The 12 Day Countdown to 24; What I’ve Learnt, Day 1

So in 12 days I am 24, March 12th. The fact I’m turning 24 is scary in itself. So to honour another year I’ve decided to write small blog posts on what I’ve learnt in my life before turning 24 years young, things that I feel are really important for me, and maybe for you too!

So for Day 1 of 12 I wanted to talk about Self Love and Self Care.

Self love and self care is something that can be really difficult for different people. As someone who is anxious as hell, I found that I spent a lot more time worrying about my friends, family and work than I did myself. I didn’t realise how much this can affect you if you don’t just sit down and take time for you.

I realised I needed to start taking time for myself half way through my final year of uni about 2 years ago. I was so overwhelmed with my dissertation, my girlfriends, living with 12 people, I also lived with my boyfriend and worked throughout, as well my friends from work. It was really full on and I didn’t realise until 7/12 flatmates moved out, this was due to being international students living with us for 3 months, that I hadn’t actually stopped since getting to uni in September. I started getting back from my morning shifts at work and lectures at university and spending the afternoon/some time on my own, watching TV, reading my book, just getting that me time. I felt like after this I enjoyed my time with my friends a whole lot more. I’d had that time to myself, time to relax and re-charge and you forget that you need that time. I also really felt that it helped my productivity in the library, at work and also generally as well.

It made me realise, ‘Hang about, I’m onto something here‘.

Then we moved out of uni and I still wanted to be able to keep this up and do this for myself. I really got into reading again, which I still am now if you’re a follower of my blog! I moved back in with my parents and with my boyfriend (we were only due to be there for a year before we moved to Australia, but COVID happed about halfway through our year. Goodbye flights to Australia). I wanted to make sure I still had my me time especially with a new lifestyle and job. A long shower, a quiet evening with my book, catching up on my favourite TV shows and taking time away from my phone was still an essential. I still to this day ensure that I do these things and it has been SO Beneficial to me.

I feel like it is so SO important to remember to do these things for yourself. Do things that help you switch off and wind down, at the end of the day, You are the biggest love of your life. My motto I say regularly. You NEED to listen to what your body is telling you, rest your mind if its running 100mph. Rest your body if you’re running literally everywhere. Say NO to going out if you aren’t feeling it, get in bed early, stay up late and binge watch your shows. Do what makes you feel happy and comfortable and recharged.

Write yourself a self care checklist and do it all in your own time. When you are enjoying your own time there is no pressure of everything around you, there’s just you. You only have to please yourself. For me my favourite things are to exercise or go for a walk, I love to sit and read my book and in doing so switching off from my phone at the same time. I LOVE a hot and long shower. I also every morning read positive affirmations! Positive affirmations hold a lot of importance for me. I read 4/5 every day and share the ones I feel I can apply in my day but also so others can see them and hopefully think the same!

Take the time for you, look after yourself physically and mentally. Like I said, you are the biggest love of your life and nothing can change that , no person you’re in a relationship with or your friends and family. You’ve only got one body, heart and brain in this life, cherish it and look after you. Be selfish, it’s absolutely fine to do so. You are a God/Goddess, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

The Global Quarantine Diaries – Sakshi

  • Where in the world are you located?

Hello! I’m writing to you from Delhi, India.

  • What are lockdown restrictions like there?

India has seen one of the largest lock down in the world for a little more than 2 months. The lockdown initially started for 15 days and then iterative was extended four more times – it has been named lockdown 1.0 iteratively till lockdown 4.0 jokingly. At that time, the entire country was shut down except for essential items or industries that could continue to work from home. It was not allowed to step outside unless you’re getting yourselves essentials or have an emergency. If you wanted to go out or move to a different part of the country, you had to issue yourself a pass by the government and your only bet was to drive yourself since metro, rail, air and bus transport was also shut down. 

But now since the 1st of June, the country has re-opened. The business is back to normal – restaurants, shopping malls are open, so are all modes of transportation. All of this while still maintaining social distancing, use of masks and sanitizers. People are still advised to stay at home and only go out if necessary. 

  • How are you keeping busy?

I am a software developer by profession and I’m grateful that my job allows me to work from home. It’s been 3 months and counting since I’m working from home and since it’s a full time job, it demands most of my time. In the late evenings, I tend to work on my blog and have been loving how it’s turning out.

  • What do you miss doing the most?

I miss a lot of things!

