.
Finances for one. It worries me how much of this will impact the economy for the rest of the year, and where that leaves us. Some economists are already predicting a recession and perhaps even a depression. With retail of non-essential goods practically grinding to a halt, and restaurants and cafes closed, I imagine that many people dependent on these industries, and day workers will be left without a job and an income.
Freelancers and the people who are dependent on a gig economy too will suffer, as will those whose source of income are purely derived from online ads or sponsorships or paid advertisements. As a result of the drop in retail spending, most companies have put a halt on, or drastically cut spending on marketing and advertising. The online marketing pie just got even smaller, and I imagine, things will get harder for those who haven’t been saving as much as they should.
It therefore worries me if I have enough stowed away. Again, a privilege to say so, as I do have savings, but no less true. For this reason, I’ve been even more frugal with my spending. It is tempting to order things online, because we’re home and bored (see point #1) but I’ve put the brakes on many frivolous purchases and on takeaways. It’s a bit of a Catch-22 situation as that will directly affect the economy, and it is a delicate balance to achieve, so it’s challenging to balance that in my mind.
I worry about social problems. If the economy is affected and many people are going out of jobs or losing their source of income, we might see a rise in social problems as people get desperate to put food on the table.
I hope it will not come to this, but the reality is that it can happen and that is a real concern.
I worry about my family. My siblings are close by, and we can get to each other quickly. But my parents are staying put out of town, and I’m worried about how they’re doing, how they’re coping, if they have enough food and supplies etc. We are lucky that they have good friends who check in on them, but it does not lessen the worry.
LOL!! Were you expecting that? 😛
When stocking up on food, it’s easier to get items that can be easily frozen but fresh vegetables, especially leafy vegetables, and fruit don’t freeze very well.
I have a noticeable dip in my fresh vegetable and fruit intake, and that is a real challenge!
For now, we can still go out and get fresh vegetable and fruit, and I stocked up just a few days ago, but I’m not sure how long it will be before supplies begin to dwindle. So this is a real challenge, and I’d like to know how YOU are handling it 😛
What are your Stay-at-Home challenges during this time?
Do share, it brings us all a little closer together, and we can maybe help each other get through this 🙂
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My number one is worry. Boredom for me kicks in every now and then but given that I stay at home 90% of the time even before all this happened anyway, this is not a big deal for me as I enjoy a bit of art and craft and let’s just say I have plenty to keep me occupied. 🙂 But the worry never goes away and it eats at me. Worry about my family in Malaysia and Singapore, worry about Tim who still has to go to work and see patients, worry about so many people losing their jobs and income, worry about the coming social unrest (this is inevitable with so many job losses), worry about our own finances as well … the list just keeps going on. Last weekend I broke down when it all got too much for me to handle.
I think my number two is anger, which isn’t good. I’m angry at people who think social distancing is a joke. I’m angry at people who hoard essentials. I’m angry at the lack of transparency, consistency and clear direction from the government.
I’m glad to still be able to walk my dog in the evenings (there are very little people on the road and pavements now so I don’t have to worry about other people for now). Janey is incredibly unfazed about what’s going on. Being an old girl like she is, she just wants to sleep, eat, walk and then back to more sleep. Ahh the life. 🙂
We haven’t gotten to the stage of constipation yet, thank goodness. Still getting as much fresh fruits and veg in as we can even with just one weekly shop now. 😛
Many of us are incredibly fortunate to experience this in the age of comfort and the Internet. I can’t even imagine what it was like during the last pandemic or even during the war. Sometimes I want to yell “geez all we have to do is stay at home and watch the damn TV; how difficult is that? Yet people still don’t listen!”.
Okay, time to get off the soapbox now. As you can tell, I have much to say. LOL!
The biggest challenge I have, as you probably know, is work. Stuck in profession which hasn’t moved forward much with the times is frustrating to say the least. The worst part is twiddling thumbs now knowing that once the RMO is over, there will be an avalanche to deal with work-wise.
The other frustration I face is reading about so many needs out there and feeling completely helpless. The only way in which I can contributed is donate to causes and groups who are actually out there doing something and even then, my resources are limited at this point. As you accurately pointed out, the headwinds ahead are multipronged and likely to be intense. We need to save up. On top of that, the political decisions and movements leave me between a state of despair and fury. So much so that I need to literally switch off from social media to regain any modicum of calm.
Finally, I anticipated the constipation problem ahead of time and stocked up on fresh as well as dried fruits! LOL!!! Prunes and dried apricots await if the time ever comes where I’m unable to get my hands on the fresh stuff!
Fresh vegetables freeze well! But you need to blanch them first, then pack them in individual portions in Ziploc bags and freeze. I freeze veg such aa spinach, pumpkin, broccoli. When you need to eat them, you take out the individual portions to defrost in the fridge or microwave. Then season/cook. It’s doable! 🙂
I think my biggest thing was an overload of news. I consume everything I can think of. And then I allowed myself to be affected by extreme emotions exhibited by others. And then I get angry about how some people react. So none of that helped. But my biggest thing was the loss of civil liberties. Being an introvert, I’m BORN to stay at home but that was knowing I could go out anytime I wanted. I still can but I should not and I’m more conscious about it e.g. groceries once a week and walking the dog keeping my distance from other humans – also not difficult living in suburbia.
