It comes as no surprise to you to speculate that we are in the midst of a modern day apocalypse.
Whether you're aware of it or not, we've already been trudging through an apocalypse for the past 10 or so years. The Digital Age Apocalypse. Where brain-dead youths ignore the beautiful and ever-changing world around them in preference of browsing artificial lifestyles and ideals presented by people selling the idea of happiness. Fake likes for fake lives. Entertainment in a box, becoming increasingly portable only to take up any time our brains could use to process the days events, or utilise boredom via creativity. A world becoming increasingly more devoid of human contact as we increase our online network, branching out to increase social media connectivity. Individuals becoming more agoraphobic, more sedentary as you can get practically all you could ever want at the touch of a screen or click of a button, no need to overexert oneself and actually earn the end product. The relationship of hard work and earning your rewards has become a myth. Something we talk about with ease but find great difficulty putting into action.
Now in the light of a new virus, a legitimate biological force, we find ourselves faced with this next hurdle.
I've seen many people comparing the CV epidemic to a zombie outbreak, and there are certainly some similarities to what you might expect from the uprise of the undead. People bunking down. Streets emptied of the usual hustle and bustle. Our usual luxuriously overstocked stores gutted and bare of supplies. The majority of the general public, when forced to socialise while trying to get hold of some much wanted toilet roll, are hostile, with no sense of civil humour or common respect. Selfishness reigns the uneducated and the highly anxious. Fear rules with an iron fist. Arrogance and defiance jeopardise the health of the population. Ignorance truly is bliss.
An infectious epidemic is inevitable. This will not be the last disease to swamp the globe as it was not the first. More will come and I hope that we will not be so quick to panic next time. That we might not foolishly think we, as individuals, know best because we have an inflated sense of self-righteousness. That we don't just blindly follow a popular social media maverick's thoughts or actions just because we became part of their herd when we agreed with that thing they said that time and like them as a person and really feel like we know them, you know, like a friend...
Now we are on countrywide lockdown, quarantined, confined to our homes in self-isolation and social distancing.. So what now? What do we do?
Well you could become a coach potato and binge the whole of Netflix and Amazon Prime.. let negative thoughts and feelings build up and take over you.. You could play PC or console games wasting these first well-weathered days of Spring away..
You could take this opportunity that's been given to you. One of the harsh truths of the modern age is that we have less and less time. We are too busy chasing the next thing, filling our minds with idol words as we watch the latest idiotic TV drama or binge movies. Yet we have the world at our fingertips, and, more importantly, we now have that time we always wish we had.
In a way, almost nothing from the day to day has changed for me. I am still working out how to raise two beautiful terrifying mini-me's whilst maintaining any sense of sanity and what in essence is myself. However I have a few ideas I'd like to share for you to think about investing in:
Teach yourself self discipline. Keep in a routine.
In many ways, we have things far too easy. We can laze about the house all day. We can eat nothing but junk and drink fizzy fluids. We can become le potat. This is not healthy in mind, body or spirit for anyone. Don't let yourself slip into motionless bad habits but instead teach yourself self discipline. Start with one thing, whether that's getting up every day at the same time. Then, once you've done that for a few days add one more thing. Say, doing morning yoga after you wake up. Again, once you've been doing those two things for a few days, add to it. You could of course go full balls to the wall about it but not many people can achieve such a change off their own back and maintain it. You are looking to develop this as a sustainable skill. Making a routine from this, emphasis on ensuring you get decent sleep every night as well, will stop you from going crazy! Trust me, once you get into the habit of self discipline you will reap so much more from life!
Practice mindfulness. Bring on those brain gains as Papa Swolio would say. Develop the way you think, learn to become open minded, learn to relax and let go of the events from the day. Learn peace of mind and strengthen your character. Your mind is your closest friend for your whole life, if you look after it, it will look after you.
Workout. No really, do a decent workout every day!
Now I'm not saying you have to "kill it" and smash those weights Every Damn Day. That would be ridiculous and detrimental to your physical health! However there is such a thing as active rest. This could take the form of yoga for example. You must move more! We were not designed to sit in front of screens all day and night only flexing our fingers at the keyboard. We must move! If you stop using your muscles, they start to weaken and deteriorate. Plus don't you want to be able to kick ass when they zombies DO actually come? (It's gonna happen!)
Keep your diet in check.
As it's not actually the apocalypse and the stores aren't actually abandoned, you can still get hold of lots of amazing quality foods! Now is not the time to comfort eat on sugar filled greasy treats. Especially in the light of recent expert recommendations. Getting and then staying healthy will give you the best chance fighting this virus off. As, indeed, can be said of most of life's ailments. What you put into your mouth has a massive impact on your body and mind. Eating the wrong things for you can give you migraines, spike your energy levels temporarily only for you to crash heavy, cause bloating, have negative effects on your mood, the list goes on. Exercise that self discipline and be more mindful of what you're fuelling your body with. You'll be amazed at the difference it can make!
Maybe even start writing too.. but read more first. It feeds your mind and keeps the brain young(ish). You never stop learning so keep allowing yourself the opportunity to grow. Become well informed on subjects you find interesting. Enjoy a novel. Just read.
Focus on ONE skill to learn.
Pick one thing from that big list of new skills you've always wanted to learn. Focus on it and develop it. I'm a bit of a hypocrite when it comes to this point as my mind constantly races between difference skills and projects, I just want to do it all! And there in may well lie my own demise. The somewhat boring BUT solid truth of the matter is that if you choose just one thing, focus on that one thing and develop it/work on it alone, you will master it a lot quicker. And once you've mastered that one skill, you can choose the next ONE and do the same again. It's too easy to get lost in a labyrinth of 'all the things I could do!' Slow and steady wins the race.
Reconnect with your local community.
Now more than ever we need each other. This has been true for quite a long time, however the point is now exaggerated thanks to the situation we find ourselves in. We need to talk to each other more, offer and receive help, trust in one another again. Humans are communal creators. We need support and connection from others. Although there is plenty of peace to be found in solitude, there is great strength and love in community. I have seen quite a few people reaching out saying they'll happily to a shop run for any of their neighbours in need, and that restores my faith in humanity a tiny bit more.
Grow something green.
You don't have to put a fully fledged vegetable garden into production like Self Sufficient Me, even though that is pretty useful! But the act of planting a seed, nurturing it, watching it grow and keeping it alive. Well there's something therapeutic and quite honestly magical about that. Plus, especially while you're confined to your small living quarters for the foreseeable future, it will be a point of calm and will actually help clean the air you're breathing in! If you manage to grow some plants for food then that's always a massive bonus!
Support an artist and give back.
These are tough times for us all. You can make someones day by buying something off an artist that you know, or donating money/supplies to a charity or persons in need. If I haven't already spammed you enough, I'm raising money through the sale of my t-shirts to donate to the NHS. Check out my shop and do a little to give back.