It’s August, my dudes. South Africa is still within a lock down and this is the time when I start feeling a bit worn out. It’s been a wild year and honestly, no one can prepare you for the intensity of a pandemic. I’ve been lucky enough to have constant work throughout 2020, especially in a time where major South African publishing houses have bowed out. However, I’ve been going non-stop since early January and seven months later, we maybe need to do some self care?
I know I need a break, which I’ve set time aside for. But it just made me think, what does self-care look like when you can’t just leave the house, the outside isn’t safe and being outdoors is anxiety-inducing (because welp, COVID-19 is probably airborne).
The pandemic has brought up some serious mental health concerns for so many of my peers. We’re all struggling in our own ways.
In the past, self-care was marketed as maybe doing a face mask, buying something fancy and taking a day off. How does any of that translate to my life now? Personally, the pandemic has revealed many things to me. Number one being that I definitely have some mild workaholic tendencies and don’t know how to switch off. The nature of my job is that I do need to be plugged in and see what newsworthy content could align with the work I do. It makes it hard to get off my phone, but I have to do it.
Secondly, I need to move out of South Africa – but that’s a work in progress.
So what the hell am I doing as self care now?
As most of us know, that trauma can affect memory. And one constant in the last five years for me? Trauma. I’ve been working on that memory loss through documenting my life properly on this blog but also through a nice Moleskine and now, a Midori journal. Since January 2019, I’ve been doing a monthly spread – with a cover page, a to-do and a monthly round-up. The round-up is just a collection of moments, seeing friends, outings and memorable happenings throughout the month. It’s been so nice to see a) what I’ve done so far and b) remember how I spent my time. Especially now that I can’t see friends or go outside much.
Using proper planning tools that work for me
It’s not easy to find a planning system that aligns with the way you work. I’ve used a few in the last year or so, from Trello to Monday.com and the ever dreadful Teams. During the pandemic, through sheer necessity I found out what works for me. I have a normal day-to-day planner that I write in simple tasks (i.e shops, meeting at 9am, emails). I have Google Calendar that I use to work out my hours and then I use Notion to plan out my to-do, my client work and life admin. I have two additional notebooks for meetings with clients for different ideas and jotting down notes.
Spending less but intentionally
In case you missed it – about four years ago, I used to have quite a bad online shopping issue. I’ve gotten a handle on it now, adopted minimalist principles and chosen a low-buy approach to life. However, the pandemic has thrown a lot of us off course and in my attempt to support local businesses, I’ve spent money I didn’t really need to spend. This year, you can’t leave your house so online shopping looks a lot more appealing. But through this time, I’ve had to sit down and determine what I need vs what I want. Personally, being too frugal, with heavy budget restrictions make me prone to overspending. In the last year, I’ve realised self-care is having savings and giving myself financial freedom.
And finally, I’m learning how to unplug properly. It’s hard to do, but I’d like to dedicate the time to reading again and making my way through my long overdue book list. I love snuggling into a good book and I definitely have to revisit that.
Hope this is helpful!