I am also struggling a lot with being a lot less active with everything closed. What I’d found helped was daily tuning out of news. For an hour, I FaceTime a friend and we work out together keeping each other accountable. We work on strength training which requires minimal equipment – planks, sit ups, crunches for the core, exercises with the theraband for the glutes, calf rises, foam rolling and various stretches to keep and maintain our flexibility (no use being flexible if you’re not strong!) With ballet closed off indefinitely, this is helping us connect and still keep our bodies conditioned for when we step back into the studio. It’s something I think anyone can do and would be beneficial especially I can foresee us leading way more sedentary lifestyles now. There are plenty of resources online as a guide and most take into account limited space and would require no equipment. Do a video conference thing with a friend so you’re holding each other accountable. Just as we can catch up over a glass of wine on FaceTime, we can work out on FaceTime as well. If anything, it was great fun laughing at each other how we could barely hold a plank for a very short period of time. Stay safe. Stay healthy.
4 weeks is a long time to be confined indoor. I don’t know how I would be able to deal with it, but I’m getting myself prepared should this last resort be required.
Hang in there. I’m confident Malaysia would get out of this situation quickly. The order was made early and decisively, so there’s a good chance things will be under control soon, just like Korea.
I also see that the the number has dropped today. Hope the trend will continue and the curve be flattened soon. We will get through this!
We have a routine at home…everyone should be up by 8.30am, shower and have breakfast, I’m busy with kids’ online classroom meetings daily with their class teachers from 9.30am till 11.00am. Then it’s my meetings till noon. Husband has his own routine, calls start at 7am daily till 5pm. So he’s in his study the entire 5 day week and can’t travel since CNY.
Helper takes care of three meals a day, lunch time between 12.30pm to 1pm. After lunch, homework time with boys, then the mandatory nap time, 4-6pm. During that time, I either nap with them or it’s my ‘me time’, either working, journaling or painting. Chill before dinner, usually at 7.30pm. After dinner, I disinfect the floor with Dettol, as part of my exercise. Then everyone should shower by 9pm and movie night starts, in bed by 11.30pm. No time to feel bored..yikes.
I do our grocery run twice a week, the most challenging, gearing up with mask and cap, I have to be at the grocer by 10am and usually done in a hour, including queuing to get in, temp check and sanitization. I’ll be carrying tonnes of raw meats, fresh veges, fruits, fresh milk and last minute request from my helper, as usual. Sanitize hands at least 5 times during that process. Once home, disinfect every damn item, including recycle bags and then shower myself. It’s a bloody tedious process!
I worry about many things, so much so that I always wake up at 4.30am on the dot without fail, then back to sleep an hour later.
I don’t know how many more days I can deal with the MCO, coming from a person who goes in and out of the house up to 5 times a day during weekends and the only time I’m at home 24 hours is during my two confinement periods.
Indeed you’re privileged to be bored, while so many are stucked at home; juggling WFH+ homeschooling kids + cooking + chores + catching up on the news they barely have time to properly sit down and finish a meal. However, I appreciate that you’re well-aware of your privileged situation while at the same time are sensitive of others.
I’m not doing great myself here; currently on Day 12 of MCO, being stuck home 24/7 and haven’t left the house for nine days straight. Yes I love my child, but the constant “Mama” 10x every five minute finally takes its toll. Then the constant worry of my husband, who still needs to leave the house 5 days a week coz he’s working in an “essential service”….yeah I could go on and on but I’m not gonna bore everyone when there are others out there who are far more unfortunate. Rather, I feel blessed to have what I have now. I do.
I like how you’re being realistic about this whole situation. Personally, I feel it’s OKAY not to creative/fun/optimistic like, all the time. We are human, and it’s only human of us to feel worried about our elderly parents/global economy etc right now. ” Five ways to do your nails at home”? “Top series to binge on Nexflix while on quarantine? ” Like hell I’m gonna read those. LOL.
I’m sure we all will get through this. As a fellow Malaysian (and human being), I’m wishing you and your family well. =)
1) Solution to boredom: online courses! I’ve enrolled in several courses like mindfulness, CBT, on udemy.com. Reasonably priced and unexpectedly good content! I see this as self-investment and given the same price as a book, worth it! (To me)
2) Too add veggies: Frozen veggies and dried mushrooms ftw!
I think in general, keeping positive by chatting via WhatsApp regularly with friends, giving my family members and myself some personal space and RESPECTING it, has been really helpful too!
Sharon Lai says
Been ages since I last posted any comments on your site 🙂
We are going into full swing wfh effective 7 April even schools are closed n some preschools remain for the sake of those in essential services..wfh is a new concept to me but I feel like it high time we make full use of the technology at hand and who knows remote work could potentially be the norm in the future.. Team-building might get virtual too..
So I was wondering.. Would you like to share your home office space here, but only if you feel comfortable.. I feel like my home workstation is not gonna help me feel comfortable lol..
Just a suggestion.. Stay safe n be safe.. Later 🙂