I never thought I would live to the day where I would be experiencing a lockdown. I thought these things were of the past, during my grandparents time. My school is closed for the rest of the semester. All my friends returned back home and it feels like the world suddenly stopped and I am left alone in the dark. I feel so angry. For the first time in my life everything is out of my control and all I can do is sit back, and watch by the sideline and feel helpless. I feel scared and very alone.
Luckily, I have my younger sister who lives with me so it makes time go faster. But still, the fact that we are living in such an uncertain time gives me so much stress and anxiety.
Right now the last thing, I want to feel is “positive.” If anything I feel the complete opposite. There are days where I feel so sad and not motivated to do anything. Some days are good and some days are bad. But when I feel like that and feel down, I just remind myself that I am not alone. We all are grieving and frustrated with the unknown. It’s just a matter of time when things will reopen. I just tell myself that this pain is temporary and I’ve got this. And I have more control, than I think I do.
Keep saying this to yourself every time your inner demons want you to feel sad and depressed. I know how many of us were on a roll, doing well before the pandemic hit. But just because we are now stuck at home, do not let that make you feel any different.
This is not the time to lose yourself.
In fact, the more I think about it, we do have control over many things: our attitude towards the situation, what we choose to eat and nourish our body, how we spend our day and what we can do to take care of ourselves and our loved ones during this time.
A book I read in my philosophy class called “Man’s Search for Meaning'” by Viktor E. Frankl had some great quotes that can be applied to our current dilemma. Frankl wrote about his experience of surviving the holocaust. He said that suffering is inevitable and that it is part of being human. Even the Buddha, talks about the human condition and to be human is to suffer. The Buddha said that the only way to not suffer, is to reach enlightenment or enter the final nirvana so that you never have to reincarnate again as a human being. So Frankl is not alone when he talks about suffering, but many religions talk about it as well.
Frankl said that “any man under such circumstances can decide what shall become of him mentally and spiritually” and that “everything can be taken away from man but one thing, the last of human freedoms to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstances to choose one’s own way.”
So yes, we have every right to feel angry, sad, irritated and frustrated. After all none of us expected to go through something like this.
But what will you choose to make out of this experience? 🙂 I think this experience is only going to happen to us once, so while it’s here to stay with us, we can choose how to respond to it just like Frankl advises us.
If you like the quotes, I highly recommend the book which you can find here
For me, I am choosing how to respond to this pandemic by taking little actions each day that help me closer to my goal.
It may not be perfect but you have to start.
Just like what I am doing right now and writing this post.I was so fed up with the past two months doing nothing because I was waiting for the perfect moment. Waiting for my blog to look prettier, waiting for my room to be finished so I can have the best desk setup so I can write my blog, waiting for this, waiting for x, y, z to happen so I could feel happy and have everything to write my blog. Sounds silly doesn’t it? But we all do that. We all keep wishing and waiting for that moment to arrive. But what I have learned is to cast those insecure feelings aside, and be stern with myself. I told myself that if I do not do anything and wait, I literally will not grow and nothing will change. I cannot allow fear to paralyze me.
Most of the time it’s not others who prevent you from achieving your true goals, it’s that inner voice that derails those carefully woven plans.
Don’t give up on your hobbies, your dreams, your goals. Don’t do that to yourself. Your goals, dreams, aspirations all of it matter. Even when it feels like you simply cannot do anything right now to be close to your goals, just learn to adjust and do what you can in the mean time 🙂 I promise you the minute this lockdown is over we’re going to get back even stronger.
Here are 6 ways to keep positive during this time.
#1 Look into your past
Get hope from your past resilience. See how far you have come and be proud of yourself. When there are days where I feel like giving up, I look in my past and tell myself: “my goodness I came all the way from Vietnam to the U.S by myself and now look where I am” If I could go through all the obstacles and hardships of adapting to a new country and customs, then I can definitely get through this difficult time. So when you feel like giving up, don’t. You’ve gone through so much and you can get through this as well.
#2 Limit the news
I only read the headlines on news article and that is enough for me to get my daily dose of information for the day. I do not watch the news because it is too dramatic. Instead I just go on the internet and check up on any new updates on the reopening guidelines. I also do not check instagram first thing in the morning because nowadays instagram is kind of political for me.I stay off instagram as much as I can and spend my time during the day working on myself, reading, watching Downtown Abbey and more!
#3 The small ordinary things that add up to big milestones.
I was reading this book by Marc and Angel Chernoff called 1000+ little things Happy Successful People do Differently and somewhere in the book it said that the little things we do today no matter how ordinary will add up in milestones and pay off in the future. That really resonated with me and caused me to view the things I do on a daily basis differently. So the next time I complain about working on my blog and thinking oh this will never workout, I just tell myself that the little actions I take today will add up in yards and milestones if I continue to be persistent and work towards my goals. Have faith and trust that everything will workout and know that you are where you are meant to be.
#4 Take advantage of this time
I truly believe that this time is going to happen once. Might as well make the best out of it and make use of this beautiful free time we have! I am taking advantage of this time and redecorating my room. I realized that I never got around to it because I was always so busy. I moved to my new apartment last year but once I moved in, my sister and I left for Paris. So redecorating our home was never our priority. But now that I have more time I am going on Pinterest, West Elm and Ikea finding creative ways to make my small bedroom look big and more cozy.
#5 Send gifts in the mail
I think we all have lost the art of sending mail. We send a lot of emails, but when was the last time you sent a handwritten card or a gift to a friend? I sure know that when I open the mail and find a gift from someone that would definitely make my day.
#6 Breathe, relax, trust divine timing.
And last but not least, trust that everything will workout. I just recently learned about divine timing and that is just trusting in the universe and knowing that when things are meant to happen, it will happen. Don’t force and try to rush things. Do the best that you can with what you have and you will never regret that decision.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post. It felt so good to blog again. 🙂 It is crazy hot in Los Angeles. I just started watching Selling Sunset which I am in love with!
What are your plans for the rest of the day?
With love from Catherine
Goodnight from Los angeles
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