I miss working alongside my co-workers. Working remotely has been tough and skype calls constitute most of my time when it was just easier to go over someone’s desk and get the work done. Whiteboard brainstorming was easier than trying to draw on the screen – all of this was just quicker to get things done. Now in addition to that, I also feel there is a blur between the work life and personal life because we are still at home? I see myself working longer hours which isn’t good.

I miss going out for a brunch with my friends or a dinner date under the moonlight. I miss going out to have a pizza party or catch up with my friends as we dance the night away. I miss going out to get essentials without having to wait for my turn outside or wearing a mask everywhere I go. I miss going out without the fear of a deadly disease.

  • What is the first thing you’re going to do once the lockdown is over?

Technically, the lock down is over in India but I still haven’t stepped outside of my home. The cases here are increasing at an alarming rate and we are now the fourth most affected country in the whole world! But when things get alright, I would love and catch up with my friends over lunch/dinner. I haven’t seen them in months and video calls don’t do enough justice.

Head over to Sakshi’s Socials below!

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Global Quarantine Diaries – Lulu

Lockdown in the USA has been one of the weirdest things I’ve experienced. It went from everyone joking about the pandemic, to horrific death tolls, back to a joke, and now we’re all protesting. It’s been a rollercoaster and a very difficult time for its citizens. The world watched us as we handled COVID-19 poorly and in the coming months, I am worried to see the lasting effects especially during the second wave. However, we as people, are resilient and hopeful. I hope the USA can learn from its mistakes during the second wave and act accordingly. 

Where in the world are you located? 

Charlotte, NC, USA 

What are lockdown regulations like? 

Lockdown regulations differed from state to state. For example, if Florida’s governor decided that they would stay open, they had the right to. But, in North Carolina, lockdown began on March 17th. Initially, it began by closing businesses unless they were essential (logistics, grocery stores, healthcare, restaurants for takeout, etc.) so, many people lost their jobs. Regulations included no gatherings of more than 10 people, unessential travel should be avoided, or it could result in a misdemeanor charge or fine (but that was never enforced), and social distance as much as possible. Going on walks, and being outdoors was encouraged but all the state parks, and trails closed down. Then we started reopening in phases by May 14th. “Phase 1” included parks and recreation to open up, retail businesses opened up at half capacity, and childcare facilities opened for essential workers. We are currently in “Phase 2” for another 3-5 weeks which means that restaurants opened up at half capacity, stay at home orders were lifted, and people are allowed to gather up to 25 people outside. Once “Phase 3” goes into effect, essentially all restrictions will be lifted, and normal life can continue. 

How are you keeping busy? 

During lockdown, I took a walk every day. Lockdown was an extremely depressing time and so hard to adjust to. I am a social person that thrives off of interaction with other people, so it was difficult. So, to combat those feelings, I ran/walked a trail by my house every day. I was so excited the first time I saw someone else passing on the trail and we got to say “Hi” to each other. Other than that, I cleaned just about everything you can imagine. Even the little crevices of my drawers. As expected, Netflix and every other streaming platform became my best friend. I watched a full TV series in a day once. Now that we’re in “Phase 2”, I am back to working. I am a bartender/server at a restaurant, and we are open at half capacity. I am required to wear a mask and gloves but the fear of getting Coronavirus sits in the back of my head every minute. I am happy to be back doing something productive and purposeful but with that comes so much anxiety. After the second week of being open, it doesn’t really seem like many people care about the pandemic. I’ve heard one too many jokes about it and my restaurant gradually became busier and busier. Life is starting to look normal here in North Carolina as people disregard the threat of COVID-19. 

What do you miss doing the most? 

The thing I miss doing the most is traveling. When I’m working, I have a lot of flexibility so over the weekends, I like to take trips to the mountains, the beach, and other big cities in North Carolina or surrounding states. It’s been stressful to feel so restricted however it is warranted and necessary. I can’t wait to visit friends and see new things. I also miss going for a night out and being able to have fun with my friends carefree. It won’t happen now, but in time, it will happen again. 

What is the first thing you’re going to do once lockdown is over? 

The first thing I’m going to do when lockdown is over is have a beer with my friends at my favorite dive bar. There’s nothing more comforting than sitting on the porch of a bar with a beer in your hand day-drinking. While technically, I am allowed to do this at this stage in North Carolina’s reopening, I am trying to take more precautions about going out unless necessary considering I am now working in a restaurant and potentially exposing myself more frequently. It’s difficult to see everyone out and about but the pandemic hasn’t halted just because the economy needed to reopen.

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