Life Logs: 7 Weeks (And Counting) of Self-Isolation

April 28, 2020

May is just around the corner now. Who knew most people around the world would be spending April 2020 inside the house 24/7? Since the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) began, I have only been out of our village for less than 5 times - 100% of the time to buy groceries and medicine for the folks at home. As the days pass by, I'm actually becoming more numbed with the current situation of the world. My previous mindset during the start of this ordeal feels so far away now, and I'm not sure if that's a positive or a negative thing actually. Maybe this is my system protecting myself again from my own poison. Maybe this is my own defense mechanism doing it's job of self-preservation. I guess in a way this is good because in this condition I think I would more be able to think and decide more rationally compared to if I am feeling paranoid and emotional.

So far, I am further proving the theory that routine kills boredom. Honestly, I think I haven't felt really bored during this whole time of the quarantine situation. There's really no room to be idle because my to-do list just keeps getting longer and longer! Now that I have more time to attend to myself, lots of personal project ideas are coming in. I have now used up half the pages of my bullet journal. 

The biggest enemy I have now is not boredom but procrastination. 😩

I never thought I would thrive and become more productive now that I am at home almost all of the time. Before, I always chose to go to the office, even though we could actually do work from home in some days of the week. This is because I knew I would accomplish nothing if I would do work stuff at home. And it didn't help that my soft comfy bed is just inches away from my workspace. 😅

Well this ECQ situation totally changed the game for me, at least work-wise. I am more productive now at work (I've even finished a project within the initial target time frame, which rarely happens for dev teams, heh). I'm just happy because I have proved to myself that I am capable of focusing and finishing tasks even at a work-from-home setting. The key to achieving all of this, I discovered, is the concept of momentum. I discovered that if I start the day right, I would be able to perpetuate the rest of it with positive energy, fueling my motivation to choose the right options whenever temptations come my way.

My morning routine is already established. This is usually how my day starts:
  1. alarm goes off at 5:15AM (well I still press the snooze button a few times 😅), so I wake up at ~5:30AM
  2. brush my teeth  & wash face. (I don't take a bath before setting to work (TMI LOL). I choose to do that during the afternoon to feel more refreshed during the night. You know how hot it is these days.
  3. fix the bed
  4. open the laptop and log on online. I set my Slack status to either 🥞 or ☕ with the text Breakfast
  5. buy pandesal at the nearby bakery. Doing this every morning gives me a number of benefits: I get to do exercise and it gives me bright feelings to just be outside and to feel the wind. I always loved doing morning walks so this has become one of my favorite activities of the day. Of course I wear a mask whenever I go out. When I arrive back home my mom is usually up already. I boil some water, make 2-in-1 coffee (coffee + creamer only) and munch on the warm pandesal. 
  6. check my work inbox, plot the tasks within the 8-hour work window (via Outlook)
  7. start the grind! 
This routine gets altered a bit if I have a 6AM meeting (I skip steps 3,5,6), but generally this is how my weekday morning starts. It amazes me that I now get to finish the work tasks that I needed to do without going beyond the 8-hour mark. Apparently, it's true when they say that people should work smarter, not harder.

I admit I am not always as highly motivated as I think I should be throughout the work week, and I am becoming more self-aware of my struggles. I make mental notes on why I am feeling this certain way and I always pat myself for always returning back to continue my battle. Sometimes all we need is the encouragement and the feeling of being seen and heard by others, but I believe it is as important to have that recognition we can give to ourselves.

There are lessons to be learned from our experiences, and there are some we just have to learn the hard way. Just this week, it was highlighted for me that procrastination in some areas will have irreversible consequences in my life. There are A LOT of items right now on my to-do list. I know I am no Wonder Woman and I won't be able to do them all at the same time, so I am now learning to choose my battles. Which of these items would have the greatest impact when left undone today? This is one of my major takeaways this week.

So... what have you been busy with these days?

For me,  I am proud to say that I have become more engaged with lots of (non-work!) activities like:
  • Discovering more about myself through meditations and online workshops. I recognize that there are still things that happened in the past that I still hold on to, and I hope I could finally release them and move on through these healing classes that I am attending. I've been discovering a lot about spirituality and mindfulness (chakras, auras, crystals). Although most of it I'm still finding a hard time to absorb, it amazes me because all of these concepts just boil down to that foundation that the human mind can be very powerful if placed in the correct mindset. It all starts with our mind and emotions, then it manifests to the physical through the hormones released to the body (remember stress and cortisol?). We all know that too much stress can cause diseases in the long term, right? Through these webinars and meditations, I feel like I'm learning more and more about this Universe and how it works. These new knowledge and experiences are hugely helping me place my mind in the proper space, especially during these strange and difficult times.
  • Keeping a dream journal. For the past ~5 nights, I've had this recurring theme in my dreams about being anxious because I knew I needed to travel somewhere and I was not in my best condition (either I have not packed my things yet, or my companions left already without me, or I was always getting lost on my way to the target place). I later realized that these are all connected with that thing I was procrastinating to do for the longest time. When the realization of the consequences finally came to light, the recurring dream theme stopped. So really, sometimes we just have to listen to what our subconscious minds are trying to tell us. It might greatly benefit us.
  • Watching old and new Korean dramas on Netflix. I'm currently watching Her Private Life and The King: Eternal Monarch. I usually watch 1-2 episodes of each during the weekend. This is one way for me to still look forward for Friday to come. I know days of the week have become irrelevant now (what day is it again? oh yeah it's Blursday!) and so this is my little way of keeping myself sane during these times. 😅
  • Catching up on the podcasts. I love it because my current favorite podcast - The Eve's Drop - has been publishing episodes more frequently now (I guess it's because they have more time now due to the ECQ). It has always been fun to listen to them, but I realized that I needed more of their fun energy during these strange times. My favorites so far are Ginoboi's and Suzi's guesting. I'm thankful because I still get to have a heartfelt laugh by listening to them.
  • Tapping to my creative side. I see to it that I get to do vocal and piano exercises at least twice a week. You'll be able to see here on the blog the product of those sessions. 😁
I'm very satisfied on how I'm handling myself during the quarantine so far. I'm in a very much healthier headspace. I'm happy because through the experiences that I've had in recent years (especially that solo travel last year), I have learned how to love and enjoy my own company. My thoughts are kinder now and less savage.

Just last night, I attended a self-love meditation session, hosted by Third Eye Wellness. I felt so relaxed after. If you have the time, I highly recommend attending their Digital Monday Meditations live sessions (they have different themes every week). My ultimate favorite (so far) is the Guardian Angel Meditation. I was ugly crying during the 30-minute session. It's really life-changing, and I felt less alone since after that experience.

I am slowly coming to terms that we won't be returning back to "normal" anytime soon. What we have now is the "new normal" and we have to slowly adapt with the changes.

This is one long post, and if you've reached this part, thank you so much for being here and visiting the blog. Thank you because you are interested on what I have to say. I hope you stay safe and healthy. 🙏

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